Before I really understood the concept, Brewster’s Millions became one of my very first secret shames. IN 1987-1988, TBS owned my life. I spent a quarter of my day watching the last place Atlanta Braves on the Super Station and, inevitably, another airing of Brewster’s Millions, which frequently came on right after the game. It was never a great movie, but the premise was so compelling that it didn’t have to be. It’s one of those awesome concepts — like the ability to clap your hands to stop time — that just rings around and around in your head.
For the unfamiliar, Brewster’s Millions starred Richard Pryor as a washed-up minor-league baseball player whose uncle leaves him $300 million. The catch? He first has to spend $30 million in 30 days, and at the end of that month, have nothing left but what he came in with: The jersey on his back. How the hell do you spend $30 million without acquiring assets? Well, you buy a million dollar collector’s stamp and use it to send a letter, for one! Or run for mayor and ask everyone to vote for “None of the Above.”
Man alive: I must have daydreamed a million different scenarios for what I’d have done in that situation.
Anyway, they’re remaking the movie, because of course they are. Michael Diliberti and Matthew Sullivan are writing the script.
But I’m not really bothered by it. It wasn’t a great movie as much it was a great, simple concept. Richard Pryor and John Candy were gold, but it’s not like Brewsters is some sacred cow that doesn’t deserve to be slaughtered. It’s a silly, throw-away comedy, and it’d probably be just as appealing with whatever dillweed they cast as Brewster. It’s all about the concept. They could put Zac Efron in it, and it probably wouldn’t lose much. All it needs is someone harmlessly likable. The premise will take care of the rest. It’s already been worked plenty of times (they’re all based on George Barr McCutcheon’s 1902 novel), and I’d see no problem with them remaking it every 20 years to provide more daydream fodder for 10-year-olds. It’s not a remake, anyway, so much as it’s just another adaptation. It’ll probably be bad, but it probably won’t prevent an entire new generation for loving it.
That said, two words: Chris Rock.