'Zoolander 2' in vogue again, possibly with Penelope Cruz

With Penelope Cruz rumored for a role, 'Zoolander 2' is all the rage (again)

The world of high fashion is a fickle one. As Heidi Klum says, "One day you're in, and the next you're out." Well, 13 years after his big-screen debut, Derek Zoolander is in again.

The Internet is buzzing once more about the prospect of "Zoolander 2," the long-awaited sequel to director, star and co-writer Ben Stiller's 2001 comedy about an empty-headed male model who's brainwashed by a couture cabal to assassinate the prime minister of Malaysia.

The Paramount-based project is back in the spotlight following a Deadline Hollywood report that Penélope Cruz has signed on for a role in the film, which is to be directed by Stiller from a script by Justin Theroux (co-writer of "Tropic Thunder" with Stiller and Etan Cohen).

Paramount declined to comment on the report, and a spokesperson for Cruz did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Whether or not the Oscar-winning actress and Lancôme ambassador ultimately struts her stuff in "Zoolander 2" — or "2oolander," as we like to think of it — her potential involvement comes as only the most recent of a long series of will they / won't they moments for the follow-up.

Stiller has been hinting at a Zoolander comeback for years, telling MTV in 2010 that the script was in the early stages, then telling Empire a year later that he and Theroux had finished it and handed it over to the studio. As recently as September, Will Ferrell — who played the villain Mugatu in "Zoolander" — told reporters at the Deauville Film Festival, "We are actually supposed to do a read-through of a sequel script soon, and Mugatu is a part of it."

With all the fuss over a "Zoolander" sequel, it's easy enough to forget that the original film was only a modest box-office performer, grossing about $45 million domestically on a $28-million budget, and adding another $15 million overseas. Reviews were mixed to positive.

On the other hand, the movie has become an undeniable cult classic, and as "Dumb and Dumber To" recently demonstrated, moviegoers will still turn out to see their favorite buffoons a decade or two down the road given the right circumstances.

In the years since the original "Zoolander," the shallow, self-obsessed pop culture the movie so expertly skewered has arguably grown even more so, which would give Stiller and company plenty of fodder. Zoolander in the age of the selfie? There's an intriguing and chilling notion.

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