While comedies involving otherworldly aspects may not have done well this year with a couple of releases, one reboot of a supernatural comedy that may work just from name recognition (and believe us, that does work and work well most of the time) is Beetlejuice. The 1988 features from Tim Burton that was made for $13 million and brought home $73 million domestically is looking like the next 80’s feature to be reinvented for modern audiences. A new production company run by David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith called KatzSmith has signed a first-look deal with Warner Bros. and the first thing on their docket is bringing this up to speed. This one does have some interesting pedigree behind it as Grahame-Smith has been working as the screenwriter for Dark Shadows, which is being done by Tim Burton. He’s slated to write two scripts for the new production company and the speculation is that this would be the mostly likely one. Grahame-Smith came to note in the last couple of years for some potentially big movies hitting with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as well as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter based on the novels he wrote.
According to Collider, the pair have a few other first-look films that they’re figuring out on:
- Bryantology, “in which a loser on the verge of losing his house exploits a tax loophole, invents a religion and names his home a tax exempt place of worship. When the religion goes viral, followers show up on his doorstep and the hapless guy is suddenly a cult leader.” [Note: this sounds very similar to the Family Guy episode “If I’m Dyin’, I’m Lyin'”]
- Night of the Living, “a stop motion animated film about a town of peaceful monsters must learn how to fight when it is invaded by humans.” Grahame-Smith might write the script with Tim Burton producing.
- An adaptation of Stuart Kaminsky’s novel series about 40s Hollywood private eye Toby Peters (there have been 24 novels in the series since it was first published in 1977; the most recent one came out in 2004. Kaminsky died in 2009).
- Fire Teddy, which is about “an underachieving nice guy is hired as a low level employee at a corporate office. Ordered by his Machiavellian boss to fire Teddy, the newcomer can’t do it and becomes fast friends with Teddy through his futile attempts.” That premise sounds ridiculously sitcom-y