Whether you grew up with the original Jerry Lewis version or Eddie Murphy’s take on the material decades later, The Nutty Professor is a well-established comedy property, though needless to say it’s been a while since we’ve seen a new interpretation on it. Well, it looks like that will be changing soon, as the film rights have landed at a new home.
According to Deadline, Project X Entertainment’s James Vanderbilt, William Sherak and Paul Neinstein, who are in the midst of relaunching the Scream franchise, have acquired the rights to The Nutty Professor. While Vanderbilt’s writing credits include The Rundown, Zodiac and The Amazing Spider-Man, for the new take on The Nutty Professor, he’ll simply as as a producer. It hasn’t been decided yet who will write or direct the new Nutty Professor, as as Project X will “package themselves” before seeking out creative talent.
1963’s The Nutty Professor, which was released in 1963, was a parody of the Robert Louis Stevenson novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It followed Jerry Lewis as Julius Kelp, a socially awkward and clumsy university professor who creates a serum that turns him into Buddy Love, a handsome, self-confident ladies man, though conversely, Buddy was more cruel than Julius. The Nutty Professor also starred Stella Stevens and Del Moore (among others), and while Lewis never ended up making a live-action Nutty Professor sequel, he did lend his voice to an animated, direct-to-DVD follow-up (also called The Nutty Professor) that came out in 2008.
Eddie Murphy’s take on The Nutty Professor came out in 1996, with the SNL alum playing Professor Sherman Klump. In this version, Sherman’s alternate personality, who’s also named Buddy Love, is born when Klump takes a weight loss pharmaceutical he developed. In addition to playing Sherman and Buddy, Murphy also played five other characters in The Nutty Professor, most of whom were members of Sherman’s family. A sequel followed in 2000 called Nutty Professor II: The Klumps.
With two decades having passed since Eddie Murphy played The Nutty Professor, it make sense that there’s now interest in giving this generation their own version of the character. When will that happen? That’s hard to say, as this is clearly early in the development process, but it will definitely be interested to learn how the next incarnation of The Nutty Professor will differ from its predecessors.
As mentioned earlier, Project X Entertainment already revitalizing a different well-known property through Scream 5, which is expected to come out next year. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett are taking over directorial duties from the late Wes Craven, and along with David Arquette and Courtney Cox reprising their respective roles, the latest entry in the horror franchise will include Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega.
Should any major updates concerning The Nutty Professor roll in, we here at CinemaBlend will let you know. For now, you can keep track of the movies that are set to arrive later this year with our 2020 release schedule.
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Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.