July 8, 2011
On the Big Board
|Leslie Bibb vs. Rosario Dawson would be a tough choice. Hitch is better at this story though.
Before Paul Blart: Mall Cop was released, Kevin James was already set to star in The Zookeeper. Consider this for a second. With a January 6th release date and an, at best, mildly amusing TV spot, what makes Mr. Producer think Blart would be a hit and that signing James for another project that’s basically the same film would be a good idea? If you asked me back in January, I’d have said Paul Blart was going to be a dud. I guess that’s why I’m here writing about him and he’s swimming in the $143 million it made at the box office.
So now we have The Zookeeper, Kevin James' “highly anticipated” follow-up to his box office smash. This time he’s, yes, a zookeeper who decides to leave his job due to his inability to meet women, prompting the zoo’s animals to intervene, breaking their vow of silence. Box office prince Kevin James and talking animals. Why didn’t you think of his before, Hollywood? Don’t you want to make money?
Adam Sandler’s company Happy Madison, which is also responsible for Blart, will produce with Frank Coraci directing. Coraci has a suitable track record for this type of fare, previously helming Sandler vehicles The Waterboy, The Wedding Singer and Click. He is also the unfortunate man behind the camera of the disastrous uber-budget flop Around the World in 80 Days. We’ll call that his mulligan, but then what would we call Click? The only other cast in place is Thomas Gottschalk, a famous German TV host, as a homosexual German fashion designer. Classy.
Screenwriting team Jay Scherick and David Ronn wrote the script. The two also have appropriate credits for this genre, though they haven’t quite hit the big time, penning films such as I Spy and National Security. They also carry the dubious honor of having their names attached to the film that cost Eddie Murphy an Oscar, Norbit.
These pieces all but guarantee another hit for James and Happy Madison. If there’s anything more popular than Kevin James as the protector of a public place, it’s talking animals. Together they make a harrowing box office force. Expect Kevin James starring as a bumbling Park Ranger who talks to adorable woodland creatures to go into production soon. (Tom Macy/BOP)
Vital statistics for The Zookeeper
Nick Nolte, Adam Sandler, Rosario Dawson, Sylvester Stallone, Judd Apatow, Leslie Bibb, Jon Favreau, Maya Rudolph, Ken Jeong, Cher, Donnie Wahlberg
Jay Scherick, David Ronn
|Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture