CATEGORIES Classics, Comedy, Warner Brothers, Celebrities and Controversy, Scripts, Politics, Movie News, CinematicalYesterday, Jeff Wells posted a blurb about the Get Smart remake starring Steve Carrell and Anne Hathaway (Monika posted the first pic released for the film yesterday). Shortly after he posted that piece, Wells says, he received several emails -- a draft copy of the script, a pointer to a very negative fan site review of said script, and word from an insider Wells calls "Agent Orange."
According to Agent Orange, Wells says, not only is the script "long considered to be eye-rollingly bad" and a "dumbed down re-do of ... Rowan Atkinson's Johnny English" (ugh, I don't even know what to say to that), but Get Smart series creators Mel Brooks and Buck Henry were not consulted on the script. The reason for this, Wells' various communications with "insiders" allege, is that Warner Brothers is trying to prove that the work Brooks and Henry did on the original series was "work for hire" and that they are therefore not entitled to any compensation from this film should it end up making money. Depositions have supposedly been taken, etc.
As for the script, I'm not a huge fan of script reviews, because so much can change from a draft script to what you see on screen. Nonetheless, a lot of folks have been pondering how exactly they're going to pull off the sexual tension between Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 that so underscored the original series, what with Carrell being quite a bit older than Hathaway. The script's storyline is supposed to go back to how Maxwell Smart became an agent and met Agent 99 (Hathaway), and has Agent 99 as a more experienced "female James Bond"-type who mentors Smart. According to one of Wells' insider reports, the script works around the age issue by saying that Agent 99 is actually older, but has had plastic surgery to conceal her real identity. Not sure about that, it sounds like a bit of an overly convoluted plot idea to me, but we'll see how they pull it off.
As for the film itself, I'm still on the fence. I loved the Get Smart series, and we've certainly seen enough lame-ass "let's make a new movie out of an old series" tries by studios to make any movie fan take yet another one with a hefty grain of salt. On the other hand, though, I really like Carrell; if anyone can pull off a Get Smart remake, it might be him if -- and that's a BIG if -- the script doesn't suck. I'm liking Hathaway a lot these days too. Her performance in The Devil Wears Prada was surprisingly sharp and mature, and she can probably pull of the sexy-intelligent vibe that Agent 99 needs.
What do you think about all this Get Smart-craziness? Are you looking forward to seeing what Carrell does with Maxwell Smart? Can Carrell and Hathaway pull off the sexual undertones needed to create tension between Smart and Agent 99? And is WB screwing itself over, in the end, by not involving the series' creators in writing (or at least consulting on) the script for the film?