Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Nikki Finke breaks news for the first time in awhile, but doesn't even notice: Dustin Hoffman returning for Little Fockers?

Finke wrote a piece on Monday detailing apparent pick-ups that were taking place on Universal's Little Fockers. Nothing too out of the ordinary, but of course Finke tried to spin it as signs that the film is a disaster waiting to happen. Because that's pretty much all she's capable of. Ironically, this was one of the first bits of hard news to come from Finke herself in awhile, as the actual news portion of her site has been given over to the likes of Mike Fleming and Nellie Andreeva (which has made the site a much more enjoyable read). Most of Finke's blog entries over the last few months are box office numbers, press releases, and occasionally putting up a trailer or a viral video we've all already seen on YouTube. What's doubly ironic is that Finke's post mentioned a list of cast members coming back which included Dustin Hoffman. The odd thing is, everyone knows that Dustin Hoffman was not reprising his role as Ben Stiller's father in Little Fockers. Nikki Finke dropped a major piece of news into our laps and didn't even realize it.

For whatever reason, this was not information that Universal wanted out in the open, as Finke's reference to Hoffman has been eliminated from the original article in another one of her magical ghost-edits. Sure enough, word is now leaking out today from Vulture that Dustin Hoffman is in talks to return to the franchise in a series of reshoots and pick-ups in order to insert his character into the second sequel to Meet the Parents. While the film looks uncommonly unfunny, as long as Universal can keep the budget under $100 million, I can't imagine Little Fockers not being a major moneymaker. If you recall, Meet the Fockers (which I actually preferred to the original Meet the Parents) grossed $279 million in the US and $516 million worldwide. That makes it the second highest-grossing live-action comedy in America (behind Home Alone at $281 million) and the highest-grossing live-action comedy of all-time worldwide. I'm sure Universal would be thrilled these days to do even half that number come December.

Scott Mendelson

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