Back in April, we reported that Robert Zemeckis was in talks to direct Replay, an adaptation of Ken Grimwood’s 1987 bestseller about a man who dies and repeatedly gets to relive his life over and over again — accruing different partners, progeny, and professions each go-round. However, we just heard that the studio didn’t want to wait around for Zemeckis, who was also circling the Denzel Washington drama Flight at Paramount, and so now Warner is making a deal with Brothers and Sisters executive producer Greg Berlanti to direct Replay instead. Berlanti has been well employed by Warner Bros.: He directed Katherine Heigl’s Life as We Know It for them, and also crafted the story on their summer schlockbuster The Green Lantern, as well as its sequel to Clash of the Titans.
We’re told that Replay screenwriter Jason Smilovic (Lucky Number Slevin) is rewriting his script, and that if all goes well, production could start as early as next May, but who knows? The project, like its protagonist, has lived and died many times in Hollywood: Replay was first set up at United Artists back in the late eighties, shortly after the book’s publication. After traveling from MGM to Disney — along the way even outliving its author, Grimwood — it finally landed at Warner Bros., where it serves to remind us of Woody Allen’s famous truism: “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality by not dying.”