It’s been nearly 18 months since the news arrived that Jack Nicholson was being coaxed out of a blissful retirement to lead a remake of Toni Erdmann, Maren Ade’s German-Austrian comedy-drama that became an instant critical hit since its debut at Cannes Film Festival in 2016. Well, The Shining star can continue to enjoy his days on the beach as he’s now dropped the project, but unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it’s dead yet.
Rather, it’s still moving ahead with producers Adam McKay and Will Ferrell and they’ve found a director. While Girls duo Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner also dropped out, Lisa Cholodenko has stepped in to both write and direct the film. Kristen Wiig is still attached in the role originated by Sandra Hüller, of a daughter whose father aims to reconnect with her in outlandish ways.
Interesting enough, Cholodenko’s last film, The Kids Are All Right, came out in 2010, the last year Nicholson was also seen on screen, in James L. Brooks’ How Do You Know. As for who might replace Nicholson, it was reported that Bill Murray was initially eyed for the role, but lost out.
“Kristen Wiig, who I think is so wonderful, sent me something and said, ‘Would you look at this thing?’ And I’m just not very organized,” he told CNBC. “For a while I lost it, and then I found it, but I didn’t get around to watching this thing that she wanted me to watch. And then she said, ‘Well, Jack Nicholson took the job.’”
Might Murray return now that the role is vacant? While we await to see if this remake does actually ever get off the ground, check out our interview with Ade here and the trailer for the original below. [The Wrap/Deadline]