He really is the new Robin Williams. Despite weak-linking both Be Kind, Rewind and Tropic Thunder, Jack Black has a slew of new projects set up. A School of Rock sequel, a Kung-Fu Panda sequel, and that Bourne spoof. Granted, there’s also the Ramis-directed The Year One, but it is Ramis-directed, after all. Twenty years ago that would have been a gold guarantee. Now? I’m waiting.
Any of those movies could be shot number one, but this seems like a lock for the safety bullet: the latest undesirable to hit Black’s upcoming slate is Fox’s adaptation of Gulliver’s Travels. Variety runs down the slightly reworked plot: Story centers on Lemuel Gulliver, a free-spirited travel writer who, on an assignment to the Bermuda Triangle, suddenly finds himself a giant among men when he washes ashore on the hidden island of Lilliput, home to a population of industrious, yet tiny, people. Just by
following debasing Swift’s work there is potential for at least two more films — this shit is franchise-ready!
The primary objection to this would be that I can’t think of any studio less equipped to turn out something even vaguely satirical than Fox. But Black is so broad that we’re likely to see nothing but a family-friendly story with a fat guy running around a fantasy land learning lessons. Fox’s Shrek, in other words.
In fact, Shrek‘s Joe Stillman is one of the writers, though he’s balanced at the word processor by Forgetting Sarah Marshall director Nicholas Stoller. Shark Tale and Monsters vs. Aliens‘ Rob Letterman is directing and John Davis is producing. The latter only solidifies advance assumptions about the tone we can expect; check out his resume if you think otherwise.