Warner Bros. owned the rights to the 1956 movie of this story, so they had planned a remake with Stephen Sommers directing and Brendan Fraser starring. That’s when this film got in motion, with Jackie Chan being paid $18 million for his role and was somehow made with one of the highest budgets a movie has ever had before it even had a distributor, which ended up being Disney. It only made $72.2 million on a $110 million budget, so factoring in promotion and all of the unseen costs of making movies and you can see that this was a huge bomb.
Directed by Frank Coraci (The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy, Click) from a script by David Titcher (the creator of The Librarian series), David Benullo and David Goldstein, the movie is about Phileas Fogg (Steve Coogan, perhaps not the head of a tentpole movie you were looking for) and his assistant Passepartout (Chan) trying to make it around the world in — you knew it — 80 days.
They’re joined by Cécile de France (High Tension) as Monique Laroche, a painter who wants to see the world and a ton of cameos, including Kathy Bates as Queen Victoria, Arnold Schwarzenegger as a prince in his last movie before becoming a governor, Richard Branson as a balloon man, John Cleese as a cop, Will Forte as another cop, Macy Gray as a sleeping French woman, Luke and Owen Wilson as the Wright brothers, Rob Schneider as a hobo and Chan’s adopted brother Sammo Hung as a karate fighter.
It’s not horrible or great — it fits somewhere in the middle, the kind of movie that you throw on when you have unexpected children over and realize that the majority of your home movie collection is filled with cannibals and nudity.