EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company has set a January 15 start date for its remake of the French smash hit The Intouchables, after the movie came together quickly with Neil Burger to direct Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart in the lead roles. The script, a fresh take on the original concept, came in strong from Jon Hartmere, and the past week saw an array of meetings to lock it down between TWC’s Harvey Weinstein and David Glasser with Burger, and Cranston and Hart, the latter of whom did it by phone while on his honeymoon. The film will most likely shoot in New York. This has long seemed like an ideal picture to remake; it grossed huge internationally with $416 million, but it only did $10 million domestic for the French language film. TWC released the original domestically and got remake rights as part of the bargain and has gone back and forth with several thesps and directors to tell the story about an aristocrat (Francois Cluzet) who, after being paralyzed in a hang-gliding accident, hires a young man (Omar Sy) from the projects to be his caretaker. The original film was directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano.
Hart and Cranston are an intriguing pairing. Cranston, who won five acting Emmys for Breaking Bad in the Oustanding Lead Actor category, is up for another for playing LBJ in the Jay Roach directed All The Way, that after an Oscar-nominated turn as blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo in Trumbo. Hart just paired with Dwayne Johnson in Central Intelligence and followed with Illumination’s The Secret Life Of Pets, and is completing his feature-length stand-up pic Kevin Hart: What Now? Both actors are with UTA.
Burger, who made his directing breakthrough on The Illusionist and followed with the hits Limitless and Divergent, directed the pilot and two episodes of HBO’s Billions. flirted with Intouchables as long as six months ago while other directors were circling. CAA reps Burger.