Tyra Banks is making a return to acting by remaking a classic cult comedy from the 1990s. The host of America’s Next Top Model has signed on for a role in the remake of Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, the 1991 teen comedy about a young girl who has to take care of her siblings while their mother is out of town and the elderly babysitter who was supposed to care for them dies. Banks will not play the lead, but will play a pivotal role in the film – and not as the babysitter.
According to an exclusive report by Deadline, Treehouse Pictures is heading production on the remake, and is making some updates from the original film, which starred Christina Applegate in the lead. The reboot will center around a Black family and a teenager named Sue Ellen (aka “Swell”) who has to support her young siblings after their babysitter dies while their mother is out of town for months. Tyra Banks will play Rose (the role played by Joanna Cassidy in the original), a fashion executive at General Apparel West, who gives Swell a job as an executive assistant.
The original film was released by Warner Bros. in 1991 and was part of actress Christina Applegate’s attempt to cross over to films from television, where she had become a star for her role in the Fox Network sitcom Married With Children. Despite the catchy title for the film, directed by Stephen Herek (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure), it failed to connect with audiences. It scored only $25 million in ticket sales, a dismal return for a summer teen flick. Critics weren’t impressed either, although the movie itself attracted a cult following after years of play on cable TV. Keith Coogan, John Getz and Josh Charles also starred in the film. Applegate would eventually establish a solid film career, and it is unknown if any of the original actors will return in any way to join Tyra Banks in the update.
After getting her start as a model for Victoria’s Secret, Tyra Banks has had a diverse and successful career that has established her as a fashion icon. The 48-year-old Los Angeles native won two Daytime Emmy Awards for The Tyra Banks Show, which ran for five seasons (2005-2010), and she went on to make numerous guest appearances on shows including Gossip Girl, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Insecure, Black-ish, Glee, and Shake It Up. She’s even the creator of SMIZE Cream, a premium ice cream with a surprise hidden inside.
Her greatest achievement, however, came when she created and hosted America’s Next Top Model, a reality competition show that became a pop culture phenomenon. Her television hosting duties included Dancing with the Stars and America’s Got Talent. Her films credits include Tropic Thunder, Eight Crazy Nights, Love & Basketball, and Coyote Ugly, a movie she is hoping to reboot. Her Instagram account boasts nearly seven million followers.
The production on the Don’t Tell Mom reboot is set to begin this July in Los Angeles, but it isn’t clear when or how the film will be released. No other cast members have been announced other than Tyra Banks. Bille Woodruff (Yellowjackets, Black Lightning) is directing, and the script is written by Chuck Hayward (WandaVision).