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UPDATE: Heigl's reps have gotten in touch with us to unequivocally say this rumor is not true.
The idea of Katherine Heigl in an I Dream of Jeannie remake is, if we’re being honest, a nightmare. Part of that has to do with Heigl, who hasn’t appeared in a decent movie outside of Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up (which worked in spite of Heigl’s contributions and not because of them). But part of it also revolves around the fact that Hollywood’s attempts at squeezing dollars out of society’s nostalgia for old television shows rarely amounts to quality entertainment. For every Mission: Impossible, there are a dozen Get Smarts, Starsky & Hutchs, The Dukes of Hazards or, coincidentally, The Smurfs that soil our memories instead of creating new pleasures for the next generation.
At least Heigl’s involvement in a proposed Jeannie film is, at most, a rumor that is being reported on The Daily. And even that report acknowledges the fact that the potential remake of the campy television sitcom has been around forever, formally with Lindsay Lohan attached to the lead role of a sexy genie released from a lamp to cause trouble for the man who sets her free.
The Daily says Heigl at least looks like the original Jeannie, Barbara Eden, who co-starred alongside Larry Hagman in the original TV sitcom from 1965-70. But outside of that, why hire her? She has no comedic timing and, in my opinion, her oft-reported contentious personality has colored the way she is perceived on screen. Let’s hope this project stalls at the rumor stage, because the last thing we need is another tired excuse of a comedy milking laughs out of a premise that wasn’t very fresh or original 30 years ago.