Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big  Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date First Look: Cobie Smulders & Guy Pearce In Andrew Bujalski's 'Results' First Look: Cobie Smulders & Guy Pearce In Andrew Bujalski's 'Results' 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders Review: 'The Maze Runner' Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Patricia Clarkson, Will Poulter And More Review: 'The Maze Runner' Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Patricia Clarkson, Will Poulter And More Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey Won’t Be Back For ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ Director Says Sequel Will Be “Very Different” Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey Won’t Be Back For ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ Director Says Sequel Will Be “Very Different” David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Noah Baumbach & Ben Stiller's Version Of 'Mr. Popper' Would've Centered Around Peyton Manning

The Playlist By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist June 15, 2011 at 9:05AM

While "Mr. Popper's Penguins" will arrive in theaters this weekend with Jim Carrey doing his familiar rubber face schtick, you might remember that at one point "Greenberg" duo Noah Baumbach and Ben Stiller were going to reteam on the film. Unfortunately, they both wound up dropping out but their work survived and when current director Mark Waters was first circling the project he was sent the script they put together. It was pretty out there, and he didn't get it at all.
3


While "Mr. Popper's Penguins" will arrive in theaters this weekend with Jim Carrey doing his familiar rubber face schtick, you might remember that at one point "Greenberg" duo Noah Baumbach and Ben Stiller were going to reteam on the film. Unfortunately, they both wound up dropping out but their work survived and when current director Mark Waters was first circling the project he was sent the script they put together. It was pretty out there, and he didn't get it at all.

“I know that Noah and Ben were a constellation that was floating around the movie before I came onboard,” Waters recently told EW. “And to be completely honest it was a script that I had been sent a couple of times by Fox. I had actually passed on it twice because I didn’t get what they were trying to do.” And to be fair to Waters, it sounds pretty insane.

The plot would have revolved around the publicist for Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (instead of a New York real estate developer as it stands now) who winds up having to juggle the titular penguins, while trying to hide a problem with Manning's throwing arm from the press. Uh, what? That's kind of inspired in a David O. Russell sort of way, but also, kind of terrible in another way. “I remember thinking, I don’t know how you guys would make this movie,” Waters said but his wife was a big a fan of the script.

“We were on vacation and she read it and turned to me and said, ‘If you don’t want to do this movie, you and I need to have a serious discussion about your career, because this is great!’ And I was like, ‘Really, even the whole Peyton Manning thing?!’ And she was like, ‘What are you talking about?,’” Waters recalls.

Anyway, we'll never know what could have been as Carrey came aboard and now the movie looks far less interesting, and a whole lot more terrible. "Mr. Popper's Penguins" opens this Friday and if you squint really hard Jim Carrey sorta looks like Peyton Manning and that might be more fun that paying attention to the actual movie. As for Stiller and Baumbach they're still attached to the director's next effort "While We're Young" but the film seems to be stumbling along and we're keeping our fingers crossed it doesn't fall apart completely.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Noah Baumbach, Mr. Popper's Penguins, Ben Stiller


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates