As is expected nowadays, every film ever made has a remake/reboot/spinoff in development. Where some proffer to remain fiercely loyal to the original source material, others dare to venture elsewhere. It seems the latter option is being adopted for The Naked Gun remake, which we know will star The Hangover‘s Ed Helms. Aside from the obvious speculation – that Helms will play Frank Drebin or a similar character – there’s not been any hint at how this remake will adapt the original.
Director of the 1988 original David Zucker chatted to Yahoo! recently and in a roundabout way, confirmed that the style for the Helms version will be drastically different:
It won’t be like the Naked Gun that I did. It may be good, but it won’t be that kind of movie. They’re going to use the title. They asked me if I wanted to produce. They’re nice people, but they don’t want to do that style of spoof that I do. I would want somebody who had never been in an comedy. Ed Helms is very well known for three of the biggest comedies ever. I understand why Paramount is doing what they’re doing. If my name was on it, I would be making all sorts of suggestions and trying to change it, and it would be frustrating.
Zucker, telling it like it is, is one of many filmmakers who perfected the art of the ‘movie spoof’ back in the seventies and into the eighties. The original Naked Gun was itself a spinoff (ahem) of short-run TV series From The Files Of Police Squad. It honed in on the bumbling Lieutenant Frank Drebin, played by Leslie Nielsen, and spawned a couple of sequels and began Hollywood’s brief flirtation with parody in the early nineties.
Still, Hollywood’s obsession with trends flared up again towards the end of the decade. Scary Movie paved the way for countless more sequels and cash grabs that proceeded to become less and less funny as time wore on. A fact that Zucker isn’t oblivious to:
It becomes watered down. I produced Scary Movie 5, [and] that was so watered-down that [it] contributed to ruining the genre, as did all the Friedberg and Seltzer movies [such as Date Movie, Epic Movie, and Meet the Spartans]. [Parody] has come on hard times. They’re not being done well.
If The Naked Gun isn’t a remake parody, but is set to bear the same name, it looks like we had better prepare ourselves for another run-of-the-mill cop comedy.