Star Watch 3.23.23

| 20 Mar 2023 | 12:16

Melissa McCarthy (left) and her co-star, British actor Paapa Essiedu haul shopping bags from tony city retail outlets such as Bloomingdales, F.A.O Schwarz and Macy’s as they film a scene in Times Square recently for the upcoming remake of the 1991 film Bernard and the Genie.

McCarthy is playing the genie in the new version, which is expected to air on the Peacock network sometime in the holiday season, although there is no specific date yet.

The Christmas themed movie originally starred Alan Cumming as Bernard Bottle, the role now played by Essiedu. He’s a workaholic art dealer who gets fired by his mean spirited boss from a swanky London art dealership.

In the original, the genie now played by McCarthy was a guy named Joesephus played by Lenny Harris. Bernard had returned to his flat after being fired from his job, only to discover that his girlfriend has been sleeping with his bestfriend. And to make matters worse, she took most of the furniture, but did leave behind the antique lamp, which he tries to clean up, thereby releasing a genie who has been trapped in the lamp for a thousand year.

In the original, his mean spirited boss accuses him of swiping the Mona Lisa, which he had inadvertently wished onto his apartment wall before he realized the genie had the power to magically change things.

The Hollywood trades have had only a few plot line details so it is tough to see how closely the remake of the 1991 fairy tale Christmas story will hew to the plot lines from the first rendition of the film more than 30 years ago.

The original made for tv movie that was first broadcast on the BBC was set in 1990s London. The remake, as evidenced by the filming in wintery Father Duffy Square last week, would seem to indicate the latest version is set in Manhattan.