Jason Bateman Explains Clue Departure

Jason Bateman has stepped up and solved a long-standing mystery: why he vacated the remake of Clue, an adaptation he had been planning to direct and co-star in alongside Ryan Reynolds. In an interview with Collider, the Arrested Development star explained the situation.

“[Clue is] something that we were getting very close to starting, but as it turned out something of that size takes much, much longer to do than what the seasonal hiatus was able to accommodate,” Bateman explained. “It would have pushed back the start of this season too far. So, unfortunately, I had to step off of that. But if it’s still around when Ozark is all wrapped up, I’d love to do it. But who knows, they might put a different director on it before then. We’ll see. Unfortunately my ability to direct features really kind of—there’s a certain size of a film that I just can’t qualify for [right now] because of the amount of time that I’m able to give in prep, in shooting, and in post.”

A while back it was reported that Jason Bateman would direct and co-star in Clue alongside Ryan Reynolds — a project that was very close to coming to fruition before Bateman unexpectedly dropped out of the project altogether. And while Muppets Most Wanted helmer James Bobin entered negotiations to take over directing duties on the big-screen adaptation of the classic board game, we never heard the reason Bateman vacated the gig.

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Reynolds remains attached to star while his company will produce the film, based on the Hasbro board game, with Allspark Pictures, which is the film division of Hasbro. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who scripted the two Deadpool films and Life, all starring Reynolds, will pen the screenplay.

Clue was a 1985 comedy based on the board game, which involves players figuring which of the guests at a mansion murdered someone, with which murder weapon and in which room. The film was directed by Jonathan Lynn. Lynn worked on the script with John Landis. Clue starred Eileen Brennan (Private Benjamin), Tim Curry (The Rocky Horror Picture Show), Madeline Kahn (Young Frankenstein), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap), Martin Mull (Roseanne) and Lesley Ann Warren (Desperate Housewives). The film had one of three possible endings, and different theaters received different ones. All were included on the home video release. Though the film didn’t do well in its run a the box office, only making $14,643,997 in domestic sales, it has become a cult classic.

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Reynolds role in Clue comes as part of his three year first-look deal with Fox, the studio for which he’s starred in seven movies since 2013 and is set to lead the cast of the upcoming video game action comedy Free Guy.

Bobin recently directed Dora and the Lost City of Gold and Alice Through the Looking Glass.


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