A Dream Deferred: Jeannie Gets Her Silver Screen Wish Another old TV show-turned feature length movie has managed to find a way out of development hell--at least for the moment. Try to contain your excitement. After languishing for years as an in-development project and on the heels of not-great Bewitched and The Dukes of Hazzard, I Dream of Jeannie has a new writer, energized producers and is back in active development. The producers are so energized in fact, that it's hard not to get a little excited for them.

The new writer, Rita Hsiao, who's other work includes Mulan, and re-writes on Enchanted and 13 Going on 30, pitched the new idea to producers who enthused, "She has a terrific, bright, fresh approach to Jeannie's story, with a twist and turn along the way. She captured all of our imaginations in the telling of it." For a show most of us watched laid out sick and fevered on the couch while home from school because the only other TV options were Springer and soap operas, getting anyone that worked up over it is pretty impressive. I get Day-Quil headache flashbacks just thinking about it.

Jeannie has long been in the queue for a feature remake. At least five other writers have attempted scripts for it, which seems like more than a subtle hint from the box office gods to me. That said, it does have the pre-advertising audience awareness most studios would kill for, and if they put the new Jeannie in that mid-riff baring peasant top and harem pants, they'll get a few teenaged boy butts in seats, too. And, of course, if the preferences of modern movie-going folks mirror my youthful, Kleenex-filled predilections, a Jerry Springer movie could be playing on one screen, a General Hospital movie on the other, and audiences will still feel compelled to choose Jeannie.




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