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Ben Stiller, There's Hope for You Yet

By TK Burton | Industry | February 22, 2010 |

By TK Burton | Industry | February 22, 2010 |

It’s time again for my favorite game, Celebrity Word Jumble!

The history behind Trump Heist is a weird one. It started out as a sort of Ocean’s 11 for the African-American set. Then that angle was dumped, and Ben Stiller was in talks for the lead. It’s about a couple of janitors who hatch a plan to rob Donald Trump — of his money, not his dignity. The latter he lost years ago. They found a director in Brett Ratner, and I automatically threw the idea into my mental trash can, because seriously? Ben Stiller and Brett Ratner? Stiller can occasionally surprise me with roles like those in Greenberg and Tropic Thunder, but we’re getting fewer of those and more Night at the Museums and Fokker movies, and I now want to strangle entire towns whenever I see his face. Ratner, though? No. The man is complete shit. He gave us Rush Hour, which was fun, and then promptly devoured every idea that was put in his path and shit out horrid, stinking piles of failure ever since then.

But now Universal has decided to rewrite the script, to give it a more… um… humanitarian bent. Whatever that means. Apparently, now the story is about them stealing from the main tenant in a building who is ripping off the employee pension fund, and the flick will possibly be re-titled Tower Heist. The new writer? Noah Baumbach.

Wait, what? Baumbach is a phenomenal writer, having adapted The Fantastic Mr. Fox and written The Squid and the Whale, and Margot at the Weddine (the latter two he directed as well, as well as directed Stiller in Greenburg). So we’re officially in “who the fuck knows” territory now.

So yeah. Stiller. Ratner. Baumbach. I am completely friggin’ baffled. I’d say I have a bit of hope for the project, except that I can already see the imminent, relentless Ratnerfucking that will ruin it.

TK Burton is an Editorial Consultant. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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