What if you could be anyone that you wanted? What if your every wish came true?
Director Harold Ramis, who has lent his talents to many of the most successful screen comedies ever, now brings his unique vision to a remake of the 1968 comedy BEDAZZLED, a modem-day look at the Faust-Mephistopheles theme.
The film stars Brendan Fraser as Elliot Richards, a hapless young man consumed by unrequited love, who desperately wants to change his life. Elizabeth Hurley plays the Devil, who slyly promises to do just that — for a price. Frances O'Connor plays Alison Gardner, the object of Elliot's affections.
The screenplay is by Larry Gelbart and Harold Ramis & Peter Tolan. The writing team of Harold Ramis & Peter Tolan is also responsible for the 1998 box-office hit "Analyze This."
The film is produced by Trevor Albert & Harold Ramis ("Groundhog Day"), who are partnered in Ocean Pictures. Neil Machlis ("What Planet Are You From?") serves as executive producer and Suzanne Herrington ("Analyze This"), Ocean Pictures' director of development, is co-producing.
Harold Ramis and Trevor Albert both were fans of the original "Bedazzled," but recognized that the story needed updating. "We loved what Peter Cook and Dudley Moore did," says Albert. "But that was in the mid-60s and now it was 1999, with 30 years of culture and time passing. We felt we would use the original story as a point of departure for a new version..
"Comedies have pushed the edge in the past 30 years," Albert continues. "I think our movie is edgier, more audacious, a little more politically incorrect. But the reality is that Faust, whether its 200 years ago or 30 years ago, is still about the human condition, about people's ability to be seduced by temptation."
The concept of wish fulfillment was a draw to Ramis. "When I sat down with Larry
Gelbart and Peter Tolan, the other writers who worked on this script," he recalls, "I kept
trying to catalogue what I thought were the things nine out of ten Americans would wish for.
I ruled out things like 'I wish I could fly' or 'I wish I was invisible, and went for the ones that
I think most people in our culture would wish for. Most would want to be rich and powerful
or famous or really brilliant or athletic.
"Some of the wishes hearken back to the original film, but we spun them in different ways. We tried to give them a more contemporary feeling. I was also going for a bigger point, which is that all the things we think will make us attractive to other people, the things we think will make us happy or successful, really don't. I wanted to cover that territory because I wanted to explode that kind of wishful thinking. And also to say, that you don't get there by wishing.
"A lot of people spend their lives wishing for things. And it occurred to me that that's not an answer," continue Ramis.
"Elliot is really a delayed adolescent. He's like a big puppy dog. He's just so desperate to be liked that people literally run from him in the office. He is also hopelessly in love with Alison and he thinks, like most people do, that if he was rich and powerful or tall and athletic or brilliant, then women would go for him. And Elliot finds out, as we do in life, that nothing's perfect; that the things we wish for are not necessarily the things that will make us
A major departure from the original film is the fact that Ramis' Devil is a woman, a plot point he credits to his wife.
"She and I were talking one night about who should play the Devil. I was naming different actors and finally she asked, 'Why can't the Devil be a woman?' The idea actually had a lot of emotional and psychological resonance. Most men are bedeviled by women, and with women achieving real power in our society, why not a
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