Jerry Lewis most successful films for remake
It's surprising that there hasn't been a move to remake the Jerry Lewis films already, but then I think that's because there hasn't been a comedy persona to rival him, or maybe there has been and there's just not been the desire to bring back this kind of comedy to the big screen.
Now though the idea of remaking Lewis' most successful films and casting a new comedic actor in his place is going to be put to the test as word has come that three of his most successful films are heading for the remake machine.
I do remember loving Jerry Lewis, especially his partnership with Dean Martin, a man whom I have grown to really admire (we had a wonderful impersonator play at our wedding!), and looking back I remember finding them hilarious together. However I did recently watch them and found Lewis less funny and Martin more so, I guess humour changes through time and mine definitely has. Now I find that clever scripting makes me laugh more than the out loud slapstick kind of humour, and I wonder if there will be an audience for Lewis' type of comedy or if it's had its day.
Of course there's no reason to remake the films in a style of Lewis, look how well that worked out with the Pink Panther films. Perhaps they should take the idea and concept and adapt them to a current comedienne's style.
Right now Variety are reporting that three Jerry Lewis films from the sixties are being looked at for a remake, The Bellboy, Cinderfella and The Family Jewels although they say the companies behind these remakes have rights to many more titles including The Errand Boy, The Patsy and Who's Minding the Store. I definitely remember the first three.
As usual it's the fine print that provides some of the most interesting reading. While talking about the producers it says that, and I'll quote:
...are aiming to develop each as a franchise for a major comedy star.
To develop each as a franchise for a major comedy star? That means three franchises for three separate comediennes. Okay, I know the site can be hard to understand with its strange English at times, I speak out enough about that, but that's pretty clear. One film per star per franchise.
John Baca, one of the producers, confirms that this is the idea:
”Our goal is to reboot each picture as a stand-alone comedy franchise, drawing heavily from Lewis' comedic genius, as well as his heart-warming storytelling”
Christopher Tuffin, another of the producers, apparently made multiple trips to Las Vegas to talk with Jerry Lewis and persuade him to make the deals, and he agreed, even though there's no studio signed up, no writers, directors or more importantly comedic talent signed for the leads.
He did say of the films that:
”What we're aiming to do is combine the spirit of the originals with a modern sensibility.”
Jerry Lewis is one of the executive producers on the films and just now I can't be sure if that's a money deal or if he will have involvement. Interestingly, I didn't realise that Lewis is credited with developing video assist on The Bellboy as he used video cameras and closed circuit monitors to instantly review his performance. The reason for this was that the film was actually made up to fill the gap when Cinderfella was delayed, filmed during the day while Lewis was performing on stage at night.
You know what strikes me almost instantly about this is that they could combine this with a reality show to find new comedic talents to head each one of the films with a potential franchise off of each, one series, three films, three stars, and each one with a ready made audience and the potential for a franchise. I could see that happening.
What we've got to hope though is that it turns out better than previous remakes of Lewis films have, Nutty Professors anyone?