Matthew Perry will write, star as Oscar in 'Odd Couple' remake: So who's Felix?
Perry will star as Oscar Madison in the new version, which is in development at CBS. He's also co-writing the pilot script with comedy veteran Danny Jacobson ("Mad About You," "Two Guys and a Girl").
"Ever since seeing the movie 'The Odd Couple' when I was 10 years old, it has been a dream for me to play Oscar Madison," Perry tells Deadline. "To be given the opportunity to develop a modern version of it for CBS has put a permanent smile across my face."
Neil Simon's 1965 play about two divorced guys -- fastidious newsman Felix Ungar and slobbish sportswriter Oscar Madison -- who move in together has birthed a number of previous adaptations, beginning with the 1968 movie starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. A 1970 TV series with Tony Randall and Jack Klugman followed; there was also a short-lived "New Odd Couple" in the early '80s and even a mid-'70s cartoon featuring a dog and a cat.
If Perry is going to play Oscar in the new version, the obvious question is who should play Felix? The equally obvious answer is Perry's "Friends" co-star David Schwimmer, who was at times extremely Felix-esque as Ross Geller. Here are a few other ideas:
- Neil Patrick Harris. He'll be coming off "How I Met Your Mother" and could easily pull off Felix.
- James Lesure. Perry's "Mr. Sunshine" (yay) co-star had good, antagonistic chemistry with him on that show but is currently committed to "Men at Work" on TBS.
- Jim Parsons. He's rather busy at the moment, alas.
- Michael Urie. At the very least, he deserves something better than "Partners."
- Joshua Malina. Also not available, but it sure would be funny. And they could swap Aaron Sorkin stories during downtime.
- Debra Messing. What was "Will & Grace" really, if not a take on "The Odd Couple"? Plus, an easy marketing hook with the Must-See TV reunion angle. (Potential problem with a female Felix: Too much will they-won't they expectation.)
- John Cho. Because A) we still haven't gotten over "Go On" being canceled and B) they worked really well together.
Who would you like to see as Felix to Perry's Oscar?