Development Hell is the place where unproduced scripts are consigned for a multitude of sins- Being too smart, too expensive or just having some insurmountable story problems. And that’s exactly where the script Used Men disappeared to back in 2006. The film, a science-fiction comedy about a future where women run society and men are cloned and treated like automobiles, was a month away from rolling cameras when 20th Century Fox pulled the plug, balking at teh film’s budget which was moving north of $100 million.
The project now appears to be making an escape back towards active production as Fox has announced that they are developing a revamped version of the script. Where the original version was set to star Ben Stiller and Jim Carey as too obsolete clones who go in search of their masculinity, the new version will feature clone Stiller and his relationship with his owner, to be played by Reese Witherspoon.
At first glance, this definitely sounds like a watered down version of the original idea, tossing aside what had made it interesting and then strapping the rest on to a standard romantic comedy framework.
It is being reported that the Little Miss Sunshine directorial duo of Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton are in talks to helm this new film. The duo have not yet delivered a follow up to their 2006 surprise hit and I am interested in seeing what they are going to do next. No mention has been made of who will be recrafting the original script written by Mickey Birnbaum and worked on by Dave Guion and Michael Handelman. Will Faris and Dayton rework the script themselves or work with a new writer. Or does Fox already have a writer in mind and Faris and Dayton are signing on based on the strength of a pitch from the studio?