Hollywood keeps trying to reboot this classic Don Knotts movie
One potential director described it as ''the most horrifying thing he'd ever seen''.
Reboots in Hollywood are nothing new. Especially today, it seems like there are more reboots coming out than original content. As of the time of this writing, the box office top-grossing movie of the whole year is the sequel to the 1986 flick Top Gun. That, of course, is Top Gun: Maverick, which has grossed over $650 million so far.
We're getting new Jurassic Park, Matrix, and even Scream movies that top the box office. Maybe it would be more surprising to find out that there's something that isn't being brought back for modern audiences.
However, there's one reboot project that just can't seem to get off the ground. That would be the 1964 Don Knotts comedy, The Incredible Mr. Limpet.
The movie was a clever blend of live-action and animation that followed Knotts' mild-mannered fish enthusiast, Mr. Limpet as he worked to bring down Nazi submarines with the U.S. Navy. It's probably one of the best-known Knotts movies, along with The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. So it isn't all that shocking that Hollywood would want to bring Mr. Limpet to a new generation.
The first Limpet reboot began coming together in 1996. At that time Jim Carrey, fresh off the success of The Mask and Dumb and Dumber, was attached as the lead role. As a comedian with a strength in physical comedy, he seemed like a fitting replacement for Knotts. Knotts was even aware of the remake and offered his support! So it should have come about perfectly, right? Well...
After the original director stepped down, the studio approached Brad Bird, known for The Incredibles, Ratatouille, and The Iron Giant. At that point they showed him the animation they'd already done on Carrey's fish-Limpet.
Patton Oswalt, who worked with Bird on Ratatouille, said "All Brad Bird said when he described it to me… I go, 'What’d it look like?' He said, 'If you saw this in the water, you would get out of the water and run screaming and tell everyone the world was ending.' It was the most horrifying thing he’d ever seen."
Apparently the horrifying Carrey-fish was enough to kill the project for then. In the next few years it would cycle through directors like Mike Judge (King of the Hill, Beavis and Butt-Head) and Kevin Lima (Enchanted). Stars considered for the lead role included Zach Galifianakis, Robin Williams, Mike Meyers, and Adam Sandler.
Finally, in 2014, director Richard Linklater, known for School of Rock and Boyhood, signed on to the movie. Actors in talks for various roles included Jon Hamm, Sarah Silverman, Keegan-Michael Key, and Jordan Peele.
Later in the year, Linklater left to focus on Everybody Wants Some!! Since then, The Incredible Mr. Limpet has been stalled at the studio. Perhaps one day it will finally get out of development limbo and Mr. Limpet will swim again.
What do you think? Who would you pick to fill Don Knotts' shoes?