An American remake of the Oscar-nominated German film “Toni Erdmann” has enticed Jack Nicholson out of semi-retirement; his last film was “How Do You Know” in 2010 for director James L. Brooks. The original version of this comedy-drama about a father’s decision to reconnect with his adult daughter vied for the Palme d’Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival where it won the festival’s FIPRESCI Award. Shortly after Cannes it won the FIPRESCI Grand Prix for best film of the year, a prestigious award that went to “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Boyhood” and “Amour” in recent years.
While Maren Ade wrote and directed the original, she is serving as executive producer on Paramount’s English-language remake as is Oscar-winning writer Adam McKay (“The Big Short”). They have hired “Girls” creator Lena Dunham and her writing partner Jenni Konner to handle scripting. Although there is no director attached as of yet, we do know that Nicholson’s leading lady will be Kristen Wiig (“Bridesmaids,” “Ghostbusters”).
While Wiig reaped an Oscar bid for co-writing the 2011 comedy smash “Bridesmaids” with Annie Mumolo, she has yet to be nominated for her on-camera appearances. Perhaps appearing opposite Nicholson will be her Oscar good luck charm. After all, he holds the record among actors with 12 Oscar nominations. That ties him with Katharine Hepburn but is quite a long way from Meryl Streep with 20 (her latest this year for “Florence Foster Jenkins”). He is tied with Walter Brennan and Daniel Day-Lewis with three acting wins for men. Streep and Ingrid Bergman also have three, while Hepburn has four.