zoolanderEXCLUSIVE: What’s better than being really, really ridiculously good-looking like Zoolander? Being really, really ridiculously good-looking in the 2001 cult classic’s sequel. Finally, Paramount and Ben Stiller are pulling together a PG-13 Zoolander 2 with Tropic Thunder and Iron Man 2 writer Justin Theroux who’ll also direct. I’ve learned that Ben and Justin are working on the script together, and Theroux is going to Fashion Week in Paris to “immerse himself on what is current in fashion”. ”It’s got momentum,” a studio source just told me. Everyone’s hoping Owen Wilson co-stars again but no deal is set. The villain likely will be Jonah Hill who’s in negotiations.

If you remember, Zoolander came out on September 28, 2001, right after 9/11 so no one ever saw the pic in theaters. But it was a hot DVD and is still a bestseller on iTunes. And when Ben Stiller goes overseas, he’s always asked to do “Blue Steel” which is saying a lot about a movie that earned only $45M domestic and $16M international because of its lousy timing. The problem is that no one’s sure what the sequel can do because the original was so thwarted. Paramount wants to keep the budget below $50M so what’s being discussed is some upfront reductions in exchange for bigger upsides. And yet everyone still really wants to do the pic in order to bring Derek and Hanzel to life again.

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