×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Clooney ices ‘Frosty,’ but goes ‘West’

George Clooney has fallen out of “Jack Frost,” aka “Frosty the Snowman,” the project that was to be Warner Bros.’ big 1998 holiday offering. The studio is moving ahead with other casting options and sources said it’s eyeing other A-list actors, including John Travolta.

Billy Bob Thornton is in talks to join the project, which is slated to go before the cameras in January.

Clooney just sealed his deal to star as master of disguises Artemus Gordon in the studio’s “Wild, Wild West,” which starts in March or April. “Men in Black’s” Will Smith stars as James West while the director of that blockbuster, Barry Sonnenfeld, will helm. The picture is being produced by Jon Peters. Peter Seaman and Jeffrey Price (“Who Framed Roger Rabbit”) were just hired to do a rewrite.

“Jack Frost” is a special-effects-heavy film that the studio is targeting for Christmas 1998. Sam Raimi is directing the story about a jazz musician who pays little attention to his young daughter. When he dies, he gets the chance to redeem himself when he comes back as Frosty.

The project was set up by the former Giant Pictures team. Irving Azoff is producing with Raimi partner Rob Tapert, and Matthew Baer is exec producing. Both Mark Steven Johnson and Philip Morton have worked on the script.

The property has significant merchandising potential for Warner Bros., which has rights to the famous song through its Warner Music Publishing. The tune, a big hit for singer Burl Ives, was featured in the stop-motion animated special that airs on TV every holiday season.

Clooney is repped by WMA’s Michael Gruber and Todd Harris.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • The Sweeties

    China's Phoenix Buys Italian Body-Positivity Comedy 'Sweeties'

    Chinese distributor Phoenix Entertainment Group has bought all China rights to the Italian comedic drama “The Sweeties” from Germany-based Media Luna New Films. The movie is the second feature from director Francesco Ghiaccio and stars Valeria Solarino, Vinicio Marchioni and four young newcomers in their acting debut. It deals with issues of bullying and body-shaming [...]

  • The Upside TIFF

    'The Upside' Poised for China Theatrical Release

    “The Upside,” a 2017 American remake of the 2011 hit French drama “The Intouchables,” will get a China release on Nov. 22. The film was directed by Neil Burger and stars Nicole Kidman, Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston. It tells the story of an unlikely friendship that forms between a rich quadriplegic and the struggling [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Virginia Leith, Female Lead in Stanley Kubrick's First Film, Dies at 94

    Actress and model Virginia Leith, who starred in Stanley Kubrick’s first film “Fear and Desire,” which he later disavowed, has died. She was 94. According to family spokesperson Jane Chalmers, Leith died after a brief illness at her home in Palm Springs, Calif. on Nov. 4. Born on Oct. 15, 1925, Leith met Kubrick in [...]

  • Sarah Bolger's 'A Good Woman Is

    Film News Roundup: Sarah Bolger's 'A Good Woman Is Hard to Find' Bought by Film Movement

    In today’s film news roundup, “A Good Woman Is Hard to Find” and “After Parkland” find homes, Jack Johnson is honored, AGC closes deals on Neill Blomkamp’s latest and Paramount is in talks for a “Power to the People” project. ACQUISITIONS Film Movement has bought North American rights to the thriller “A Good Woman Is [...]

  • Sir Lionel Frost (left) voiced by

    Chris Butler Looks At The Magic Behind Animating 'Missing Link'

    Laika’s latest feature “Missing Link” raises the bar once again for the world of stop-motion, pushing boundaries in scope and visuals. The story of an unlikely friendship between Mr. Frost and his 8-foot yeti buddy Link is one of hope. “Missing Link” producer Arianne Sutner says the message of the film was to “leave people [...]

  • Jonah Hauer-King Prince Eric

    'Little Mermaid' Live-Action Movie Finds Its Prince Eric

    Jonah Hauer-King will soon be a part of the “Little Mermaid” world. The newcomer has been tapped to play Prince Eric in Disney’s live-action remake of the animated classic. At one point, Harry Styles was is in early talks for the role, but ended up passing. Hauer-King has had two screen tests, with the most [...]

  • Peter Caranicas

    Variety's Peter Caranicas to Receive 1st HPA Legacy Award

    Peter Caranicas Variety managing editor, features, will be honored with the first HPA Legacy Award. Caranicas joined Variety as features managing editor in 2008, and currently serves as both deputy editor and managing editor, features. He has developed the editorial franchises Dealmakers Impact Report, Hollywood’s New Leaders, Legal Impact Report and Business Managers Elite. Caranicas also [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content