EXCLUSIVE: After breathing new life into the Scream franchise, Project X Entertainment’s James Vanderbilt, William Sherak and Paul Neinstein are looking to do the same with a classic comedy IP. Sources tell Deadline, Project X has landed the rights to The Nutty Professor, the classic Jerry Lewis comedy that Eddie Murphy rebooted in the ’90s.
No studio is attached as Project X will package themselves before taking it out on the market. Even with Vanderbilt’s long track-record of penning scripts to such films as The Rundown, Zodiac and The Amazing Spider-Man, as of right now he is just producing and there is no decision on a writer or other talent.
The original Nutty Professor is considered one of the classic comedies from the late Lewis and follows a nerdy professor who in order to improve is love life, drinks a potion that temporarily turns him into the handsome, but obnoxious, Buddy Love. The film was rebooted in 1996 by Universal and had Murphy not only play the professor and his alter ego Love, but also famously playing the professor’s five other family members. That film was a massive hit and spawned the sequel, The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, that came out in 2000.
It feels like the perfect time to relaunch the IP as studio execs around the industry see comedy as the genre audiences are looking more and more for due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has uprooted so many people’s lives around the world.
The project marks the second major property in 2020 that Project X is looking to relaunch with their Scream pic recently landing at Paramount for distribution. They tapped their directing team Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, who helmed Ready Or Not which Vanderbilt and Shera produced, to direct and are bringing back the original cast that includes Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette to star.
Vanderbilt and Project X are repped by WME.
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