These days everything is coming up Russell Brand, except for things that involve being married to Katy Perry: In addition to landing his own FX late-night talk show and a potential animated series on Fox, Brand has now signed on to star in Paramount’s The Hauntrepreneur, a supernatural comedy that aims to take advantage of Brand’s natural, discomfiting otherworldliness, a result of his being the electrified corpse of a failed escape artist fished from the briny sea. The story from Con Air and Kangaroo Jack screenwriter Scott Rosenberg concerns a family who has trouble fitting into their new town, so they do what many would do in that situation: Hire a strange British person to transform their home into a haunted house filled with “an odd cast of characters,” which will either attract the attention—and eventual affection—of the neighbors, or distract them from the need to make new friends by surrounding them with the constant reminder of impending death.
Of course, the Brand-plus-spooks formula is reminiscent of that proposed adaptation of Rentaghost that Brand was once attached to star in, before Ben Stiller stole it away and, implicitly, Arthur happened. But unlike that film, The Hauntrepreneur hails from the slightly lowered-expectations mill of Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes shingle, which will break from pouring orange and teal all over ’80s horror movies to construct an original chintzy haunted house for once.
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