Russell Brand to channel Beetlejuice in Drop Dead Fred remake

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Universal is remaking Drop Dead Fred, this time as a starring vehicle for Russell Brand, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The 1991 original starred Phoebe Cates as a wallflower who loses her job and husband during the course of a lunch hour. Forced to live back home, she's reunited with her childhood imaginary friend (British actor Rik Mayall), who promises to help but causes more havoc. The angle for the new Fred is to make a film with the tone of Beetlejuice, building a universe around the concept of imaginary friends. Brand would play the trouble-making pal.

Dennis McNicholas, one of the writers of Universal's upcoming Land of the Lost, will write the remake. McNicholas, a longtime writer on Saturday Night Live, is also scripting the feature version of H.R. Pufnstuf for Columbia.