Eddie Murphy hasn't made an R-rated movie since 1999's Life, and he doesn't seem to be in a hurry to do more any time soon. That seems like a real shame to me, as Murphy is one of the great modern vulgarians. Nearly all of his best roles have given him the freedom to really cut loose and let the expletives fly. Whither the Murphy of 48 Hours? The Murphy of Trading Places? The Murphy of Coming to America? I haven't laughed at Eddie since Bowfinger, and he hasn't had a truly great comedic role since The Nutty Professor over 10 years ago. He seems downright neutered in the children's films especially, and now he's signed on to what sounds like another one. In Nowhereland, Murphy will play "a successful financial exec who finds his career going down the drain and discovers the answers to his problems within his daughter's imaginary world." Sigh.

Karey Kirkpatrick will direct the film. He made his directorial debut last year with Over the Hedge -- the animated movie with the wacky talking animals. No, the other one. No, the other one. Nope. Yeah. That one. Nowhereland was written by Ed Solomon (Men In Black) and Chris Matheson (Mr. Wrong), an occasional writing team who first collaborated on a favorite from my youth: Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Solomon was inspired to write Nowhereland when his young son had an idea that wound up solving a business problem. Hope that kid's getting story credit! Now I know very little about this Nowhereland, so I don't want to speculate on its quality. But I wonder if Murphy might have headed his career in a different direction had he won the Oscar for his strong performance in Dreamgirls. Would it have re-energized him? Would he have started challenging himself ... a little bit? We may never know. Shooting on Nowhereland begins September 10th.

categories Cinematical