By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com February 18, 2012 at 10:20AM
Considering he made one of the best comedies of the last twenty years, you'd have thought Dean Parisot would be a bigger name by now. After making his debut with the Drew Barrymore vehicle "Home Fries," the helmer was gifted a near-perfect script in the sci-fi comedy "Galaxy Quest," about the crew of a "Star Trek"-style TV series who find themselves thrust into a real-life space adventure, and went on to cast it impeccably, with Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman and Sam Rockwell, and directing it with visual panache and a real flair for comedy.
But the film failed to be the "Men In Black"-style blockbuster the studio hoped it would be, and Parisot didn't make another feature for six years. And when he did, it was the decidedly lacking Jim Carrey comedy "Fun With Dick and Jane." While he's been attached to various projects since, including the Ed Helms action-comedy "Central Intelligence," nothing's gotten going since then. But in the last couple of years, however, the filmmaker (who was married to the late editor Sally Menke) has done solid TV work on some of the best shows around, including "Modern Family," "The Good Wife" and "Justified," and it seems to put him back in the limelight, as Variety reports that Parisot is in final talks to direct "Red 2," the sequel to Summit's 2010 action-comedy hit.
Starring Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich as retired CIA agents forced to take on the agency, and directed by Robert Schwentke, "Red" proved to be a surprise hit when it hit theaters in October 2010, taking over $90 million domestically and nearly $200 million worldwide, while also managing to pick up a Golden Globe nomination for Best Musical/Comedy (for what little that's worth...). Summit put the sequel into development almost immediately with original writers Jon and Erich Hoeber penning a script, and most recently, Breck Eisner ("Sahara," "The Crazies") was linked with the director's chair.
But it seems to be Parisot who's landed the gig, and there are certainly worse choices out there, so long as he manages something closer to "Galaxy Quest" than "Fun With Dick and Jane." The bigger concern right now are the Hoebers, whose script for the original was probably the weakest link in the intermittently fun, but ultimately rather disappointing original. There's no word as to whether the surviving supporting cast members, including Mirren, Malkovich, Brian Cox, Mary-Louise Parker, Ernest Borgnine and Karl Urban, are meant to return (we assume most, if not, will be wanted), and the film's currently trying to find a slot in Willis' schedule, which is presumably dependent on when "A Good Day To Die Hard" moves forward; that film's currently set for release on February 14, 2013, while "Red 2" is pencilled for August 2nd in the same year.