By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com February 23, 2011 at 2:31AM
Playlist Favorite Emma Forrest Will Pen Script
Mitch Hurwitz hasn't been able to catch a break in the last few years. The creator of the much-missed sitcom classic "Arrested Development" has had a string of pilots that never made it past the pilot stage (including US-set remakes of "The Thick Of It" and "Absolutely Fabulous"), while his two shows that did make it to air, the animation "Sit Down Shut Up" and the Will Arnett vehicle "Running Wilde," were swiftly cancelled (principally, it should be said, because neither was much good). Meanwhile, the rumor mill on a potential "Arrested Development" movie continues to churn, without much progress, although British actor Peter Serafinowicz recently reported forward movement on the project.
With TV proving less fruitful for the writer-producer, it now looks as though he's heading to the movies, for a project that's intriguing to say the least. The Wrap reports that Hurwitz has, for the last year, been teaming with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard at Imagine Entertainment to develop a remake of, strangely enough, the 2006 Lars Von Trier-helmed comedy "The Boss Of It All." The comedy, an enjoyable, if decidedly minor work from the eccentric Dane, follows the owner of an IT company who has invented a boss above him, on whom he blames unpopular decisions. When he decides to sell the company, and the prospective buyers want to meet this boss, he has to hire an actor to play him. Hilarity then ensues.
It could be the set up for any Paul Rudd-type comedy, but Von Trier predictably wrings something quite different from it. Hurwitz is quite a good match for the misanthropic tone of the original (which we imagine will be softened a little), and it's good to see him making some headway on the big screen with this project which is set up at Universal. Perhaps most excitingly, the script is set to be penned by British screenwriter Emma Forrest.
Forrest made our list of On The Rise screenwriters last year on the basis of "Liars (A-E)," an excellent female buddy comedy that Richard Linklater was going to direct, with Rebecca Hall and Kat Dennings starring. That project fell apart, sadly (although producer Scott Rudin is thankfully said to be trying to reclaim from the shell of Miramax), but it landed Forrest a gig on the teen comedy "How Can You Do This To Me," while her excellent memoir "Your Voice In My Head" (which we thoroughly recommend), which details Forrest's relationship with the psychiatrist she credits with saving her life, was optioned recently by Ruby Films.
Teaming up with Hurwitz suggests a potent pairing, particularly with strong source material, and this is a comedy that we're certainly looking forward to. There's no firm word on when the project will move forward -- producers are said to be waiting for an outline from Forrest -- but we hope it does sooner rather than later.