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Exclusive: Paramount Nabs Meatballs Remake Rights from Lionsgate, Plan Nickelodeon Style-Remake

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | July 28, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | July 28, 2010 |

Of the vague memories I have of 1979 Bill Murray minor cult classic Meatballs, I remember best Murray’s off-the-wall comedic performance (his first feature as an actor, as well as Ivan Reitman’s break-out directorial movie) was the boobs. It wasn’t an R-rated movie or anything, but there was a lot of heady sexual energy in it, and lots of bikinis, as I recall. It was also a very raunchy movie for its time (Harold Ramis scripted).

The remake won’t aspire for such raunchiness, so we’re told by The Hollywood Cog. The remake, which has been in development for a number of years, once had Sean Anders and John Morris (Sex Drive, Hot Tub Time Machine) attached as screenwriters, but after the remake rights lapsed with Lionsgate, Paramount acquired the rights and put it in turnaround. They worked up a first draft of the script from Geoff LaTulippe (Going the Distance), but apparently, Ivan Reitman — who is heavily involved in the development of the film — decided that he didn’t like it. Not famiily-friendly enough. Grandpa wants was a very broad, “Nickelodeon-style family comedy.” So, last month, after passing on Adam “Tex” Davis, Paramount brought in Josh Heald to rewrite the script, an interesting choice because he cracked the Hot Tub Time Machine story that Anders and Morris eventually wrote.

Point being, for those of you old enough to remember the original, you’re either going to be pleased to know that you can bring your 7 year old child to the remake, or pissed off because the bikinis will probably be replaced by juvenile fart jokes.

And for those of you who don’t know, the original Meatballs featured Bill Murray as a rebellious camp counselor who takes a nerdy kid under his wing while wacky hijinks ensue in the form of a prank war between them and a rival camp. It was essentially the basis for every camp movie that followed.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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