Robert De Niro might be a big name in comedy now, thanks to the one-two punch of Analyze This and Meet the Parents, but back in 1988 his appearance in the chase comedy Midnight Run was something of aberration. The story goes that after playing Al Capone in The Untouchables he tried to land the starring role in Big, the film that eventually shot a young Tom Hanks to stardom, but wound in Beverly Hills Cop director Martin Brest's film instead. While it might be amusing to see the alternate reality from "Fringe" version of Big with De Niro in the lead, we may have been better off with the deadpan bounty hunter who traded jabs with the wily Charles Grodin as they raced across the country on the run from the mob. De Niro certainly seemed to have been happy with the role. 24 years later he's agreed to star in Midnight Run 2, directed by Brett Ratner.
Deadline reports that the oft-chastised director has been brought on board to direct the sequel, which is currently being rewritten by David Elliot and Paul Lovett, a duo whose biggest credit to date – G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra – is also… let's just be kind and call it "less than popular." This wouldn't be the first time that Ratner has been attached to a Martin Brest sequel; his name has been attached to Beverly Hills Cop 4 for years now. And it's his third major motion picture announcement in recent months, after the drama I Want My MTV, about the formative years of the influential cable station, and Hercules, a comic book adaptation starring Dwayne Johnson.
There's no word on what direction the sequel would take, but the original film's co-star Charles Grodin – who has largely retired from the world of acting in favor of social activism – is reportedly open to the possibility of returning. It's pretty big of him. Supposedly he has permanent scars on his wrists from wearing handcuffs every day on the original production.
CraveOnline will be back with more Midnight Run 2 news after we get over our fistophobia.