Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
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 Watch: First Trailer For ‘Effie Gray’ Starring Dakota Fanning, Emma Thompson, Tom Sturridge & Greg Wise Watch: First Trailer For ‘Effie Gray’ Starring Dakota Fanning, Emma Thompson, Tom Sturridge & Greg Wise Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More Watch: First Trailer For Rom-Com 'Playing It Cool' With Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Aubrey Plaza & More Watch: First Trailer For Rom-Com 'Playing It Cool' With Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Aubrey Plaza & More Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper 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' David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 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

Jason Reitman To Rewrite Steve Carell Magician Comedy 'Burt Wonderstone'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com June 17, 2011 at 1:42AM

Considering how long it takes to actually get a movie made -- even the most hard-working of filmmakers can go three or four years between projects, through no fault of their own -- it's not surprising that many A-list screenwriters, or writer-directors, get through the lean years by taking script doctor gigs. It's fast, well-paid work, it rarely amounts to more than a dialogue polish, as the films are generally too close to production for major structural changes to take place, and, if the film turns out badly, it doesn't reflect badly on you, as any doctoring generally goes uncredited, which is why names from John Sayles to Joss Whedon have made hay from it over the years.
3


Considering how long it takes to actually get a movie made -- even the most hard-working of filmmakers can go three or four years between projects, through no fault of their own -- it's not surprising that many A-list screenwriters, or writer-directors, get through the lean years by taking script doctor gigs. It's fast, well-paid work, it rarely amounts to more than a dialogue polish, as the films are generally too close to production for major structural changes to take place, and, if the film turns out badly, it doesn't reflect badly on you, as any doctoring generally goes uncredited, which is why names from John Sayles to Joss Whedon have made hay from it over the years.

The latest to join their ranks is Jason Reitman, the extremely talented helmer of "Thank You For Smoking," "Juno" and "Up in the Air." While he's still perhaps best known for his collaboration with Diablo Cody on "Juno" (and the upcoming "Young Adult"), Reitman wrote his other two pictures himself, and his Oscar-nominated screenwriting chops have landed him a profitable few weeks of work as he completes his latest film (and gears up for his next, "Labor Day," which added Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet to its cast yesterday): The Hollywood Reporter say that Reitman has been hired to punch up the script for the Steve Carell vehicle "Burt Wonderstone."

Surprisingly, Reitman's never worked as a script doctor before, and it's unclear how deep his rewrite will go, but the helmer was apparently enthusiastic about working on the film, about a washed-up magician (Carell) unseated by a younger rival. Although that may have just been the wheelbarrow of cast that New Line delivered to his front door. Novelist Chad Kultgen wrote the original draft, while "Horrible Bosses" scribes John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein have been working on it in recent years, so the pedigree is already there, but presumably Carell and studio executives were attracted by the idea of Reitman adding his own voice to the process.

Of course, don't go expecting a full-flung Reitman-esque project from the finished film: Charlie Kaufman did a similar, much-heralded polish on the recent "Kung Fu Panda 2," but there's little in the finished product that's reminiscent of "Being John Malkovich" or "Adaptation." The film, to be directed by "30 Rock" veteran Don Scardino, is currently looking for its second male lead, Wonderstone's nemesis, and is moving towards a fall shooting date, once Carell is wrapped on "Seeking A Friend At The End of the World" and "Great Hope Springs." Reitman's "Young Adult," which stars Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson and Patton Oswalt, will hit theaters sometime in the fall.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Steve Carell


The Playlist

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


E-Mail Updates