These days all-star car-racing movies are hot again largely thanks to the insanely popular Fast and the Furious franchise, and sure enough Warner Bros. wants to capitalize on this by resurrecting The Cannonball Run and assigning a new director and team of writers to the project.
Deadline reports that Warner Bros. is in talks with Rawson Thurber to direct the rebooted Cannonball Run, with writers Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant to write the script. Long time Warner Bros. producer Andre Morgan is producing along with Alan Gasmer of the show Vikings. Get Hard director Etan Cohen was at one point reported to be on board the project as director but obviously plans changed. As early as 2011, George Clooney and Guy Ritchie were both rumored to be attached to the project.
The Cannonball Run reboot has a direct connection to the originals via Andre Morgan who was an uncredited executive producer on the first film, and received a full executive producer credit on both Cannonball Run II (which memorably featured a post-Oscar Shirley MacLaine) and the final movie in the original trilogy Cannonball Fever. Only the second film in the series was released by Warner Bros., with the first film being released by Fox and the third by Orion.
Rawson Thurber has experience with the action-comedy genre, having directed the Dwayne Johnson vehicle Central Intelligence as well as the crime comedy We’re the Millers (he’s working with Johnson again on the upcoming Skyscraper). The Lennon and Garant writing team was responsible for Night at the Museum, Taxi, The Pacifier and this year’s Baywatch, all movies that combined action and laughs (with varying degrees of success).
In order for the new Cannonball Run to be a true revival of the original, the film must boast a genuine all-star cast. Dwayne Johnson would seem to be a natural Burt Reynolds analog and indeed he does have a connection to both Rawson Thurber and the Lennon/Garant writing team, so perhaps that’s something that could happen. The original also boasted Roger Moore, who was in the middle of being James Bond at the time (maybe Daniel Craig would like to hop aboard the reboot?), as well as Farrah Fawcett, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Jackie Chan, Peter Fonda and the immortal Dom DeLuise. Of the original film’s stars, Chan and Reynolds are the two most obvious candidates to make a return, assuming they would be willing.