Jon Hamm Considering Richard Linklater’s The Incredible Mr. Limpet


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You would be forgiven for not instantly recognizing the name The Incredible Mr. Limpet. It comes from a novel – Mr. Limpet – written by Theodore Pratt in 1942, about a shy bookkeeper falling off a pier and turning into a fish. Unfazed, he embarks on a life assisting the US Navy in locating Nazi U-boats during World War II. The novel was adapted into a film in 1964, with Don Knotts in the title role, Arthur Lubin as director, and the story presented in a mix of live-action and animation. Now, phenomenal filmmaker Richard Linklater is bringing Limpet back to the big screen, and it all sounds very exciting.

This remake has been in development at Warner Bros, in various forms, for some time now. An attempt at production in the 1990s had Jim Carrey in the lead role and Steve Oedekerk (Bruce Almighty) calling the shots. After apparently spending time and money on animation tests, that version was abandoned. Mike Judge (Beavis And Butthead) then entered the frame, with Robin Williams as possible star. An announcement was made in 2009 declaring Kevin Lima (102 Dalmatians) as the new director, and Zach Galifianakis was apparently in negotiations to star from 2010. It was in January this year that Richard Linklater was finally confirmed as taking the helm, with Galifianakis as Henry Limpet – and it looks as though he may actually be the one to get it across the finish line.

As the script has been necessarily updated for the modern age, the story will no longer be one of war-time heroics, but instead, will see Limpet as a ‘beach bum’ and conservationist, of sorts. In trying to save the fish population, he is transformed into one of these beloved creatures himself, and sets about working to save his town and his new marine community at the same time. Jon Hamm (Mad Men) is reportedly circling the role of the human villain – a man who mines the ocean floor – while Danny McBride (This Is The End) and Sarah Silverman (School Of Rock) are also looking at live-action roles. Kevin Hart (Grudge Match), Keegan Michael Key (Fargo), Jordan Peele (Fargo) and Josh Gad (Thanks For Sharing) are said to be closing in on voice roles as underwater characters.

Long-time Linklater collaborator Tommy Pallotta is also on board, and is apparently testing animation concepts. This, in particular, solidifies the status of this upcoming production as one of the more exciting to be scheduled for the coming months, as Pallotta was cinematographer on Linklater’s Waking Life. That film featured rotoscoping – a technique in which the film is shot in live-action, before being animated. Linklater used the effect again for his 2006 movie A Scanner Darkly. It would seem that the visionary director is aiming for another rotoscope bonanza with The Incredible Mr. Limpet and, with a cast list like this one, that should make for some truly glorious cinema indeed.

Source: The Wrap

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