Larry Charles Directing Pierre Pierre

Jim Carrey comedy emerges from limbo

It’s been a rough old ride for Jim Carrey comedy project Pierre Pierre, the story of a French nihilist who transports a stolen painting from Paris to London. Stuck in limbo for months, the film might finally have a new director and champion in the form of Borat/Bruno whizz Larry Charles.

If you cast your mind back to the dim and distant world of March 2008, Pierre Pierre was announced as a hot script from writers Edwin Cannistraci and Frederick Seton, which got an even bigger boost from the fact that Carrey and Jason Reitman – whose career was surging after making Juno – attached themselves to star and direct respectively for a thrifty $13 million.

A big comedy star (albeit not one with as much box office power as he once had, but willing to work for less dosh) and a director so hot you could make toast on his forehead… A sure, thing, right? Wrongo! Fix Atomic picked up the package, and then the company fell apart. With the executives who had been bigging up the film scattered to various other studios and Reitman moving on up (In The Air… we'll be here all week, try the lobster), Pierre Pierre quietly fell into turnaround.

But now its producers, including Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch, have dragged it form the mire where scripts go to rot, and snagged Charles to direct the thing. With Carrey still attached and an almost-as-skimpy $20 million budget touted, it looks like Pierre could be back in action, assuming they find a home for the pic. Given the screenplay’s much-toured political incorrectness, Charles sounds like the perfect match. Can it recover? Hopefully we won’t have to wait two years to find out this time.