Sony Pictures division Screen Gems is rebooting the John Travolta-fronted romantic comedy Look Who’s Talking. Released in 1989, the original Look Who’s Talking was directed by Am Heckerling (Clueless) and starred Kirstie Alley as a career woman named Mollie who is left raising a baby alone after having an affair with her married, womanizing client (played by The Goldberg’s George Segal). Travolta played a cab driver called James that ended up shuttling Alley’s character to the hospital while she was in labor and inadvertently witnessed her son Mikey (voiced by Bruce Willis) being born. From there, Travolta and Alley’s characters become friends and gradually more as they realize their feelings for each other.
The original movie was a sleeper hit and grossed almost $300 million against its slight budget of $7.2 million. It also spawned two sequels – Look Who’s Talking Too in 1990 and Look Who’s Talking Now in 1993 – which both featured Travolta and Alley reprising their roles and inspired a short-lived sitcom called Baby Talk that starred Tony Danza (The Good Cop) and George Clooney. Many moons ago, back in 2010, there was talk that the movie would be rebooted by Fast & Furious franchise producer Neal H. Moritz but that project seems to be long-abandoned.
According to Deadline, however, the reboot has found a new home with Screen Gems who official confirmed the film was in the works yesterday. Deadline reports that the new Look Who’s Talking will be written and directed by Jeremy Garelick whose other credits include the 2015 comedy The Wedding Ringer – another Screen Gems production – and the Netflix show Best. Worst. Weekend. Ever. Garelick will be joined by producer Adam Fields who he worked with on The Wedding Ringer and whose previous producing work includes Richard Kelly’s cult classic Donnie Darko and Masterminds.
From what Garelick says, it looks like he’ll be drawing on his own experiences as a parent when he makes the movie but intends to update the concept of the original Look Who’s Talking for a modern audience:
“What excited me about doing is, I have four kids, including twins, and this is something they can watch, and share some of the experience I had with my wife. Like, figuring out how to raise these kids, with all the mistakes that happen. Add in the voices that are keyed to facial expressions, it just really seems like a fun idea.Everyone can relate to babies. The challenge is, that was a really good movie, Travolta and Kirstie Alley had great chemistry and Amy Heckerling wrote a great script. We’re in the early stages of figuring out what the story is for the modern version of the movie.”
It's still very early days, so there’s no word on casting just yet. Garelick does seem intent on keeping the baby voiced by an older actor shtick so it’ll be interesting to see who takes over from Bruce Willis in that department. The fact that Garelick wants to take Look Who’s Talking in a more modern direction could be interesting too – perhaps it might replace Alley’s single mother with a single father or focus on the blossoming relationship between an LGBTQ couple instead.
The film marks a departure from Screen Gems oeuvre of late which has tended to focus on horror films such as Slender Man, The Possession of Hannah Grace and the recently released superhero horror movie Brightburn. None of those films fared particularly well with critics or at the box office, but perhaps a romantic comedy reboot like Look Who’s Talking might prove a more successful project for Screen Gems.