Paul W.S. Anderson, director of Monster Hunter, was the man who helmed the original Mortal Kombat film and brought the Resident Evil franchise to life on film. Both of those, of course, are in the process of being rebooted now with big-name stars. What, then, would he be interested in rebooting? Well, according to the filmmaker, his love for Burt Reynolds gives him two diametrically opposed ideas...but his personal skillset -- action and comedy -- makes the choice pretty obvious: The wildly successful action comedy Smokey and the Bandit, which Reynolds headlined with The Amazing Spider-Man's Sally Field in 1977.
The movie earned $300 million back then, making it the second highest grossing movie of the year behind only Star Wars. That movie, of course, has had some sequels.
"I love Burt Reynolds, what can I say?" Anderson told ComicBook. "I'm a fan and there's two movies of his I'm obsessed with. They're very different, but I love both of them. One is Deliverance -- like, a classic, great movie. I don't know if I'd like to remake it because it's such a classic. The other is on the other end of the spectrum: Smokey and the Bandit. Obviously, all of my movies have had action in them, but I think increasingly, especially with Monster Hunter, there's a new level of humor in there. There was a lot of humor in Mortal Kombat as well, but I'd like to wrap my arms around an actual comedy, and there's no better action comedy than Smokey."
Smokey and the Bandit, actually, did have sequels at one point -- Smokey and the Bandit II with Reynolds, but a third movie that he didn't do and a number of TV movie spinoffs he was also uninvolved in. Maybe unfortunately for Anderson's notion of a remake, though, back in October it was reported that there's a Smokey and the Bandit TV series in development now.
Gordon Green is writing the script for the new series along with Sides, both of whom are from the south and see Smokey and the Bandit as an iconic film franchise. MacFarlane will develop through his Fuzzy Door production banner. In addition to penning the script, Gordon Green will also direct the pilot and executive produce alongside Danny McBride, Jody Hill, Brandon James, Erica Huggins, and MacFarlane. Sides will co-executive produce.
“Growing up in the south, Smokey and the Bandit was an iconic franchise for me. The legacy of these characters is a playground of swagger and sass that I’m excited to dig into,” said Green.
“When UCP mentioned Smokey and the Bandit we were immediately drawn to it. We knew we had to remain faithful to its original setting in the South, and find an authentic voice. David’s immediate interest and his unique perspective and love for the original made it possible. Smokey and the Bandit was a very cool and irreverent film at the time and we hope to achieve that same feeling in the show,” said Huggins.