There’s something about remakes for the Farrelly brothers.
DreamWorks has landed rights to Francis Veber’s French comedy “The Valet” and attached Peter and Bobby Farrelly to direct a Hollywood version. Pic would mark the duo’s third remake, following “Fever Pitch” (based on a 1997 Brit film centered on soccer) and “The Hearbreak Kid,” (an upcoming DreamWorks redo of the 1972 comedy).
Since the brothers’ 1998 breakout hit, “There’s Something About Mary,” their ability to tap the comedic zeitgeist has been slippery. Their brand of gross-out humor scored with “Me, Myself and Irene” ($91 million) but softer-toned fare has yielded softer B.O., as with “Stuck on You” ($34 million) and “Fever Pitch” ($42 million).
The Farrellys have also devoted more of their time to producing and exec-producing comedies by writers and directors they’ve mentored, ranging from “Say It Isn’t So” to the recent “The Ringer.”
“Valet” is based on Veber’s “La Doublure,” which has grossed more than $17 million since its release in France three weeks ago. Pic follows a hapless valet who is captured in a photo of a fight between a Donald Trump-type mogul and his mistress, leading to all sorts of comedic entanglements.
Veber’s sense of humor has enticed Hollywood in the past, with mixed results; “The Birdcage” adaptation was a hit, but “Father’s Day” “and “Three Fugitives” saw disappointing returns.
Allan Loeb will write script and exec produce the remake of “The Valet” for DreamWorks. The Farrellys will produce with Conundrum partner Bradley Thomas.
At least four studios chased remake rights when CAA shopped them late last week.
The DreamWorks effort was led by new topper Stacey Snider and Adam Goodman. Veber also has a relationship with the studio, which is developing an Americanized version of his laffer “Le Diner de cons” as a potential star vehicle for Sacha Baron Cohen.
Loeb is in business with DreamWorks on the Sam Mendes-produced drama “Things We Lost in the Fire.” He’s written several other high-profile scripts, including “Baster” and “The Only Living Boy in New York”; the latter is being developed at Sony.