I Dream of Jeannie the film?
I Dream of Jeannie the film, an adaptation of the television series with Larry Hagman as the astronaut that took a real genie back to Earth and living with her amazing powers day after day but not really taking advantage of them. Could it make a film?
We first heard talk of it way back in April 2006, but there's movement on the project once again, with a new writer being hired, and one with talent.
Back in 2006 the story was that Gurinder Chadha was looking to direct the Dallas film, another television adaptation that never became reality, and that's a shame because it would have made for a corker of a film especially with John Travolta taking the big role. However in amongst that story we heard that Chadha was in pre-production of I Dream of Jeannie, a film version of the 1965 television show I Dream of Jeannie, starring Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman.
Well not much more was heard from it after that, a year and a half later the big guilds were striking in Hollywood (actors, directors, writers, not something out of Lord of the Rings!) and it was listed as a script waiting to get made but with no writer assigned.
Now, according to the ItsOnTheGrid through L.A. Times, Sheila Callaghan, a writer on The United States of Tara television show, has been picked out to have a bash at the script. The L.A. Times point out that there's more to her than a television writer:
”...she's best known as a downtown New York playwright, writing an acclaimed retelling of James Joyce's Ulysses and a Reagan-era romantic drama set in Greece titled Lascivious Something, among some other well-regarded work.”
Now that is interesting. Could she really pull something new and imaginative out of the story of I Dream of Jeannie? I think there's plenty that could be done, after all she's a living Jeannie and she could do anything, the television show was always keen to keep it small and constrained with the odd embarrassing moment happening, but a Jeannie in the family could mean anything, wars stopped, lottery won, anything.
I think it's a hard sell, and I won't even mention Bewitched, but adapting television shows hasn't worked out well, especially the iconic ones. How is this going to be any different? Different time, different values, different entertainment.