×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Oedekerk brings ‘Ripley’ back to life

Carry, Burton still on board with film

Paramount Pictures has resurrected shelved pic “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!,” hiring Steve Oedekerk to overhaul the script.

Remaining in place are Jim Carrey as Ripley and Tim Burton as director, both of whom approved Oedekerk.

Studio is eyeing a winter 2008 production start in China and a 2009 release date.

One of the most ambitious and pricey pictures hatched by the new Paramount regime, “Ripley’s” was postponed (Daily Variety, June 13) months before its fall production start. Execs made that move because they faced the prospect of a China shoot with a budget north of $150 million, when Burton and especially Carrey were still coming up with ideas that necessitated a significant rewrite of the script by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.

Oedekerk, who’ll be paid a seven-figure fee, has long been a Carrey go-to-guy. They began collaborating on “In Living Color,” and Oedekerk wrote and directed “Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls” and scripted “Bruce Almighty.” Oedekerk most recently scripted the Tom Shadyac-directed “Evan Almighty,” starring Steve Carell.

Carrey hatched many of the creative ideas that will broaden the emphasis from his Robert Ripley character to some of the wonders he uncovered for his “Believe It or Not!” column.

Armed with a new take that has been approved by the studio, Oedekerk will work to ramp up the spectacle factor for a budget comparable to the original.

When Paramount applied the brakes to “Ripley’s,” Burton moved on to direct Johnny Depp in “Sweeney Todd,” a DreamWorks adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical that Paramount will distribute for Christmas, 2007.

The delay came as Carrey was coming off the cancellation of “Used Guys,” and watched his subsequent assignment, “A Little Game,” get scrapped.

Fox unplugged “Used Guys” because neither the studio nor director Jay Roach were convinced the film would come in on a $105 million budget, and there were no pay-or-play deals with Carrey or Ben Stiller that would have made it prohibitively expensive for Fox to punt.

“A Little Game” came unglued when Cameron Diaz exited after reading a rewrite done by director Gabriele Muccino under the supervision of Focus Features topper James Schamus. Muccino ankled, and Carrey followed suit.

Oedekerk is repped by WMA.

More Scene

  • Lilli Cooper Tootsie

    How the 'Tootsie' Musical Was Updated for the #MeToo Era

    Turning the beloved 1982 comedy “Tootsie” into a 21st century musical already seemed like a challenge when work on the adaptation began back in 2016. Then the #MeToo movement revved up — and the writers knew they couldn’t tell Dorothy’s story for a modern audience without it. “It’s different than it was when the movie [...]

  • Ralph Fiennes attends a special screening

    Ralph Fiennes on Directing Rudolf Nureyev Biopic: 'It's Been a Very, Very Long Road'

    Ralph Fiennes celebrated his latest directorial outing, “The White Crow,” on Monday night in New York City. The Sony Pictures Classics film tells the story of legendary dancer Rudolf Nureyev. “It’s been a very, very long road. We were mad. We were mad to take on this subject of Rudolf Nureyev. Mad. Completely mad,” Fiennes [...]

  • Taylor Swift Time 100 Performance

    Watch Taylor Swift's Time 100 Gala Performance and Speech

    Just two nights out from Taylor Swift D-day spring 2019 — i.e., Thursday’s release of a new single — Swift made an appearance Tuesday at the Time 100 event in New York, where she did not let loose with any spoiler performances of new music but did sing a few fan favorites, including “Style,” “Delicate,” and [...]

  • Katie HolmesAT&T Presents: Untold Stories Luncheon

    Katie Holmes, Kal Penn Help Decide Winner of $1 Million Filmmaker Grant

    Tribeca Film Festival and AT&T gave one young filmmaker a million and one reasons to rejoice at the “Untold Stories” third annual competition. After a nerve-wracking 10-minute long pitch in front of over 850,000 live stream audience members and a panel consisting of celebrities and industry leaders, filmmaker Kate Tsang was awarded $1 million Monday [...]

  • Laurie Metcalf, John Lithgow'Hillary and Clinton'

    Why John Lithgow Worried About Starring in Broadway's 'Hillary and Clinton'

    When Lucas Hnath first conceived of “Hillary and Clinton” in 2008, he was writing for and about a very different America. Now, a total reimagining of the show has made its way to Broadway with Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow in the titular roles. At the opening on Thursday night, the cast and creatives talked [...]

  • Patrick Page, Amber Grey, Eva Noblezada,

    'Hadestown' Took 12 Years to Get to Broadway, but It's More Relevant Than Ever

    When “Hadestown” was first staged as a tiny, DIY theater project in Vermont, those involved could never have predicted that it was the start of a 12-year journey to Broadway — or how painfully relevant it would be when it arrived. At Wednesday night’s opening at the Walter Kerr Theatre, the cast and creatives discussed [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content