'Nutty Professor' may rise again

An open call is out for writes for another installment

Will Universal and Imagine Entertainment get nutty again?

The studio and production company are in the early stages of developing a new "Nutty Professor" movie, in what would be the third installment of the remake of the 1963 Jerry Lewis vehicle. An open call is out to writers for their take on a potential third entry.

Although it has been eight years since the last "Nutty" came out, executives are interested in a new version that would follow "The Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps."

Like "The Nutty Professor," "Klumps" focused on Sherman Klump, a portly, gentle scientist (Eddie Murphy) who turns obnoxious after trying one of his own cures. In the second film, which expanded to include more of Klump's family members (many also played by Murphy), it was eternal youth that Klump sought.

The sequel to 1996's "The Nutty Professor," "Klumps" had a less corpulent boxoffice gross than its predecessor, earning $162 million worldwide vs. the $270 million of the first installment.

Still, the franchise has proved profitable, and a third installment could prove attractive for Universal, which like other studios has been relying increasingly on established brands.

Murphy is not attached to a new "Nutty"; his involvement would be contingent on the writer, director and other elements. Murphy's comic versatility was seen as key to the success of the two "Nutty" movies, and it seems unlikely that a third installment could go forward without him.
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