It's been a long, arduous trek for Paramount's planned pseudo-biopic of connoisseur of the bizarre Robert Ripley. The movie was supposed to start filming in 2007 with Tim Burton at the helm. Then Burton ran for the hills. Michel Gondry was briefly rumored to take over, but that notion faded into the ether. Now, Variety reports that Chris Columbus is in negotiations to take over the project, with the plot and screenplay to be reworked based on a new Columbus-authored pitch. Jim Carrey is still attached to play Ripley, but Columbus has another project ahead of this one: the family fantasy Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.

Winding up in the hands of Chris Columbus -- one of the most stubbornly pedestrian of the studio directors -- would a bit of an anti-climactic ending for this project, which really had the potential to be something wonderful and strange. With Columbus, I fear it'll resemble the corporate mediocrity of the Ripley's Believe It or Not "museum" franchise. And if Columbus gets a story-by credit too, forget it. The man who wrote Gremlins seems to be long gone.

But then I still haven't forgiven Columbus for the travesty that was Rent -- I know others liked it more. His Harry Potters actually weren't bad, though probably by virtue of the fact that he didn't mess with great material. He's just such a straightforward filmmaker. I don't think Ripley is for him.
CATEGORIES Movies, Cinematical