New Details on ‘Naked Gun’ Reboot: ‘100 Jokes A Page’

Published 1 year ago by , Updated January 11th, 2014 at 5:57 pm,

ed helms in cedar rapids New Details on Naked Gun Reboot: 100 Jokes A Page

A persistent nostalgia for all things ’80s is an ongoing trend of American pop culture (despite so many of the ’80’s acolytes having been born toward the end of the decade or beyond). Recent movies like Hot Tub Time Machine and Take Me Home Tonight have kept the decade’s neon spirit alive, for better or worse. The past few years have have seen a successful remake of one ’80’s franchise (21 Jump Street), with a non-racecar redo of the classic surfing/sky-diving/bank robbing action movie Point Break on the way.

Movie studios continue to mine the decade for dormant properties ripe for re-invention, and one of the more interesting projects in the pipeline is Paramount’s upcoming reboot of The Naked Gun trilogy, which starred the late, great Leslie Nielsen in his iconic role as Detective Frank Drebin. Reno 911! alumni Thomas Lennon and R. Ben Garant are writing the script, with The Office and The Hangover star Ed Helms taking over the starring role.

The screenwriters know they are up against the wild-eyed slapstick of Airplane! writer-directors David and Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams – The Naked Gun series arguably represents the Zuckers and Abrahams at the peak of their powers. The reboot’s co-writer, R. Ben Garant, opened up to Crave Online about he and Thomas Lennon’s approach to the material:

“We are trying to reinvent the world because that world was very ‘Dragnet,’ but we’re trying to fit in 100 jokes a page. It’s going to be a lot of fun. We’re very much embracing the style.”

leslie nielsen and george kennedy in the naked gun New Details on Naked Gun Reboot: 100 Jokes A Page

Garant said that even Ed Helms’ Frank Drebin will have a through-line to the original film. According to Garant:

“Our take is that Ed Helms is Frank Drebin, no relation. That’s how he introduces himself.”

This reference to a running gag of the original fits into the writers’ intention to have this story take place within the established universe of the first three films. Garant went on to say:

“Right now we’re calling it Episode IV – A New Hope. That will change, but that’s the working title.”

It seems like a given that the reboot will take the new Frank Drebin on his own unique adventure, but there’s always an off-chance the writers could include elements from the original film’s plot, which followed Drebin as he attempted to thwart a plot to assassinate the Queen of England.

When asked if this could be the case, Garant was understandably coy, stating:

“That’s too big of a spoiler, but it’s the world. It’s great. I’m a huge fan. Those movies are incredible. They’re so good.”

priscilla presley leslie nielsen naked gun New Details on Naked Gun Reboot: 100 Jokes A Page

As for whether or not Ed Helms will sport hair similar to Leslie Nielsen’s instantly recognizable gray-going-on-white mane:

“Oh, I don’t know. He’s already kind of going gray. We’re making it pretty clear that he’s not Leslie Nielsen. Those are just too big of shoes to fill but we’re going to try to do as good as those. Those movies are so funny. They’re so solid.”

Garant and Lennon are also the screenwriting team behind the Night at the Museum series, which is getting a third entry (and maybe a fourth). Garant won’t confirm this either way, saying: “Spoiler alert, we can’t really say but they made ‘Jurassic Park 4,’ they made ‘Terminator 4.’ We’ll see what happens.”

Fans of the original series might remain skeptical about the prospects for this new Naked Gun – the humor of Reno 911! is a nice fit for the Zuckers’ brand of comedy, but the saccharine corniness of Night at the Museum would be less than ideal.

It does sound like Garant and Lennon have a solid respect for the original films, and setting this project up as a reboot set within the original continuity rather than a complete remake goes a long way toward reassuring fans that this could be worth a look.

What do you think? Are you looking forward to returning to the world of Naked Gun?


Stay tuned for news on The Naked Gun reboot, including further casting updates and word on potential directors.

Source: Crave Online

Follow Anthony Vieira on Twitter @malaclyptic
TAGS: Naked gun
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  1. Still a resounding no.

  2. Why not…
    Ed Helms is a pretty good actor.
    I think they’re shooting for the style of naked gun…not a remake or a reboot is the strict sense.. but the style…and the name.
    If they can deliver a story and the gags…Ed Helms could carry it.
    I’d watch it.

    • Ed Helms can be funny, but he is not, by any stretch of the imagination, Leslie Nielsen, just as the actors who portrayed the Three Stooges in the 2012 movie, although perhaps competent imitators, were not, by any stretch of the imagination,the real Moe, Larry, and Curly.

      • So is any of the 007s the 007 actor that portrayed it before them? No one is anyone else or they would not be themselves.

        No one is even remotely suggesting that Ed is Leslie. They even state “We’re making it pretty clear that he’s not Leslie Nielsen.”

        So it can still be a yes.

  3. A paid writer committing the schoolboy error of adding the word “of” to the sentence “That’s too big a spoiler.” Says it all, really.

  4. ***sigh****

    Yet ANOTHER unnecessary remake by Hollywood.

  5. The Naked Gun movies were pretty good zany comedy. I am not personally familiar with Mr. Helms, but I will certainly give this one a fair shot!

  6. I loved watching Police Squad (All 6 episodes!) and the Naked Gun movies (Except for 33 1/3, that sucked). Hollywood’s energy would be better spent trying to make something new/original instead of attempting a reboot.

  7. 100 jokes per page, and I bet none of them are funny, they certainly wont get anywhere near as funny as the originals did.

  8. When “Fright Night” waas redone, I said I would be glad to give it a chance. The movie was fun, but not sacred ground. It ended up be better then the original, though not as successful.

    When rumors of an “Escape from New York” reboot surfaced (is that still happening?), pretty much the same thing. Not sacred ground, fertile for a remake. No sweat. I liked the first a lot, but nothing to worry about.

    “The Fog”? Ditto, although that doesn’t hold a candle to the first. “Red Dawn”? “Footloose”? “Friday the 13th”? Yeah, yeah. Whatever. No harm no foul. Those are names, but no one has THAT fond of memories of those movies to really cause an uproar.

    “A Nightmare on Elm Street”? Did they really think they would improve or replace that one?

    “Arthur”? That was a movie MADE for Dudley Moore and Sir John Gielgud, and they had ZERO chance of making anyone forget that movie. It still holds up today for slapstick humor.

    “The Naked Gun”?

    I am in awe. It could be hilarous, and never hold a candle to the orignal. I will not say they can’t do it, only there is zero, nada, no chance that they can do anything with it that won’t make it cannon fodder compared to what was onscreen originally.

    This IS comedy sacred ground.

    • Agreed. It would be like if they tried to remake Airplane!, Animal House, The Blues Brothers or Caddyshack. Those movies are so perfect that they are timeless. No need to remake them OR the Naked Gun flicks.

  9. The problem for me is, Leslie Nielson IS Frank Drebin. I grew up watching those. I don’t think these should be continued, or remade, or whatever… but as I say this, I bet I see them just out of curiosity.

  10. I agree with @Andy S 
    Yet another unnecessary remake.
    I’m not wasting money on remakes so give me hollywood originals & comic book movies.

  11. I was against this because Jerry and David Zucker wrote such good comedy, but Thomas Lennon and R. Ben Garrant have potential. I really liked parts of this year’s Hell Baby. I hope that the studio keeps them in check though…because they can go off the rails at times and this is a franchise that doesn’t need that gross-out type of comedy.

    Still unsure of Helms taking on such an iconic role, but I’m sure he’ll do fine.

    I hope they keep that Episode IV: A New Hope title.