Jack Black in Bourne-ish Comedy - The Bourne Idiocy?
by Kevin Powers
October 1, 2008
The Bourne Series was pretty much the pinnacle of amnesic assassin storylines (even though The Long Kiss Goodnight is still my favorite), so the only real option for an addition to this genre of film is to turn it into a comedy. Enter Jack Black, and Kung Fu Panda writers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger. Hollywood Reporter tells us that the three have set up a live-action film at Universal which will feature Black as "as an American who finds himself washed up the shores of Cuba with no idea of who he is and how he got there. He comes to the conclusion that he must be a superspy, though in reality he is far from one." And lest you think I'm stretching with the Bourne association, Berger pretty much calls it out as a primary influence.
The idea actually sounds like a pretty good one. Turning the seriousness of the Bourne premise on its head with Black at the helm sounds like it could be pretty damn funny. But why a character of Black's girth would conclude he was formerly a superspy is anyone's guess. Of course, the guy's last foray into fighting (since Kung Fu Panda doesn't count), Nacho Libre, comes to mind, along with the various shenanigans he undertook to get into competitive shape. This time, I imagine his rehabilitation and search for muscle memory will take place under the cover-of-night and probably in black lycra. All in all, the mental picture right now seems worthwhile and funny enough as is, not considering what happens next in the story.
Berger and Aibel certainly know Black, so the action-comedy has that going for it out of the gate. "For our next live-action project," Aibel said, "we knew we wanted to work with either a panda or Jack… We also figured that if we could write for Jack as a panda, we could write for him as a human." Although, the guys don't have a lot of experience actually writing for humans in this context - they're also currently working on DreamWorks' next film Monsters vs. Aliens - so I'm curious how this flavor will turn out. I routinely enjoy Black's often-ridiculous films, so I'm definitely on-board for now, unless something else goes wrong.