Paramount is in talks with Chris Columbus (The Goonies, Home Alone) to direct the Jim Carrey comedy Ripley’s Believe it or Not. The project has been plagued since the beginning, with cast changes and shooting schedule delays, and budgetary concerns. The studio ordered the the script be reworked after original director Tim Burton and Carrey’s endless brainstorming resulted in the FX budget skyrocketing to gigantic proportions. Last we heard they hoped to wrangle the budget to the $150 million range. The project has been in development heck since 2007.

Believe It or Not is said to pick up with Ripley at the time when he gained celebrity status through a “Believe it or Not” column that chronicled his search for the greatest oddities in the world. Along the way, he starts to respect his unusual human discoveries as more than mere conquests to be documented. According to Variety, the story will be completely overhauled, and the entire China-based storyline is being completely scrapped. Columbus will hire a writer if and when he officially signs on. Paramount hopes to get the film on track for a 2011 release.

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