Brett Ratner may have seen his proposed Beverly Hills Cop sequel slip through his hands like so much jumbo shrimp, but he may get the chance to work on another, many-years-after-the-fact sequel to one of those ’80s buddy action-comedies that have for so long served as his filmmaking blueprint, in the sense that Brett Ratner movies have structure. That’s because Deadline reports that Universal is negotiating with Ratner to direct the long-in-the-making Midnight Run 2, which will find Robert De Niro reprising his role as the bounty hunter last seen in 1988 freeing Charles Grodin’s mob accountant, then walking away to live the rest of his days in the viewer’s imagination. Said imagination, of course, is not as good as seeing Brett Ratner make an old Robert De Niro do the same thing all over again, only faster and louder.
The comedy has been through a couple of drafts already, most recently under writers David Elliott and Paul Lovett of G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra and Four Brothers, both of which were hilarious. And while the original concept for the sequel had De Niro pairing up with the son of Grodin’s character, that plan that became complicated two years ago, when Grodin said he would also be interested in returning, despite more or less retiring from acting years ago. There’s no word yet on whether Grodin is still interested now that Ratner is officially involved—especially considering Grodin reportedly turned down a recent offer to work with him already—but Deadline seems to think he’s still open to it. In that case, the question becomes whether it would be worth getting Charles Grodin back on screen, if only to star in a Brett Ratner-directed reboot of an ’80s movie starring the modern Robert De Niro. This is sort of like a game of Hollywood Scruples.