Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner, co-creators of the recently completed HBO series Girls, may write the American remake of Toni Erdmann. One of the biggest hits on the festival circuit and in arthouses in 2016 was a two and a half hour German comedy about the complicated relationship between a prank-loving father and his career-obsessed adult daughter. Toni Erdmann, from German director Maren Ade, combined touching pathos with some of the most laugh-out-loud comedy in any movie of recent years. The film earned a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination, though it lost the Academy Award to Asghar Farhadi's The Salesman.
The inevitable American remake appeared certain to disappoint, until the news back in February that the American film was eying the best possible casting: Kristen Wiig as the daughter, and an out-of-retirement Jack Nicholson as the father. Now, we have word about who may be writing the film.
The co-creators of HBO's Girls, Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner, are in “early talks” to adapt Toni Erdmann’s English-language American version, Deadline is reporting. Dunham, of course, starred in Girls, while Konner is her longtime writing partner with whom she shares a production company. Gloria Sanchez, the female-focused imprint of Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's production company, is set to produce the film.
The Toni Erdmann remake, it appears, is moving slowly. The casting of Nicholson and Wiig was first reported back in February, but now it’s four months later and there’s been no hiring of a director and no word of a start date, and just now is the first report of writers who have still officially not been hired. What role Maren Ade, the original film's director, may play remains to be determined.
In a way, Dunham and Konner are a natural fit with Toni Erdmann, as the original version of the film has several elements in common with Girls, including strange and uncomfortable conversations between parents and children, surprising nudity, weird sex scenes and off-kilter office scenes. The two writers have a fine ear for dialogue, and seem as good a choice as any to give this very European tale an American accent.
Sure, to call Dunham a somewhat controversial and polarizing figure would be an understatement. But it’s rare these days for movies to be sold on the strength of their screenwriter. The last movie she wrote and directed, 2010’s Tiny Furniture, was quite outstanding, so it’s not as though she’s a film novice.
There’s no word yet on release date for Toni Erdmann, we’ll keep you posted on that here at Screen Rant.