Believe it or not, but this project seems to be in trouble once again. Coming Soon reports that Paramount "may" be looking to replace Tim Burton as director on the long-gestating biopic, although there's no clear indication that this is a fact. CS does not say where they learned this info or who they learned it from, only that it might be something that is happening. But seeing as they're a pretty reliable source, I imagine the little birdie whispering in their ear is most likely legit. As far as we know, Jim Carrey is still attached to star as Robert Ripley; a wealthy, eccentric who traveled the world in search of the strange, the bizarre and the supernatural. Too bad he's not still around; I bet he'd love to meet my next door neighbor.
The film first encountered problems last year when the studio put the project on "indefinite hold" due to massive budget concerns ($150 million was way too much) and apparently both Burton and Carrey wanted a slew of script changes. Screenwriter (and frequent Carrey collaborator) Steve Oedekerk was brought on to pen a rewrite and Ripley's was back on, aiming to begin production in late 2008. If Burton does ditch the project, then folks still have plenty of time to find a replacement -- although Burton directing was the primary reason why I was excited about it. We're not exactly sure what the new script looks like (and whether it was the cause of Burton's possible departure), but CS says it follows Ripley as he goes in search of a lost, magical tribe of people. We'll have more as this thing develops; as it stands, Ripley's Believe It Or Not is scheduled for a 2009 release. Meanwhile, Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd (starring Burton regular Johnny Depp) will hit theaters this winter -- according to IMDb, they say it's now being dumped into the much-coveted January 11 slot. Yay!