Naturally drawn to stories of schemers and to large, luscious rumps, Brett Ratner has signed on to produce American Hippopotamus, the true-life tale of two men who tried hipping Americans to the pleasures of eating hippopotamuses. As outlined in Jon Mooallem’s 2013 book, American Hippopotamus follows a pair of rival spies—distinguished frontiersman Frederick Russell Burnham and German saboteur Fritz Duquesne—who briefly set aside their differences and orders to assassinate each other, and joined forces on the common cause of importing African game animals to the U.S., hoping to fix the 1910 meat shortage by getting people hungry for, hungry for hippos. Their plan failed, despite being endorsed by Teddy Roosevelt—though, to be fair, Teddy Roosevelt endorsed eating everything. (Teddy Roosevelt was a crazy person.) Ratner will similarly setting aside his long-simmering scheme to assassinate Edward Norton and co-produce the movie. Hopefully by their joining forces, they could at last redress this past century-plus of hippopotamuses brazenly waddling around, not being made into burgers.
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