A movie version of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not may sound about as contrived as one of the board game adaptations currently in development, but there’s a bit more meat to this bird. The story of Robert Ripley, a newspaper writer and cartoonist, is a pretty fascinating one. Did you know he played an instrumental role in the United States adopting “The Star-Spangled Banner” as its national anthem? Believe it or not!
The Ripley biopic has been kicking around for awhile now, with Jim Carrey attached to star. Now there seems to be some movement on it again. Eric Roth is coming in to give the script a major rewrite, Deadline reports. You ought to know Roth’s name — he wrote a few little movies that one or two people managed to see, like Ali, Munich, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Forrest Gump. No big deal.
The film will follow Ripley in his global search for unusual people and places to populate his newspaper column with. While it would be easy to take an idea like this and go for marquee weirdness, it sounds like the story is more concerned with capturing Ripley’s human side. He sought out these bizarre subjects, but not with any intention of exploiting them. I wonder how he would react to the Ripley’s museums scattered across the nation.
All that said, with Carrey and Roth involved, there will probably be at least a little marquee weirdness.
The Ripley’s movie was greenlit some time ago, with a $175 million budget, a script from Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, and Tim Burton set to direct. Paramount called the whole thing off in 2007 and the project has laid dormant since then. Burton isn’t involved anymore, but Roth is definitely a step in the right direction.
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