By Joe Cunningham | The Playlist January 27, 2012 at 10:24AM
2011 was supposed to be the year that Russell Brand conquered Hollywood, but instead it was the year he conquered the tabloids. “Arthur” hardly set the box-office on fire and saw Brand receive some pretty brutal reviews, while all “Hop” served to highlight was that he could also be pretty annoying as a CGI bunny. And while it may not look like he has a future as a leading man, the studios are still gonna give him a shot.
Brand is now set to star in “The Hauntrepreneur,” a haunted house pic from Paramount that Variety reports “revolves around a family that has trouble adjusting to a new town and hires a peculiar man who calls himself the Hauntrepreneur to help them. In an attempt to bring them together, the man creates a haunted house filled with an odd cast of characters.” We’re going to go ahead and assume that Brand will play the eponymous ‘hauntrepreneuer’ (man, that’s a dumb but kind of great title), and it’s a role that we can easily see Brand inhabiting.
Anyone who saw last year’s “Fright Night” remake will have seen David Tennant doing his best Brand impression in a similar-sounding role, but Paramount have gone one better than their rivals over at DreamWorks and hired the man himself. Unfortunately this is also a Platinum Dunes production, so, naturally, Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller will produce. But who knows, maybe they’ve learned their lessons after that string of turgid horror remakes and they’re trying to head in a new direction with this.
Scott Rosenberg penned the script, and his credits rank from the brilliant “High Fidelity” and “Con Air” to the not-so brilliant “Kangaroo Jack.” We’re not expecting anything groundbreaking from this one, but there’s the potential there for a camp, kitsch and fun horror flick. We’ll assess the chances of that occurring once a director and a straight man to play against Brand are hired.