Warner Bros. has picked up the rights to the BBC comedy show Rentaghost.
The studio is tapping British comedian Russell Brand to take the lead role in the film, which is set to be a Beetlejuice-type comedy about the afterlife.The original show ran from 1976-1984 on BBC television and, although successful at the time, it suffered from low production values and limited scope. It’s easy to see why Warner Bros. is seeing potential dollar signs with this project – as a big budget CGI filled family comedy. The premise is suited to Brand’s madcap style and wit – and could leave the door open for a potential franchise.
According to Deadline:
“Brand will play Fred Mumford, a recently deceased guy determined to be more productive as a corpse than he was during his life as a slacker. He attempts to set himself up in a business with a couple of other ghouls, starting a temp agency for the dead. Mumford and cohorts rent out ghouls and ghosts to the living, until things go awry.”
The project has quite a distance to travel before it reaches screens, as there isn’t even a script for the film yet – which implies that the movie will be taking a similar development path as Brand’s remake of the Dudley Moore comedy Arthur (also produced by Warner Bros). Brand was signed to that film and then script was written around him, to tailor to his strengths as a comedian. If anything, this new signing for Brand implies that the studio has high hopes for the forthcoming Arthur remake, and that they see Brand as a viable commercial “brand.”
The premise of Rentaghost means that the door is wide open to weird and wonderful characters as well as potential star cameos. Over the years, the original show featured a number of great characters: an unfunny jester, a Victorian gent who was disgusted at the modern world, a pantomime horse, a Scottish witch, and a teleporting-sneezing ghost, just to name a few.
No other key talent has yet been signed, but Kevin McCormick will produce the film alongside Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun, while Brand will oversee the project as an executive producer.
Keep reading Screen Rant for more news and details on Rentaghost.