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‘Journey To The Center Of The Earth’ Director Reunites With Brendan Fraser For 3D William Tell Film

'Journey To The Center Of The Earth' Director Reunites With Brendan Fraser For 3D William Tell Film

Director Eric Brevig And Fraser To Inflict More Fun On The Whole Family

We see the logic behind harnessing Brendan Fraser’s goofball amiability for toothless family-oriented “adventure” films, but, man, we wish the guy could catch a break outside of this particular ghetto. However his more recent forays into thriller or drama territory (“Extraordinary Measures” anyone? Anyone? Really? No one?) have fared poorly, and while he’s no guarantee of success even with a family film (“Furry Vengeance,” “Dudley Do-right“), it seems to be the one genre where he can consistently get hired. And this isn’t changing — he’s next attached to “Tell 3D,” a re’Tell’ing (wire me a million dollars and it’s yours, marketing people) of the classic story about the dude with the overture who shot an apple off his son’s head and thereby started Switzerland.

The new news here is that, according to Deadline, previous director Nick Hurran, whose credits include the Brittany Murphy vehicle “Little Black Book” and some recent episodes of “Doctor Who,” has left the project, for reasons unspecified, to be replaced with Eric Brevig (“Journey to the Center of the Earth,” “Yogi Bear“). So yes, this will be a reunion for the visual-effects-supervisor-turned-director with his ‘Journey’ star, and seems to mark a decided turn towards full-on family spectacle and away from anything more character-based (rumors from way back in May about Anna Paquin being in talks to play Tell’s wife are still unconfirmed).

Writers Chad and Evan Law (the upcoming “Six Bullets” with Jean-Claude Van Damme, this year’s “The Hit List” with Cuba Gooding Jr, us neither) are refining their script, Arclight Films will be shilling for the production in Toronto, and producers are hoping to emulate a big studio project on a fraction of the budget: ‘Tell’ is being shot for a thrifty $27million in Romania and Switzerland, with cameras set to roll in March 2012.

We’re not the target audience, we know, and we’ll cheer loudly if this turns out to be anything more than Fraser running, jumping and goggling while arrows thuddunk around him in 3D, but mostly one question occurs to us: how much of Fraser’s current career doldrums can we attribute to the gif of him guffawing like an idiot at the 2010 Globes?

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