Rufus Jones, writer and star of Channel 4 comedy Home, has insisted that an in-development US remake will remain “very true” to the spirit of the original show.
Ben Stiller – who serves as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency – is set to direct and produce the remake, with Stacy Traub (Black-ish, Glee) on scripting duties.
The original Home follows the plight of Sami (Youssef Kerkour), a Syrian refugee who ends up residing with the pompous Peter (Jones) and his family after hiding in the boot of their car to enter the UK.
Jones told RadioTimes.com that, while the project is still in its early stages, Stiller plans to stay true to the premise of the original.
“Ben was brilliant,” Jones said. “There were inevitable talks where people said, ‘Well should this [refugee] character be Mexican or Central American?’ and actually I think Ben very early on said, ‘No, I want him to be Syrian, I want this to be a Middle-Eastern experience in America’ because that remains an enormous thing.”
“So the US script has remained very true to the UK original, which is very flattering,” he added. “It certainly hasn’t become one of those nightmare ‘UK sitcoms in LA’ experiences that you’ve heard versions of over the years, so that in itself feels like an achievement!”
Jones also admitted that writing the original version of Home was a “slightly terrifying” experience, but that he felt a responsibility to tell the story of refugees like Sami.
“It was slightly terrifying,” he admitted. “But then you sort of have a word with yourself and you realise that as a writer everything’s terrifying.
“To be perfectly honest, and I don’t want to diminish the subject matter, but I could be writing about a fold-up bicycle specialist in Chiswick and it would still feel like an incredibly daunting prospect to write six half-hours…
“I suppose what I’m saying is, writing never feels easy, so you may as well write about something that matters. And the alternative to not taking it on was to walk away… and I would rather tackle a subject and fail than wimp out at the first hurdle.”
Home continues on Channel 4 at 10pm on Wednesdays, with series two also available to watch in full now on All 4