LOS ANGELES — In the 1988 sci-fi fast-food film “Mac and Me,” wheelchair-using Eric Cruise befriends a weird little alien dude, and then they party with Ronald McDonald. After years of taunting Conan O’Brien with a clip from the film, actor Paul Rudd is taking his love of this cult classic to the next level. Rudd is set to partner with McDonald’s to write and direct a “Mac and Me” sequel, one that he hopes will mark a major advancement for disability representation in mainstream media.
“In the original movie, main character Eric Cruise is a wheelchair user who helps his extraterrestrial friend MAC and MAC’s family become American citizens, but I always wondered what happened next for this guy,” Rudd told reporters. “Then it hit me: What if Eric used his diplomatic prowess and teamed up with MAC to launch an intergalactic disability rights organization?”
The idea hit Rudd like a lightning bolt, and he began writing a screenplay that night. He said his story includes a romance between Eric and a Martian woman, MAC struggling to maintain control of his fast-food empire, and a climactic battle with an interplanetary insurance company trying to take Eric down.
“People think that the original ‘Mac and Me’ is just a bad ‘E.T.’ rip-off, but true fans understand that it’s a beautiful tale of friendship, breaking multicultural barriers, and inclusivity,” Rudd said. “With this movie, I want to honor those themes of disability inclusion, expand on the world that MAC and his family hail from, and share the beautiful crunch of a nice six-piece McNuggets meal.”
Rudd’s film, titled “Mac and Me: Eric Fights for Disability McRights,” is currently in pre-production. While every major film studio passed on it, Rudd was able to secure funding through the partnership with McDonald’s. Given the fast food chain’s prominent role in the original film, Rudd was eager to make a deal with the company.
“We cut Paul a check after he promised us that the movie would feature an entire subplot about a McDonald’s on Mars,” said a McDonald’s representative. “Our involvement in this movie also prompted management to launch a new line of inclusive Happy Meal toys. We’re especially excited about the Wheelchair Martian action figure and the cochlear implant set for MAC’s deaf relative.”
Perhaps the most exciting development is that Rudd convinced Jade Calegory, the disabled actor who played Eric in the original movie, to reprise his role for the sequel.
“I retired from acting years ago, but I couldn’t say no to Paul,” Calegory said. “And if I didn’t take the role, some nondisabled actor would probably steal it. No way I’m letting that sh*t happen.”