Last December, when we first heard Russell Brand would be playing a ghost in a "Beetlejuice-style" film remake of the British series Rentaghost, the news was, if not confounding or demoralizing, at least a bit redundant. After all, Brand was already attached to star in a Drop Dead Fred remake "in the tone of Beetlejuice, and can you really imagine Russell Brand playing a Beetlejuice ghost that many ways?
After Arthur's weak opening proved that Russell Brand's wild hair would not automatically elevate him to Yahoo Serious-level stardom, Warner Bros. thankfully dropped plans to develop the project, but now it's taken on a new direction at 20th Century Fox. That studio now has Night at the Museum writers Tom Lennon and Robert Ben Garant writing Rentaghost's wacky tale of a ghost rental agency for the living, and Brand is out of the picture, sent back to spend time with his famous, beautiful wife. Instead, Ben Stiller will star, and with he, Lennon, and Garant all in a room together, presumably CGI will swirl wildly around them and the form of Museum director Shawn Levy will coalesce, delivering a handful of storyboards for a zany chase sequence involving a ghostly Ben Stiller and a barking dog.