The Hollywood Reporter tells us that Universal are to remake the dark 1991 comedy Drop Dead Fred with Brit comedian Russell Brand standing in for Brit comic actor Rik Mayall, who co-starred in the original with Phoebe Cates.
In the earlier movie Cates is an insecure woman who, in a period of personal crisis, resurrects ‘Fred’, a disgusting imaginary pal from her childhood, whose re-entrance into her life certainly doesn’t make it run any smoother. There’s a lot to like about the Ate De Jong original, though it’s something of a tonal misfire when it descends from comedy into a bit of depressing treatise on mental illness. The film was a critical and commercial flop, but has gathered fans over the years.
HR report that the new version will be written by Land Of The Lost scribe Dennis McNicholas, with Marc Platt joining Working Title’s Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan on producing duties. The new film has been associated in tone with a rather more successful dark comedy – Beetlejuice.
Controversial comedian Brand, who achieved almost absurd front-page notoriety in the UK with pal Jonathan Ross over the ‘Sachs scandal’, is clearly leading a full-on assault on the US in the wake of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, as he’s also heading for the titular lead in the Arthur remake and will soon appear in Judd Apatow’s Get Him To The Greek.
Perhaps we shouldn’t lament the avalanche of remakes that we report at Den Of Geek – if this article was entitled ‘Brand For Some Project You’ve Never Heard Of ‘ it would get half the hits – would I even have put it up for you to read? Maybe remakes are what we deserve…