Steve Pink scheming with MGM

Writer-director hired for 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' remake

Steve Pink is in on the con.

MGM has hired the writer-director to script a remake of "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels." Robert Simonds is producing. Becky Sloviter and Cale Boyter are overseeing for the studio.

The original "Scoundrels," released in 1988 and directed by Frank Oz, was itself a remake of the 1964 film "Bedtime Story," which starred Marlon Brando and David Niven. "Scoundrels" starred Steve Martin in the Brando role and Michael Caine in the Niven role as mirror-opposite conmen competing to scam money from a seemingly guileless American woman and banish each other from their South of France hunting ground, Beaumont-sur-Mer. The comedy also was spun into a Broadway musical in 2005 that starred Tony-winning actor John Lithgow.

The idea of a new incarnation already has reportedly attracted quite a bit of interest from top-tier talent, who are waiting on the imminent delivery of Pink's script.

"Movies like that, which are so brilliant, the problem with writing them is a) you have to beat those jokes, and it's hard, and b), they're so funny that they defy story logic in a way," says Pink, who is also updating the Internet-era context of the cons. "So I'm trying to split the difference. Because the cons have to be sophisticated, but you also want their behavior to be totally outrageous and absurd. So I'm trying to find the balance between keeping it massively funny, but then also make the cons credible."

This is just one in a string of remakes that MGM has in the works--"Red Dawn," "RoboCop," "Poltergeist" and "Fame" are also in development -- under Mary Parent.

Pink, who is repped by Endeavor, co-wrote "High Fidelity" and "Grosse Pointe Blank" and most recently directed the college comedy "Accepted." He also worked on the script for the Kevin James comedy "Paul Blart: Mall Cop," now in production at Sony.