SC Lands New Feature Film
Independent filmaker extraordinaire Spike Jonze (Adaptation, Where the Wild Things Are) announced today that he will remake his cult classic, Being John Malkovich, with a South Carolina twist.
Lured to the Palmetto State by the new film incentives law signed by Gov. Mark Sanford last year, Jonze (of R.E.M., Beastie Boys, Weezer and Pavement music video fame) said filming would begin this week in Columbia on the full-length, big budget remake tenatively entitled Being Jakie Knotts.
Jonze 1999 hit, which starred Malkovich (pictured above), John Cusack and Cameron Diaz, chronicles a puppeteer who accidentally discovers a secret portal into the famous actor's head. Entrants to the portal are momentarily transported inside Malkovich's brain, where they can see, feel, taste, smell and hear everything he does for a period of fifteen minutes - at which point they are unceremoniously jettisoned from the actor's head onto a rain-soaked off-ramp on the New Jersey turnpike.
In the remake, Aiken Senator Greg Ryberg (played by a slimmed-down Wilfred Brimley) discovers the portal into Knotts' head late one night after breaking into the State Department of Transportation in downtown Columbia. Spying a loose piece of paper beneath the desk of Director Betty Mabry that he believes could be another story for Greenville News Reporter Tim Smith (played by Nicholas Cage), Ryberg crawls under the desk to retrieve it when he is suddenly sucked into Knotts' brain (which, incidentally, offers plenty of room for maneuverability).
After fifteen minutes watching Knotts receive multiple lap dances from the girls at Kermit LaForce's strip club, Ryberg is spit out of the Senator's brain and onto the Peak Exit off of Interstate 26.
Eager to curry favor with Gov. Mark Sanford (played by Dustin Hoffman), Ryberg immediately begins to exploit the portal for his own political gain - or at least after he makes twenty or so strip club visits with his fellow Senators. Cleverly disguising his campaign manager Terry Sullivan (played by Queen Latifah) as a DOT janitor, a plot is hatched to enter Knotts' brain during a Phil Leventis filibuster and force him to vote for cloture.
Everything goes according to plan until Sullivan enters the portal and finds Tim Smith there waiting for him inside Knotts' brain. As the two struggle mightily inside his head, Knotts is lured off the Senate floor by the smell of donuts in the anteroom, giving Ryberg his chance to make the motion. The motion passes and Leventis (played by Woody Allen) is forced to sit down, but by now an action-packed car chase is underway on I-26 as Sullivan tries to stop Smith from making it back downtown to publish his story.
Jonze said Being Jakie Knotts will also feature cameo appearances by Kirtsie Alley (as Laura Hudson), Freddy Prinze, Jr. (as Andre Bauer), John Goodman (as Rod Shealy), Samuel L. Jackson (as Sen. Darrell Jackson), and "Benji," (who plays the role of Knotts' dog "Boom Boom").
The film is projected to bring $223 million in direct revenue to the state and create over 250 temporary high-paying jobs.