Remember Flubber? If you’re under 40, probably not. But the flying rubber invented by The Absent-Minded Professor’s Fred MacMurray in 1961 is about to bounce back big time. Disney has plans for a remake of Professor (possibly titled Flubber), and Robin Williams is expected to take the lead. If he enrolls, Williams will join a legion of stars involved in Disney’s latest master plan: to re-create an era of live-action family films via remakes of its ’60s classics.
Among the films being reworked:
THAT DARN CAT!
In the update due this fall, Doug E. Doug (Cool Runnings) and Christina Ricci (Casper) will step into the shoes of original stars Dean Jones and Hayley Mills. Instead of a Siamese star, however, director Bob Spiers has cast a gray-and-white pound cat.
A live-action version of the animated film (slated for this Thanksgiving) will star Glenn Close as the evil Cruella De Vil and Jeff Daniels as the pups’ owner, Roger.
THE PARENT TRAP
Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer, the writer-director-producer team responsible for Disney’s lucrative Father of the Bride series, will helm this story about meddling twin sisters.
THE SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON
A new version of the adventure favorite is expected to go into production this year, though no cast or director has been set.
While raiding the Walt vault isn’t a new idea — Disney’s TV arm has been doing it for years with small-screen versions of The Parent Trap and The Love Bug — industryites think the studio’s plan can make a theatrical splash. Even the eternally boyish Dean Jones, who made 10 Disney flicks throughout the ’60s and ’70s, feels the time’s right. Says Jones, ”I can’t get in a taxi in any American city without the driver saying ‘How come you don’t make those movies anymore?”’