Universal Pictures is remaking Drop Dead Fred, developing the project as a potential starring vehicle for Russell Brand.
Dennis McNicholas, a co-writer on Universal’s upcoming Land of the Lost, will pen the remake. Here’s the synopsis of the original 1991 film starring Phoebe Cates:
Elizabeth’s [Phoebe Cates] world has been turned upside down. Her marriage to Charles [Tim Matheson] appears to be over following her discovery that he has cheated on her; but she simply can’t stop loving him. Despite the support of her friend Janey [Carrie Fisher] she is unhappy. In her misery, her imaginary childhood friend Fred [Rik Mayall] reappears, having being previously locked away from her. His sole purpose to cheer Elizabeth up, although things do not go to plan. Elizabeth stays with her mother [Marsha Mason]; quite cold to Elizabeth, who intends to put Elizabeth back with Charles but in the meantime makes her into a younger double of herself. Elizabeth works to get Charles back into her life, even turning up at a party (with Fred) Despite part of Elizabeth being overjoyed at seeing Fred again and remembering their fun care-free times together, all he ever seems to do for Elizabeth is cause trouble. After a certain number of unforgiveable actions, Elizabeths mother takes her to ‘get help’ and rid her of Fred forever… Elizabeth returns to Charles and starts taking ‘mediacation’ to rid herself of Fred. It is only when taking the last pill that she realises Charles hasn’t changed at all and that Fred is really the only person she can trust. When she follows him into a dream like world, she gets the chance to overcome her greatest fears: her mother, Charles’ infidelity and the little girl inside dealing with loneliness. Unfortunately, the only way she can truly rid herself of the fears is to lose Fred for good by realising she doesn’t need him any longer.
THR says that the goal at Universal is to make the new film in the tone of Beetlejuice, “building a universe around the concept of imaginary friends. Brand would play the trouble-making pal.”