Looks like Peter Segal is about to meet the Little Fockers.
The 46 year-old director is on a long winning streak of comedic cash cows, spanning from Anger Management to last year’s Get Smart, via The Longest Yard and 50 First Dates. And now he’s set to add the third in the Meet The Parents franchise to that list, replacing the unavailable Jay Roach in the director’s chair.
Segal hasn’t signed on the dotted line yet, but apparently he’s going to meet with the film’s major players – producers Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal plus, presumably, star Ben Stiller – this week. Barring a huge upset, it looks like he’s going to be the guy to tell the story of the latest clash between Stiller’s hapless Gaylord Focker and De Niro’s irascible ex-CIA father-in-law, Jack Byrnes… now, of course, with added cute kids.
John Hamburg, whose I Love You, Man is set to do very well at the US box office this weekend, wrote the script for the movie, which Universal is hoping to get into production this summer, for a 2010 release.
That schedule will then allow Segal – whose best film remains the underrated Jack Lemmon/James Garner comedy, My Fellow Americans – to segue straight into Get Smart 2, which has been pushed back to allow Steve Carell to star with Tina Fey in Date Night, directed by Stiller’s regular collaborator, Shawn Levy.
We’re still not sure how we feel about this movie, to be honest. Meet The Fockers was such a disappointment and such a strong example of the law of diminishing returns that we’re not sure how Little Fockers can claw back any lost audience goodwill. We’re also wary of the tidal wave of cutesy sentiment that’s sure to come our way thanks to the eponymous stars. And, while we’re at it, we preferred the title when it was rumoured to be The Godfocker.
However, Stiller and De Niro is a team worth watching, and Segal has developed into a decent comedy director, so fingers crossed that the Little Fockers are worth meeting.