Actor, comedian, singer and screenwriter Eddie Murphy is getting ready to star in another remake of a classic film, turning what was originally seen as a 1950’s SF drama that probed serious questions about the nature of humankind and its place in an ever-expanding universe, into a sci-fi comedy.
Murphy will next star as “The Incredible Shrinking Man” for Universal Pictures. Director Brett Ratner (“X-Men: The Last Stand”) will helm this project from screenwriters Thomas Lennon (“Balls of Fury”) and Robert Ben Garant (“Night At the Museum”).
The original movie premiered in 1957 and starred Grant Williams in the title role. It was a deliberate effort to find the soul of the person and what survives once the body becomes infinitesimally small by comparison to the universe around it. It asked the questions long sought by humanity….are we nothing more than the sum of our physical parts, or is there something vastly eternal about existence that goes beyond the body? Of course, the original also had plenty of action with Williams fighting off the family cat who now viewed his ever shrinking body as nothing more than a tasty treat, the heartwrenching moment when he realized he and his beloved wife could no longer have the loving relationship they once cherished, and the nail-biting battle with the spider in the basement that kept many a 1950’s kid awake at night forever fearful of those eight-legged creatures. But, at the heart of the SF action film were those eternal enquires, which will no doubt be lacking in Murphy’s comic presentation.
The remake will have Murphy as a famous Las Vegas magician who is put under a spell that will cause him to continually shrink. The film revolves around his misadventures as he gets smaller and smaller in search of a cure before he disappears totally. While this one is going strictly for laughs, it is a shame that Ratner and the writers didn’t call upon Murphy’s dramatic abilities he showed all his fans in “Dreamgirls.” While this new “Shrinking Man” will likely be quite entertaining, it will miss its most important element……the wonder of what lies beyond the realm of the physical senses.
“The Incredible Shrinking Man” is currently in production for a 2010 release.