Warner Bros. Jump-Starts ‘Cannonball Run’ Remake
A massive car-spolitation project with a massive all-star cast made up of suave macho-men and buxom babes, dumb but tons of fun, and massively profitable? The Cannonball Run and its sequel was truly the Fast and Furious franchise of 1981, maligned by critics but beloved to the masses for its combination of A-lister charisma and borderline-absurd car stunts. And now that the Fastly Furious pictures have become one of the most lucrative properties in all of Hollywood, it was only a matter of time until some studio brought Cannonball Run out of mothballs in an effort to seize a little of that success for themselves. Today, that has come to pass, with the likes of Warner Bros. capitalizing on nostalgia while attempting to create some new sentimentality as well.
Deadline ran an item this morning indicating that Warner Bros. has announced their intention to remake the action picture with Etan Cohen (director of last year’s Get Hard, and writer of Tropic Thunder and Idiocracy) set to write and direct. In what the studio describes not as a remake but a “relaunch” — why does it feel like executives are actively afraid of certain words? — Cohen will take on the story of an underground cross-country race where the only rule is don’t die. The original film collected Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Dom DeLuise, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Farrah Fawcett, Jackie Chan, Jamie Farr, and Peter Fonda in a cameo role, which means this new Cannonball Run will be required to cast at least nine beloved famous people if they want to get this up and running. Truly, the Fast and Furious parallels could not be more glaring.
The film has no shooting schedule at present, but it won’t be long until this project starts amassing stars for the cast like some kind of huge Hollywood-Katamari. But in the battle of nostalgia-driven revivals from the ‘80s, does it have what it takes to outdo the upcoming Baywatch remake? Only time shall tell.