When Eddie Murphy announced that he was going to do a reboot of Jerry Lewis’s iconic The Nutty Professor back in 1996, he certainly had to deal with a fair share of criticism. After all, to take a property that is so closely identified with one particular actor and give the role to a new actor hasn’t worked (The Pink Panther) far more times than it has actually worked (James Bond). Nevertheless, despite these initial criticisms, Murphy was able to make this film work and have this heralded as his “comeback”. And now a new group of filmmakers are looking to do the same.
It was announced today by Deadline that James Vanderbilt, William Sherak and Paul Neinstein from Project X Entertainment are looking to bring The Nutty Professor back to life. They have purchased the rights and are about to begin shopping the idea around. No casting announcements or anything else have been made at this time.
The Nutty Professor, which was first released in 1963, is a parody of Jekyll and Hyde that finds Lewis playing the nerdy professor Julius Kelp as well as his alter ego Buddy Love. It is regarded today as a comedy classic, and though the reboot certainly did well commercially and critically for Eddie Murphy, it’ll be interesting to see if lightning can strike three times. (Four if you count Jekyll and Hyde).