Jason Bateman Clue remake

Early last year, Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds threatened to remake the beloved murder mystery adaptation Clue, which is hands down the best board game movie ever made. (Not that it has much competition in that department, but it’s also just a great movie – period.) Updates about the new version have been relatively scarce since then, but it seems like the project is moving forward because it has now found a director in Jason Bateman, who just won an Emmy this past Sunday night for his directing work on season 2 of his Netflix series Ozark.

Bateman also reportedly plans to star in the Clue remake alongside Reynolds, so there’s one more potential suspect (or maybe victim?) in the mix.

Deadline brings word about Bateman’s involvement, but implies that Bateman may end up directing and not starring in the film because it’s still so early in the process. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who wrote Zombieland and Deadpool, were initially hired to write the screenplay for this new Clue, although it’s unclear if they’re still on board because Deadline now says that Bateman will develop the script with Reynolds. Whether that means they’ll just sort of oversee it or if they’ll actually take over and take a crack at writing the script together remains to be seen. Bateman doesn’t have any official writing credits yet, but Reynolds co-wrote last year’s Deadpool 2.

Update: /Film’s Ethan Anderton just reminded me that Bateman and Reynolds co-starred together in the 2011 comedy The Change-Up, which I’d completely forgotten about. So this will be a reunion for the two of them. My original article continues below.

Putting aside the fact that the original Clue is a wonderful movie with pitch perfect tone, direction, production design, and acting and will be nigh-impossible to top in a remake, Bateman could be a decent fit here. He certainly knows how to approach directing comedy, having helmed the feature film Bad Words and an episode of Arrested Development (he even directed an episode of Family Matters back in the day), and he’s tackled his fair share of murder in Ozark as well. Plus, he’s starred in lots of comedies that could provide a template for how to handle this movie, the most obvious of which being Game Night, which featured an excellent balance of humor and dangerous scenarios.

“It will have elements of [the original movie], but it’s important that we don’t try and just rehash it,” Reese and Wernick said in an interview in the summer of 2018. “We want to build on it. We want to take some of what makes it fun and funny, but then we want to do our own thing. It’s about finding that balance. Hopefully we don’t upset the Clue-hounds because there are a lot of them apparently. We didn’t realize this until we signed up.” As a Clue-hound myself, I realize that their (potentially R-rated) remake will never take anything away from the original, but I just hope they’re able to come up with something that approximates the cleverness of the original.

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