According to a new piece in The Hollywood Reporter, Fox are reworking rather radically one of their old- in-development projects… and the new version is sound pretty darn tasty.
Originally, Used Guys was set up to star Jim Carrey and Ben Stiller as a pair of past-their-prime clones in a world where ‘natural’ men are extinct. Upstaged by newer models with better listening and bedroom skills, they get returned and from their embark upon a quest to find the mythical paradise they call Mantopia. Cue male bonding and a sci-fi slanted spin on remasculation wish fulfillment.
Now, though, it’s all change with Carrey out, Reese Witherspoon in, and Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris negotiating to direct. What of the story though? How drastically will that have to be overhauled to deal with a female-male pairing and not just a couple of chaps up front?
All the new piece indicates is that the focus will now be on the relationship between Witherspoon’s character, a clone owner, and Stiller’s clone. The origins of Witherspoon’s role appear to be a character that Emily Mortimer was originally signed up to, though the part must have been expanded in the refocused narrative. I can’t see the Mantopia quest being played out in quite the same way now. Budgetary issues seem to be what scuppered the project back in ’06, but that alone doesn’t explain such exhaustive reconception.
I’m really pleased to see Dayton and Faris lining up more work because Little Miss Sunshine showed a true deftness of touch. For a couple of years we’ve been waiting patiently as they developed an adaptation of Tom Perotta’s The Abstinence Teacher and, thankfully, that project still seems to be ticking along. Perhaps Used Guys will come first, or perhaps it won’t, but them having two irons in the fire can’t be a bad thing.
Interestingly, the Hollywood Reporter note that no writer has been attached to the revamp as yet which could well mean one of two rather encouraging things – either that Dayton and Faris will be taking to the word processor themselves or that they’ll play a part in assigning the next screenwriter to the film.
Stiller and Witherspoon were also lined up to star in Cameron Crowe’s Deep Tiki which, officially, has only been delayed though, unofficially, seems to have been canned completely. I don’t think I like living in a world where Cameron Crowe doesn’t get his projects rolling with minimum effort.