It looks like Brett Ratner will actually get to direct a movie again. He's been attached to several different film projects over the years, but fortunately for us nothing seems to have materialized... until now.
Ratner is attached to direct a film called Tower Heist starring Ben Stiller. The film has been sitting around for four years at Universal Pictures, but they've actually finally given the project the green light. Imagine Entertainment's Brian Grazer is producing the film, why he is putting it in the hands of Ratner is beyond me.
Stiller will play an overworked manager of a luxury building who, along with other staff, lost their pensions to a Bernie Madoff-like Wall Street crook. It so happens that the fraudster is being held under house arrest in the luxury penthouse apartment upstairs, and the manager and four cohorts figure a heist will make them whole.
The script has been through the hands of several screenwriters in Hollywood such as Adam Cooper & Bill Collage, Russell Gewirtz, Rawson Thurber, Ted Griffin, Leslie Dixon, Noah Baumbach and Jeff Nathanson.
Here's what Ratner had to say about the film:
It has become the quintessential New York heist movie, where a bunch of blue collar employees in a tower building pull off the ultimate heist. I didn’t get to do that movie, I did Rush Hour instead, but I went back to Ted to do a rewrite, and he wanted to start over. His pitch was so good that I took it to Brian, who said, 'let’s get it right.' I brought the script to Ben on the Little Fockers set, and said this is perfect for you. He was looking at other projects like Mr. Popper's Penguins (which went to Jim Carrey), I asked Noah Baumbach to do some specific character work for Ben. Then my Rush Hour guy Jeff Nathanson brought it home. The major difference from the Ocean’s film is those guys were expert thieves. These are real guys whose talent is they know the inner workings of the building and the people in it. It took a long time for this to come together, but it was totally worth the wait. This has a lot of heart to go along with the humor.
Ratner hasn't directed a film since 2007 when he made Rush Hour 3. Now it looks like he's actually going to get another shot at something he can screw up. I'm obviously not the biggest Ratner fan, but maybe this movie is right down his ally. I guess we'll find out.
What are your thoughts on Ratner directing this film?