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Lewis in 'Nutty' Weinstein Toon

7 Aug, 2006 By: Borys Kit

Jerry Lewis and The Nutty Professor are coming back thanks to Harvey and Bob Weinstein.

The Weinstein Co. has acquired the rights to produce an animated version of The Nutty Professor, which will be distributed direct-to-video by Genius Products Inc. Lewis will lend his voice to at least two characters in the project, which Mainframe Entertainment is producing and animating.

Lewis starred in, wrote, directed and produced a series of films for Paramount in the 1960s, and the rights to several, including 1963's The Nutty Professor, reverted back to him. That allowed him to license the rights to Universal for its 1996 remake starring Eddie Murphy and its 2000 sequel. The rights had since reverted back to him, paving the way for the deal with the Weinstein Co.

The original Nutty Professor, which Lewis directed, co-wrote and starred in, followed nerdy professor Julius Kelp, who concocts a potion that turns him into handsome, suave and obnoxious Buddy Love.

Evan Spiliotopoulos is writing the animated project, which will be based on the original film. The story will see a younger, modern-day take on the story, focusing on Kelp's college-aged nerdy grandson who takes the same formula his grandfather took and unleashes an ultracool but comically destructive alter ego.

George Paige is producing. Lewis is executive producing along with Mainframe Entertainment's Gregory R. Little and Rick Mischel.

Mainframe brought the project to Weinstein Co. VP of production Eric Robinson, who took it in. He will oversee it on behalf of the company, reporting to co-president of production Michael Cole.

Spiliotopoulos wrote the Walt Disney Co.'s animated Tinker Bell, which has Brittany Murphy voicing the title character. He is developing the book series "The Shadow Thieves" for Disney Channel and is developing an action thriller for Vertigo Entertainment.

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