Ben Stiller Tries Again With Science Fiction Clone Romance

Fox is taking another shot at its canceled film Used Guys, which would have starred Jim Carrey and Ben Stiller as two outdated pleasure clones. But only Stiller is back for the more "romantic" redo.

Used Guys was originally on track for a 2007 release, but 20th Century Fox scrapped the film in May 2006, largely because the film's budget had spiraled out of control, topping $100 million in combined actors' salaries, effects shots, and the cost of the futuristic sets. (This is the same Fox that felt Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li and Dragonball Evolution were good uses of its money, but I digress.)

The film's premise centered on Carrey and Stiller's characters, two past-their-prime pleasure clones in a world controlled by women, who seek out the masculine paradise known only as Mantopia. Jay Roach, director of the Austin Powers and Meet the Parents movies, had originally signed on to direct.

In its new incarnation, Used Guys will be more of a romantic comedy that focuses on Stiller, who is currently in talks to rejoin the project. Reese Witherspoon has reportedly been asked to play Stiller's love interest. Little Miss Sunshine directors Valentine Faris and Jonathan Dayton are the leading candidates to direct the movie.

I've got to admit, I'm a little dubious about either version of this film. If a movie is going to feature something called "Mantopia" and still be even halfway decent, I'd have to think you need more of a satirical edge than what you'd expect from the guys behind Meet the Fockers. As for the romantic comedy version that might actually happen, I can't get away from the fact that the only recent Ben Stiller movies that have been remotely watchable (be they Tropic Thunder or...do I seriously have to reach back to Dodgeball for another watchable Ben Stiller movie?) have been decidedly non-romantic in nature. And, as always, we're talking about Fox here, who aren't known as the greatest arbiters of quality.

Still, hope springs eternal, and there's something so wonderfully, horribly appropriate about a movie industry dominated by sequels and remakes having a second try at making a movie about clones. With a formula like that, Used Guys will probably make a hundred billion dollars.

[Sci Fi Wire]