The Revolution Studios remake of the Cary Grant comedy “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House” is getting an extreme makeover: Pic is now the sequel to “Are We There Yet?”
Ice Cube remains the star and Steve Carr the director, but when production begins in Vancouver in June, the comedy will be titled “Are We Done Yet?”
The studio is moving quickly to lock in deals with Nia Long, who played the single mom and Cube’s love interest in the original, and Aleisha Allen and Philip Bolden, the adolescents who accompanied Cube’s kid-phobic character on a hellish road trip.
The sequel picks up the quartet when they move from the big city to the suburbs for an idyllic life. A house renovation leads to chaos, particularly when the contractor who clashes with Cube bonds with his wife and the two kids. Storyline isn’t far from the “Blandings” redo, and Hank Nelken’s script is being retrofitted into a sequel by David Stem and David Weiss, writers of the original.
Gone from “Blandings” is Thomas Haden Church, who was going to play a contractor in the remake but now, per Revolution, will be busy with “Spider-Man 3.”
The sequel will be produced by Ted Hartley (whose RKO owned remake rights to “Blandings”); Broken Road’s Todd Garner; and Cube and his Cube Vision partner Matt Alvarez. Carr, Heidi Santelli and Aaron Ray are exec producing, with Revolution’s Derek Dauchy overseeing for the studio.
The radical makeover came after Revolution announced it had ceased development of new product, and after the sequel to “Big Momma’s House” opened big. “Are We There Yet?” was one of the few bright spots in a rough year for Columbia Pictures, and studio brass sparked to the chance to get a quick sequel. The pic was Col’s second highest grossing film of 2005 with $82 million, and sold 3.7 million DVDs in North America, according to Revolution.