When it comes to memorable actors of the last 50 years, few are more recognizable than Jack Nicholson. Acting regularly since the early 1960s, Nicholson is a certified Hollywood legend, and has starred in dozens of popular and acclaimed films. He’s also been widely praised by his peers, receiving 12 Oscar nominations over the course of his long career – and winning on three of those occasions – the most of any male actor in history.
A commanding presence both on and off screen, the 79-year-old Nicholson is arguably just as famous for his dynamic real-life personality as he is for any of his film work, and is one of those actors who lends an instant level of gravitas to any project he touches. Just some of Nicholson’s most iconic roles include psychopathic writer Jack Torrance in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, hell-raising mental patient R.P. McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and merciless Boston gangster Frank Costello in Martin Scorsese’s 2006 crime epic The Departed.
In recent years though, Nicholson has all but retired from acting, although he’s never formally announced his retirement. Still, he hasn’t appeared in a film since 2010 – that being the James L. Brooks romantic comedy How Do You Know. Before that, he hadn’t starred in a movie since 2007’s The Bucket List, outside of an appearance as himself in the mockumentary I’m Still Here. Thankfully for fans of the once-prolific actor, Variety reports that Nicholson has signed on to star in Toni Erdmann, a remake of the 2016 German film of the same name.
[UPDATE: Variety has additionally confirmed Kristen Wiig (Ghostbusters, Saturday Night Live) will star opposite Nicholson in the Toni Erdmann remake.]
For those unfamiliar with the original German movie, Toni Erdmann concerns “a practical joking father who tries to reconnect with his hard working daughter by creating an outrageous alter ego and posing as her CEO’s life coach,” according to the official logline. A critical darling, Erdmann has been nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film award at this year’s Oscars ceremony. Nicholson is reportedly a huge fan of the film, and personally approached Paramount with the idea of remaking it.
With Nicholson now on board, Paramount’s next task will be to attach a director and writer to the project, as well as find an actress to play the other lead role of Toni’s daughter. Counted among Toni Erdmann’s producers are big names Adam McKay and Will Ferrell, as well as Maren Ade, the writer/director of the original. For the sake of Nicholson’s legacy, here’s hoping Toni Erdmann ends up being a film worthy of drawing the celebrated actor out of quasi-retirement.
We’ll keep you updated on the Toni Erdmann remake as more information becomes available.