Straight off his surprise win for Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series at the Emmys, Jason Bateman is in talks to direct his first feature film, a remake of the board game movie Clue. Bateman is also up for a role in the film, which would put him up against Ryan Reynolds, who is also producing. Reynolds’ regular collaborators, Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese—the Deadpool writers—are writing the script. That means New Clue will be Jason Bateman doing his ultimate straight man routine opposite a motor-mouthed Reynolds in a super sarcastic murder mystery. Yay?
I don’t subscribe to Reynolds’ style being suitable for all things, so the question here is which will triumph, Reynolds and his writers, or Bateman’s comparatively dry style? Also, they’re tackling CLUE. It bombed when it first came out in 1985, but has since become a cult classic, known for a series of memorable comic performances and the myriad alternate endings. Will New Clue even try something like releasing multiple cuts into theaters these days? Will Disney, which is overlording Fox on this production, allow for something so unusual? And let’s be honest about Clue—it’s not a great movie. It’s enjoyable because of the performances, because Tim Curry, Lesley Ann Warren, Madeline Kahn, Martin Mull, Eileen Brennan, and Christopher Lloyd are spectacular. There is a danger in remaking cult classics, and that is that you won’t be able to catch lightning in a bottle twice (see also: The Princess Bride). I’m always up for a good murder mystery, but, um, Clue isn’t really a good murder mystery, it just has a great cast with phenomenal chemistry. So, good luck I guess. Hope that lightning strikes twice.