The Nutty Professor is making a comeback, as Deadline is reporting that Project X Entertainment’s James Vanderbilt, William Sherak and Paul Neinstein are set to work on a new take on the comedy IP.
Most audiences will be familiar with Eddie Murphy’s smash hit 1996 film, which saw rotund scientist Sherman Klump developing a formula to help him shed some extra pounds. It works, though the slimmed-down charmer that emerges soon proves more trouble than he’s worth.
The pic made a ton of money and is considered as playing a major part in Eddie Murphy’s career revival after an early-90s slump. It went on to see a sequel – The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps – in 2000 as well. That’s not exactly a bad film, though it depends how much mileage you get from seeing Murphy in heavy prosthetics playing various members of the Klump family.
The 1996 take was based on the 1963 classic of the same name starring Jerry Lewis, which followed much the same plot – showing an awkward and clumsy nerd becoming a slick womanizer. Project X has concluded that the concept is robust, though as yet we don’t know what the modern version will be like.
The 1996 movie has been criticized by contemporary body image campaigners as being fatphobic – despite the ultimate message being that Klump is loved for who he is, not what he weighs. Still, maybe the days of laughing at a guy in a fat suit are behind us.
One intriguing element is that Project X is primarily known for their horror projects. Their new Scream is currently with Paramount for distribution and the writing team are also known for David Fincher’s chilling true-crime thriller Zodiac. Theoretically, though, The Nutty Professor could be redone as a body horror movie, perhaps playing up the Jekyll and Hyde elements in the concept?