Thursday, 9 December 2010

Running out of ideas

Hollywood has never been known for its ability to generate original ideas, preferring instead to take inspiration from other sources and continually recycle and regurgitate its influences. Last year, it was felt that the bottom of the barrel had finally been scraped right through, with the news that several well-loved board games were next in line for the big screen treatment. Coming soon to a megaplex near you - Monopoly, Ouija and Battleship.

However, they sound like Oscar hopefuls compared with the latest well-loved property rumoured to be shuffling in-front of the cameras. Hot on the stacked heels of his remake of Arthur, goggle-eyed dandy Russell Brand is being lined up to star in the remake of BBC kids' comedy Rentaghost.

Described by Warner Bros as a "Beetlejuice-style afterlife feature comedy vehicle", the film will tell the story of the recently deceased Fred Mumford, who sets himself up in a business running a temp agency for the dead.

The original kids show followed the same loose template, although it's not the character of Mumford that most people remember. Instead, it's camp jester Timothy Claypole that seventies kids tend to recall, since he stuck with the show through its entire eight-year run. With his thin beard, annoying manner and form-fitting leggings, Claypole seems a much better match to Brand's distinctive talents than a down-at-heel businessman, but I'm sure the money men know what they're doing. 

So that just leaves us with the question of who else will be recruited to fill out the eclectic cast. Gillian McKeith is a shoo-in for Hazel McWitch (she just needs a tall hat) and Dobbin the Pantomime Horse could  offer up a lucrative new franchise for Sarah Jessica Parker following the demise of Sex and the City. As for the elderly neighbour, Mr Perkins, who's constantly being harassed by the Rentaghost staff, I think it's time for Andrew Sachs to come out of retirement. 

And then there's that memorable song - if U2 can revamp the Mission: Impossible theme, imagine what they could do with "If your mansion house needs haunting, just call... Rentaghost. We've got spooks and ghouls and freaks and fools... at Rentaghost." 

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