Chris Columbus May Eventually Direct Ripley's Believe It or Not!
by Alex Billington
October 24, 2008
Believe it or not, the Ripley's Believe It or Not! movie is finally moving forward! The project has been in the works for years and has recently been given new life. Veteran filmmaker Chris Columbus (of everything from Home Alone to Mrs. Doubtfire to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) is negotiating with Paramount to direct. Jim Carrey is still attached to star as Robert Ripley. Back in 2007, it was Tim Burton who was set to direct, but Paramount pulled the plug just months before production was scheduled to start. Columbus pitched an entirely new concept that interested both Paramount and Carrey. Ripley's Believe It or Not! will hopefully be in theaters by 2011 after Columbus finishes two other films.
Ripley's Believe It or Not! is a franchise, founded by Robert Ripley, which deals in bizarre events and items so strange and unusual that people question the claims. Most might be familiar with either the chain of museums around the world or the TV show. Robert Ripley was actually a cartoonist and amateur anthropologist who started the brand as a newspaper panel series, featuring odd facts from around the world. Today, the Ripley collection includes 20,000 photographs, 20,000 artifacts and more than 130,000 cartoon panels. Paramount hasn't yet found a new screenwriter for this iteration of the project.
I count myself as one of the many who are utterly fascinated by Ripley's Believe It or Not! I remember visiting museums everywhere just because I loved how insanely wacky and intriguing they always were. The TV show has recently turned into a gimmick, but I still have a fondness for Ripley's Believe It or Not! whenever I hear about it. Naturally, I've been interested in this project since I first heard about it, I'm just curious whether it'll be more of a serious origin story about Robert Ripley or more of a comedy with fake explorations to exotic regions of the world in order to collect these unbelievable artifacts. Whatever they end up choosing, it'll be exciting to finally see it get made with an experienced director.