Looks like Russell Brand could be the spooky star… but not as Timothy Claypole, oddly
Above: The original Rentaghost team, Devenport, Claypole and Mumford
Gadzooks! Can it really be true? Creaky BBC children’s comedy Rentaghost is being resurrected by Hollywood makeover? Seems so.
According to Deadline , Warner Bros has acquired the rights to the show, which ran on BBC1 from 1976-84, with an eye to making it a starring vehicle for notorious phone prankster Russell Brand. Bizarrely, the report says that he’ll play Fred Mumford (who in the show was a newly-expired slacker who put his new spooky powers to productive ue by starting up a ghosts-for-hire business) whereas anyone who knows the show will be surprised that Brand isn’t playing spectral medieval jester Timothy Claypole, the only spook who lasted the entire run of the series. It seems to be the perfect role for Brand.
The site reckons the film will be a “ Beetlejuice -style afterlife comedy”. They’re probably basing this on the fact that both Burton’s film and the TV series featured ghosts for hire.
In the early series, the ghostly team comprised Mumford, Claypole and Victorian Ghost Hubert Davenport, but as the show went on, and the jokes became broader, the stories more slapstick and the sets more cardboard, a huge cast of silly spectres and supernatural loonies was added. These included a ghost who vanished whern she sneezed (Nadia Popov), a Scottish McWicth, a cowgirl called Catastrophe Kate, a forgettable ghost called Whatsisname Smith and a “living” pantomime horse called Dobbin. Famous TV writer Lynda la Plante even starred in the show for one season (she played Popov’s cousin, Tamara Novek). The series was created and written by Bob Block.
Brand’s hair lacquer budget on the new film will probably come to more then the BBC spent on the entire nine seasons of the original run.
Above: Later on, when things were getting very silly