Can anyone ever duplicate that immortal whine Jerry Lewis uttered in his wacky 1963 comedy ‘Who’s Minding the Store’?
Artificial Intelligence Entertainment and Social Capital Films think so. They’ve just acquired remake rights from Lewis to ‘The Bellboy,’ ‘Cinderfella,’ ‘The Family Jewels,’ ‘The Errand Boy,’ ‘The Patsy’ and ‘Who’s Minding the Store,’ with an immediate emphasis on bringing to the big screen the first three titles.
All those films were made in the 1960s, when Lewis was at his peak — from 1961 to 1964 he was the No. 1 box office draw in America.
According to Variety, Artificial Intelligence and Social Capital are aiming to develop each film as a franchise for a major comedy star and although particular projects have not yet been set up at a studio, the producers are setting up meetings with actors, writers and directors.
Christopher Tuffin of Social Capital told Variety, “What we’re aiming to do is combine the spirit of the originals with a modern sensibility.”
“Our goal is to reboot each picture as a stand-alone comedy franchise, drawing heavily from Lewis’ comedic genius, as well as his heart-warming storytelling,” John Baca of Artificial Intelligence said.
Lewis’ 1963 ‘The Nutty Professor’ was remade in 1996 with Eddie Murphy taking on Lewis’ role; the film earned a domestic box office take of $128 million and spawned a sequel. That outing could auger well for more remakes if the films are handled well — and the right actors are chosen to take the Lewis parts, particularly since all the films revolve around slapstick, pratfalls and sheer Jerry Lewis craziness.
Do you have any ideas on which actors would make good Lewis stand-ins?