Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures and Silver Pictures will remake Weird Science, the 1985 ultimate nerd wish fulfillment comedy that was written and directed by John Hughes. The film will be produced by Joel Silver, who made the original with Hughes at Universal. Michael Bacall will write the script. He scripted the sleeper hit Project X for Silver Pictures and wrote the script for 21 Jump Street, another 80s-centric property that became a hit for Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill.

Now, the knee-jerk reaction would be concern about messing with any film by Hughes, who made this comedy right when he was in that wheelhouse of transitioning from screenwriter of Mr. Mom and National Lampoon’s Vacation to director of teen-angst comedies like Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club (which preceded Weird Science) and Pretty In Pink and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (which followed Weird Science).

This film will attempt to carve out its own identity by being redrawn as an edgier comedy in line with 21 Jump Street and The Hangover, which were R-rated; the studio says the rating for Weird Science is not certain at this nascent stage. The original starred Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith as brainy nerds who attempt to create the perfect woman to fulfill their heavy-breathing adolescent fantasies, only to find she is something more than a sex object. The original also starred Bill Paxton and Robert Downey Jr, with Kelly LeBrock playing the bombshell creation. It was later turned into a TV series for USA Network

Silver Pictures’ Silver and Andrew Rona will produce, while Alex Heineman will be exec producer. Uni’s Scott Bernstein will oversee the pic. Bacall is repped by CAA and Jeff Shumway.

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