I Dream of Jeannie

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Barbara Eden is distressed to learn of the movie remake.

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As the marketing geniuses across all Hollywood studios continue to mine the halcyon days of our youth in order to make a quick buck, one thing is clear. This is Lindsay Lohan's world and we're just living in it.

That's right. A combination of two different movie trends is poised to meld together into one hybrid. In the past few years, the theatrical recreation of beloved television shows from our youth has become the industry standard. While there have been the occasional missteps like The Mod Squad and The Avengers (Did I say missteps? More like out and out disasters.), many successes have been significant. Starsky and Hutch, Charlie's Angels and Scooby-Doo have all performed exceedingly well at the box office.

Meanwhile, the kind folks at Disney were bewitched by a precocious, perky little girl...so much so that they cast her in the re-make of their classic The Parent Trap. That went so well that when she grew up a few years later, she was again cast in the remake of a Disney classic. And that film, Freaky Friday, was such a solid hit that the studio couldn't wait to hire her back on another remake. That movie, the as yet unreleased Herbie: Fully Loaded, is another attempt to utilize Lohan's charm to reinvigorate a franchise.

In the interim, other studios watched with interest as Lohan's star began to rise. Paramount capitalized on her growing popularity by casting her in Mean Girls, a film which became one of the most financially successful films the studio had in 2004. While her other recent non-Disney release, Confessions of Drama Queen, was not a hit, it was a money maker as well. Studios have growing confidence in Lohan's ability to draw in the teen audience for her films.

Now, the two trends, Lohan in a re-make and TV-to-movie re-make, are set to dovetail in I Dream of Jeannie. After months of rumors about who would frontline the production as a genie a blink and a nod away from making every man's fantasy come true, Lohan is signed, sealed and delivered. Very little else about the production is settled. Only director Gurinder Chadha of Bend It Like Beckham fame is confirmed. The rest of the cast - including the equally key role of Captain Anthony Nelson, formerly performed by Larry Hagman - remains unannounced. With the similarly-themed Bewitched likely to beat I Dream of Jeannie into theaters, it remains unknown how long this production will wait before the shoot begins. (David Mumpower/BOP)

Vital statistics for I Dream of Jeannie
Main Cast Lindsay Lohan
Director Gurinder Chadha
Screenwriter Rita Hsiao, Cormac Wibberley, Marianne Wibberley
Distributor Sony/Columbia
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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Wednesday, February 8, 2023
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