Whether you refer to him as Professor Julius Kelp or Professor Sherman Klump, The Nutty Professor is coming back to the big screen by way of Scream 5 screenwriter, James Vanderbilt. According to Deadline, the reboot is being developed by Project X, the production company founded by Vanderbilt, William Sherak, and Paul Neinstein. No studio is yet attached to the project.
The cinematic IP began in 1963 as a Jekyll and Hyde-esque comedy starring Jerry Lewis as a nebbishy scientist (Kelp) who concocts a formula that turns him into a confident, yet irritating, lothario named Buddy Love. Lewis directed the movie and co-wrote the script with Bill Richmond. An animated sequel (featuring the voices of Lewis and Drake Bell) was released in 2008. Lewis' nasally character is iconic and clearly inspired the voice of Professor Frink (Hank Azaria) on The Simpsons.
Director Tom Shadyac (Bruce Almighty) remade the original film in 1996, with Eddie Murphy taking on the titular role. In addition to being renamed Klump, the scientist was also portrayed as a portly man, making his transformation into Love even more pronounced. A sequel, Meet the Klumps (helmed by Peter Segal), hit theaters in the summer of 2000. Jada Pinkett, James Coburn, Dave Chappelle, Wanda Sykes, Janet Jackson, and Chris Elliot co-starred across the two installments.
"It feels like the perfect time to relaunch the IP as studio execs around the industry see comedy as the genre audiences are looking more and more for due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has uprooted so many people’s lives around the world," Deadline reports.