Three-time Oscar winner and bonafide Hollywood legend Jack Nicholson – who hasn’t appeared on screen since James L. Brooks’ How Do You Know? (2010), a film many in the industry suspected might be his last – may be mounting a cinematic comeback. Variety was the first to report that Nicholson may headline a planned English-language remake of the critically admired (and currently Oscar nominated) German film Toni Erdmann. Paramount Pictures has been granted the the remake rights to the film with Nicholson being eyed to star alongside Kristen Wiig.
The lauded German film – written and directed by Maren Ade – featured Peter Simonischek and Sandra Huller as a prankster father attempting to reconnect with his workaholic daughter; he even goes so far as to create a separate and outrageous identity in the process. The comedy (famed for a spectacular furry costume and a riotous naked party sequence) premiered to much acclaim at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival (where it was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics) and recently earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign-Language Film. The film is currently in theaters.
According to sources who spoke with Variety, Nicholson (who turns 80-years old this year and has hinted at retirement for some time now) is an admirer of the original German film and gravitated towards an English-language remake with Paramount’s Brad Grey, of which precipitated the distributor’s interest in securing the rights to the title; Paramount hasn’t officially commented. As of now, no writer or director has been named to join the film though Adam McKay (The Big Short) as well as Wiig look to board as producers. Ade will serve as an executive producer.
Nicholson, whose Hollywood legacy was enshrined decades ago, won Academy Awards for his iconic performances in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Terms of Endearment and As Good as it Gets. His last starring role was in the 2007 comedy-drama The Bucket List. Reportedly, Nicholson was courted a few times throughout the years for roles such as the Robert Duvall part in the 2014 drama The Judge (a role that earned Duvall an Oscar nomination) but passed.
Wiig last starred in the all-female reboot of Ghostbusters and will next be seen in Paramount’s Downsizing, an Alexander Payne film in which she appears opposite Matt Damon. The SNL alum earned an Oscar nomination in 2012 for co-writing the comedy blockbuster Bridesmaids.
We shall stay tuned.