When most movie buffs picture Clint Eastwood, it seems likely that the image they conjure up is either of Eastwood as a stoic gunslinger in spaghetti westerns like A Fistful of Dollars, or of Eastwood blasting criminals with a .44 magnum in action flicks like Dirty Harry. Younger audiences might be quick to picture Eastwood as the grumpy old badass type he played in films like Gran Torino. One thing’s for sure, though, most wouldn’t picture Eastwood acting alongside an orangutan.
Yet, acting alongside an orangutan is exactly what the Hollywood legend did in the 1978 adventure comedy Every Which Way But Loose. The film starred Eastwood as Philo Beddoe, a brawling trucker traveling the American west in search of his lost love. Along for the ride were Beddoe’s friend Orville (Jeffrey Lewis), and Clyde, his aforementioned pet. While the film was panned by critics and made fun of by the industry at large, it proved enormously successful at the box office, earning $85 million on a budget of only $5 million.
The success naturally led to a sequel, with Any Which Way You Can, featuring the return of both Eastwood and Clyde. The second verse proved almost the same as the first, with critics trashing the sequel, only for it to earn over $70 million on a $15 million budget. Now, Deadline reports that Every Which Way But Loose is set to get the remake treatment, with original director James Fargo set to produce the project. Handling directing duties this time out will be Anthony Cohen, helmer of 2016 indie gender-flip comedy The Sex Trip.
While Every Which Way But Loose’s outlandish premise and orangutan co-star likely played a large factor in its success back in the 70s, one wonders how big a deal it would have ended up being without an actor of Eastwood’s caliber leading things. Thus, perhaps the most important next step for Fargo and Cohen to make is casting the Beddoe role. Eastwood already possessed a reputation as a grizzled tough guy when he was cast, with the best modern-day equivalent possibly being if Jason Statham were to play the lead in the remake.
Of course, Fargo and Cohen could also opt to go a different direction with the remake, and cast a more traditionally comedic actor in the lead. Acting alongside an orangutan certainly seems like something that would be right up the alley of a Seth Rogen or a Jack Black, although casting them would clearly necessitate some tweaks to the Beddoe role as far as his predilection for fisticuffs. Whatever happens, it’s fair to say that Every Which Way But Loose was not the movie anyone expected to be next up on the remake list.
Screen Rant will have more details for you on the Every Which Way But Loose remake as they are made available.