Senior Editor
11.13.08 24 Comments

Last week The Hollywood Reporter was reporting that Brett Ratner was all but confirmed to direct a remake of

One of Hollywood’s most persuasive salesman, [Conan producer Avi] Lerner told me this morning that Ratner was the perfect director. “He has the passion and feeling for this project–he even wrote a story about Conan when he was 10 years old,” Lerner explained. “He understands the character, he analyzed the script really well. He knows how to make this a really big movie. I like his childlike enthusiasm–he almost sees these movies as wonderful toys. What can I say, he’s a nice, likable Jewish boy.”

Unfortunately, his childlike enthusiasm is really just a side effect of having the mind of a child.

But is Ratner actually committed to doing the film? In two words: Not really. When I called him today, he sounded somewhat agitated, unhappy that news of his negotiations with Lerner had surfaced, especially since he is extremely close to getting a green light from Paramount to make “Beverly Hills Cop 4.” “Let me make this very clear,” he told me. “I am not doing ‘Conan’ now. This is totally premature. For now, ‘Conan’ is only a development deal. I have a deal at Paramount and I’m doing ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ first, no matter what. Avi shouldn’t be telling you or anyone else in the press what I’m doing.”

Oh snap!  Jew fight! Jew fight! Jew fight!

Lerner was probably eager to make a splash with the news that such a high-profile project was moving ahead with an A-list director attached. Lerner said as much in his press release, boasting “this is a coup for Millennium Films and proves that our choice of projects and material is attracting much higher-profile directors and actors.”

Once again I’m left to wonder if Hollywood producers actually even watch movies.  Brett Ratner A-list?  Only on Neverland Ranch invites.  Even movie bloggers who raved over the last Indiana Jones and would sell their soul for a free t-shirt hate Brett Ratner.  I don’t doubt there are people out there who like Brett Ratner movies, but I guarantee they’re not people who pay attention who’s directing what, or can fart without shitting.

My gut feeling is that if “Beverly Hills Cop 4” comes together soon, Ratner will stay on board. “Conan” hasn’t even been cast yet. With “BHC4,” Ratner knows he gets to work with a real movie star–Eddie Murphy–and could have a big financial upside if he has a hit. If Lerner isn’t willing to wait until Ratner is free again, he’ll go hunting for another hot director.

Hot director? Hot off of what, Rush Hour 3?  That was more than a year ago and I guarantee you no one who saw it who remembered anything about it for more than 10 minutes after leaving the theater.

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