Brett Ratner, scourge of X-Men fans all over the planet, is finally ready to make another movie. His last full-length feature film, Rush Hour 3 (2007), was a critical failure that barely made its budget back here in the states. Since then, he has directed a number of television episodes, music videos, and a segment in the forgettable New York, I Love You.
However, despite not actually directing feature films, Ratner has talked about doing so ad nauseum, to the point that he has sixteen films in development (including an adaptation of the '90s comic book, Youngblood, the Hugh Hefner biopic, Playboy, and the sequel we’ve all been waiting for, Beverly Hills Cop IV).
The new movie - or should I say the four-years-in-development movie - Tower Heist, was previously known as Trump Heist, and the plot was to involve an all-African American cast targeting Donald Trump himself. After many a rewrite from Ted Griffin (Ocean’s Eleven), Noah Baumbach (Greenberg), and Jeff Nathanson (Rush Hour 2 and 3), the all-African American cast idea was chucked, and so, too, was Donald Trump’s involvement.
According to Deadline, Tower Heist will now star Ben Stiller - the epitome of blue-collar Hollywood (sarcasm alert!) - as a downtrodden and overworked manager of a luxury building who, along with various other staff, lost his pension to a Bernie Madoff-esque figure. Fortunately for them, this figure just so happens to live in said luxury building, so they devise a plan to take back what they lost from the man by…well, stealing it from him. Hilarious heist-like hijinks no doubt ensue.
Said Ratner of Tower Heist:
“It has become the quintessential New York heist movie, where a bunch of blue collar employees in a tower building pull off the ultimate heist...The major difference from the Ocean’s film is those guys were expert thieves. These are real guys whose talent is they know the inner workings of the building and the people in it. It took a long time for this to come together, but it was totally worth the wait. This has a lot of heart to go along with the humor.”
Heart and humor? Mark this movie down on your calendars, boys and girls. It sounds like one for the ages.
Sure, Brett Ratner has made a bunch less than enjoyable movies - X-Men: The Last Stand, After the Sunset, and Rush Hour 3, just to name a few - but he isn’t the worst director alive today. Money Talks, Rush Hour, and even Red Dragon were all pretty entertaining cinematic experiences (heck, I would even go as far as to call them “decent”).
Rewrites and development hell aside, Tower Heist, what with its comedy slant, sounds like it’s right up Ratner’s alley. It’s a shame that they ditched the all-African American cast for the more predictable Ben Stiller and company - but hey, what do I know? I’m just a lowly Screen Rant writer.
Tower Heist is being produced by Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer (Arrested Development) and starts shooting this November in New York.