Dallas Gets A New Director

Betty Thomas takes on the troubled adap

Although roughly no people in the world are begging for its existence and everyone is managing to get on with their lives without it, you've got to admire the pluck of the Dallas movie in forging ahead in the face of boundless adversity. Having been through more directors than JR had ten-gallon hats, it has now picked up another.

After Robert Luketic (Legally Blonde) dropped out over casting differences, he was replaced by Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham), who has now been replaced – for unspecified reasons – by Betty Thomas (and not, as I just wrote, Betty White from The Golden Girls). Thomas is most experienced in comedic adaptations of TV series from the very good (The Brady Bunch Movie, I Spy, Doctor Dolittle). So she's got some form in this area.

This does, however, show that the movie has abandoned any of its original ideas of making a dramatic version in favour of all-out comedy. It could, based on Thomas's previous movies, be full on spoof. The script is even being re-written by Pam Brady, who wrote the recent comedy Hot Rod.

The movie is still largely without a cast. Last year it was said that the movie was ready to go with John Travolta as JR, Luke Wilson as Bobby, Meg Ryan (who replaced Jennifer Lopez) as Sue Ellen and Shirley Maclaine as Miss Ellie. None were confirmed, but Wilson spoke of being in the movie in interviews. All bar Travolta were subsequently dumped and the producers are now seeking stars to fill all the other gaps. Production is scheduled to begin in January.