Zac Efron is getting back to acting and is on board to star in a remake of a film that was the highest-grossing film of its year. So, what are we talking? Armageddon? Independence Day? Nope, it’s Three Men And A Baby, which was the highest grossing film of 1987. Never let anyone tell you cinema hasn’t changed dramatically.
Leonard Nimoy directed the original which starred Tom Selleck, Steve Guttenberg and Ted Danson as a trio of New York bachelors who find themselves parenting a baby girl named Mary. It became the first live-action Disney movie to gross $100 million at the domestic box office, and led to a 1990 sequel, Three Men And A Little Lady, wasn’t as well received.
This remake will be solely for Disney+ as the studio seeks to build their subscriber base. They may have seen the recent success of Efron’s Netflix documentary series Down To Earth and pondered how to get the popular actor in a streaming project of their own. Will Reichel will pen the script, and Gordon Gray will produce.
This is a bit of a homecoming for Efron, who got his big break while playing the lead in Disney’s High School Musical franchise. However he’s since shifted away from that wholesome image with comedies such as Neighbors and Dirty Grandpa, and playing Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile.
It’s a shame Efron couldn’t lead an original movie. Although Three Men And A Baby was a massive hit, it’s not like anyone was clamouring for a remake. It’s a fun comedy; you couldn’t write an original one? And is much of the subscriber base for Disney+ even going to know what Three Men And A Baby is?
Of course, Disney knows that. The reason they’re remaking a film instead of developing an original one is because they want the name value of Three Men And A Baby, however small. Even if only a tiny demographic of people are more likely to subscribe to Disney+ and watch the film because it’s a remake of one they remember, even if the amount of extra money Disney will make is minuscule, that’s enough to go ahead with it.
One imagines that Disney would like some other big stars for the other two leads, although the fact that Efron’s involvement was announced separately may be a sign that they’ll go for some smaller names or unknown actors for the other two parts, which will also keep the budget down. Now I guess we wait for HBO Max’s inevitable remake of the highest grossing film of 1988, Rain Man.