LatifahYou’ve got to wonder what agents and the actors who follow them are thinking when they sign up for certain projects. Take lovely lady lumped Queen Latifah, for example. She won the hearts of Academy voting boxes with an Oscar nomination for her role in Chicago and things looked as if she was destined for a bonafide movie career. She got one, but it certainly wasn’t the high-brow thespianism many of her advocates were expecting. There’s no doubt Queen Latifah has the knack for charming up a truckload of good will, but to date, she’s followed her Oscar stuff with a bunch of crap (Taxi, The Cookout, Last Holiday, etc.), narrowly missing a worst actress Raspberry award (for what that’s worth) in 2005.

Latifah is now currently in discussion to join Diane Keaton (another actress who has a reserve of good will, but actually makes more respectable, if mundane, choices) in a remake of the British TV movie Hot Money. Sounds decent enough, until you get safe for US audiences name change: Mad Money. I’m not quite sure I get the reason why the change is necessary, and cringe at the idea of a shallow attempt at hipping/streeting up the comedy.

Hot Money featured a "based on a true story" plot point about three cleaning ladies who take the British treasury for some hefty poundage. Of course, everything will be Americanized in this version, with the ladies being employed at the Federal Reserve Bank. The film is being described as bubble gum and chicken wire Ocean’s 11 with ladies. Somehow, I don’t think it will have anywhere near the snap and style. But that’s just me.

Callie Khouri, director of movies about about Ya-Ya’s, is heading to Louisiana in March to get things started.