Screen legend Jack Nicholson is to make his first movie since 2010 after being tempted out of retirement with an English-language remake of German dramedy “Toni Erdmann,” according to US entertainment media.
Paramount Pictures has bought the rights to Maren Ade’s Oscar-nominated film with 79-year-old Nicholson, famed for his twisted charm, arching eyebrows and sly drawl, to star alongside Kristen Wiig, Variety magazine reported on Monday.
Adam McKay, who directed “The Big Short” (2015), will produce alongside Wiig and fellow comic actor Will Ferrell, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The idea for a remake originated with Nicholson, who approached Paramount and was immediately given the green light.
“Toni Erdmann,” which delighted reviewers with a bittersweet father-daughter tale that races to a touching and riotously funny final act, is a frontrunner in the foreign language category for this year’s Academy Awards.
Nicholson, who has three Oscars across more than 60 big screen roles, has been absent from theaters since appearing alongside Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd in James L. Brooks’s 2010 romantic comedy “How do You Know” and was believed to have retired.
His screen debut was in Roger Corman’s 1958 film “Cry Baby Killer,” and, unable to find roles elsewhere, he worked almost exclusively for the B-movie producer for the next 10 years.
His big break came in 1969, when he was cast as a dissipated southern lawyer in Dennis Hopper’s low-budget movie “Easy Rider,” which became a cult classic and earned him his first Oscar nomination.
Global stardom came in 1975 with his first Oscar win for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” a success followed by his second win for 1983’s “Terms of Endearment” in which he played a boozy ex-astronaut.
He became a youth icon when he took the role of The Joker in the blockbuster “Batman” (1989) and went on to pick up his third Academy Award for playing an obsessive-compulsive writer in 1997’s “As Good as it Gets.”
Paramount did not immediately respond to a request for comment.