Eddie Murphy has been forced out of the long-gestating “Twins” sequel “Triplets” due to scheduling difficulties.
Murphy had been long attached to star alongside returning players Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in director Ivan Reitman’s follow-up to the 1988 classic. With the script now ready, and Murphy’s dance card filling by the day, Reitman realized they’d have to probably push on without the actor.
Deadline reports that Tracy Morgan – Murphy’s co-star in such films as “Coming 2 America” – was brought onboard to play the third sibling in the comedy sequel, and the script was rewritten to reflect the “30 Rock” actor’s style.
“Twins was quite successful, and some years after, this whole thing started with Arnold meeting Eddie Murphy, and the suggestion came from one of them,” Reitman told Deadline. “It was, ‘I should be a triplet, that could be a very funny comedy.’ We started a script with Eddie, and after the success he had with Amazon Prime on Coming 2 America, he got himself booked up heavily. And we knew we were going to make it at the beginning of next year. I’d been good friends with Tracy Morgan for a long time and always thought he was one of the funniest men in the world. I thought he would make a terrific triplet, and we rewrote the whole script for him. Now, we’ll go out and try and put the money together and get it made.”
Universal Pictures, who produced the original, won’t be involved in the follow-up.
“We had this fabulous deal we made with Tom Pollock, who wound up being my partner at Montecito Pictures,” Reitman said. “It was his first picture as the chairman of Universal. He loved the script and really believed in it. We decided we would do this where there was very little money upfront. We made the movie for $15 million. But it came with a lot of gross and so we ended up doing very well. In terms of future rights, Universal had very restrictive secondary rights in terms of sequels. They had to act on it very quickly, which they didn’t, because we hadn’t really developed it.”
Dylan Dawson & Lucas Kavner are penning the script for the film. No word if original scribe Josh Gad is still involved in any capacity.
Here is the plot: “Secretly, there was a third baby born, a Black baby, who hasn’t been in touch with his siblings,” Reitman shared. “They don’t know each other and very early in the movie they meet and it’s how they achieve a bond together after all these years. It’s really a film about family and, no matter how different we all are, we have to learn to get along. These guys have great chemistry together, and you can see that in the reel, and how much energy they bring out in each other.”
“Triplets”, which will be promoted to buyers in Toronto shortly, is targeted to film in January in Boston.
“We need the winter and my guess is we probably shoot in Boston. It looks great and has mountains nearby, and has a good tax deal. We’re dealing with this as an independent, and we want to keep the costs low. It worked out very well for us in Twins, I see no reason not to do that here.”