Ben Stiller Is Now The Rentaghost For Fox
Back in December, before Arthur opened and was quickly forgotten, Russell Brand was set for the lead role in Rentaghost, an adaptation of the 70s children's series about ghosts who rent themselves out as help for the living. There's a reason you haven't been hearing about this movie since then-- given the complete non-reaction that met Arthur upon its release, Brand has rightly realized it's time to change things up, and dropped out of the project.
But a family-friendly project with at least a little name recognition won't languish long in this business, and Deadline reports that Ben Still has agreed to star, with his Night at the Museum writers Thomas Lennona nd Ben Garant on board as well. The original Rentaghost series was British, so the movie will play on Stiller's American-ness by having him play an American consultant sent to the UK to help a company turn around-- presumably, a ghost rental company. Yes, I know, there's nothing kids love more than stories about corporate executives on business trips, but Mr. Popper's Penguins earlier this summer focused a lot on Jim Carrey's career in real estate, and it turned out pretty OK.
Stiller is making a movie for grown-ups, sorta, with the upcoming Tower Heist, but it seems clear that both he and Fox know they had a good thing with the Night at the Museum movies, and are trying to get another gravy train going. This one sounds as promising as any other kid's movie does in the early stages-- you never really know if these will be worth your time until they actually take shape. In the meantime, you can read the book Lennon and Garant wrote, Writing Movies For Fun And Profit: How We Made A Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too!. For all we know, this one could earn them another billion.
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