Paramount Pictures is planning to remake the 1987 John Hughes classic, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, and they’ve got Will Smith and Kevin Hart in the lead roles. Both actors will also produce under each of their production companies and Aeysha Carr will make her directorial debut as well as write the screenplay. Her previous credits include producing shows like The Carmichael Show, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and the upcoming series Woke.
The original film stars Steve Martin and John Candy as complete strangers who couldn’t be more opposite and are forced to travel together to make it home for Thanksgiving. In addition to being possibly the greatest Thanksgiving movie ever (and a staple in my household), it presents a heartwarming story along with all of the slapstick humor. Candy, in particular, is tremendous and Martin often cites the pic as being his favorite of the films he’s made.
Both Smith and Hart have lots of experience starring in buddy movies, of course, so that won’t be a problem. But again, they have huge shoes to fill. It’s been more than 30 years since the original came out so we might be due, but it’s still a risky proposition.
It makes sense for Paramount, too. As one of the five major studios, they’re certainly coming in last in terms of relevancy and success over the past decade. After inexplicably selling the rights to both Iron Man and Captain America to Marvel and Disney, it’s been a struggle to find lucrative franchises for them.
Transformers has seen a decline both in quality and box office business with each entry and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was gone after just two movies. If it wasn’t for Tom Cruise and both Mission: Impossible and the upcoming Top Gun: Maverick, they might be totally irrelevant.
With any luck, then, this remake of Planes, Trains & Automobiles will turn out to be a hit for them and perhaps even spawn a franchise.