Under The Gun is continuing our efforts to bring you more original and engaging content with REASONABLE REMAKES. Written by film-nerd Justin Proper, this column aims to highlight Hollywood’s forgotten gems and spark debate.

You see, we’ve grown tired of Hollywood rehashing ideas we’re old enough to remember. Why remake something the majority of the planet still remembers and loves deeply when there are tons of films that deserve a chance to be as great as modern technology and skill can make them? If you agree, this column is for you.

There are a few classic icons of the 70’s that came out in 1977. Obviously the most important was Star Wars, but you’ve already read the title of this article so you know I don’t want to remake that (although George Lucas is doing enough remake damage every time he releases a new edition of the movies). No, today we’re covering 2 other icons of that year: Burt Reynolds mustache and the Pontiac Firebird. Yeah, I think we should remake Smokey And The Bandit, and after a few paragraphs you’ll think so too.

I’m not going to summarize the plot for you, this movie is a classic. If you haven’t seen it then you really need to, for the sake of all humanity. That may seem like a pretty extreme statement, but really, who hasn’t seen Smokey And The Bandit? The real issue here is why should it be remade? it’s already successful and beloved, so why should we bring it in to the modern era? I watched this movie again last night and let me tell you, it needs some work. It was great for 1977, but it doesn’t really hold up now. All the characters are great, and the plot is good (just a little slow at times) but the film techniques do not hold up to the test of time. The sped up film is really cheesy (I’m sure at the time is wasn’t that big of a deal, but it really bothers me) and the quality of picture leaves a lot to be desired. I wouldn’t really mess with the plot too much, but using new film techniques and modern technology we could have a really fun car chase movie the south could rally behind once again.

Casting was pretty easy for me on this one. I think Burt Reynolds should come back as Big Enos. This is a small part and would be a hilarious cameo and nod to the original. Plus, you can’t have a Bandit movie without that glorious mustache (I’m pretty sure that thing has its own membership to SAG). Sheriff Justice should be played by Rob Corddry. He’s got the perfect look, the perfect attitude, and he’s always a laugh riot in the movies he’s in. Corddry always manages to steal the spotlight from the main character (Hot Tub Time Machine, Cedar Rapids), and his likable douchebagery make him a great fit for the sheriff. His son, Junior Justice, would be a great fit for Rob Lowe. I’m basing this entire decision on his performance in Parks and Recreation (which is one of the best shows on right now). He could play the dimwit son sidekick pretty well. Frog, aka the girl, could be played by Anna Faris. I love her to death and I think she has amazing versatility. Sure, she usually plays a ditzy, dumb blonde, but I think she has the potential to really shine in a more serious (but still kind of silly) role. This brings us to Snowman. I think there’s one clear choice to play the truck driving sidekick with the bloodhound and that man is Bruce Campbell. He’s amazing in support roles that require comic relief and smart quips (Burn Notice proves that time and time again). Plus I think he’d have a great rapport with my pick for The Bandit, Joel McHale. McHale shines really bright on Community and I think it’s about time someone puts him in a movie. His charisma and cockiness make him a perfect fit for the cop-blocking Bandit. Just picture McHale and Campbell talking back in forth on the CB radio while Corddry is chasing them down the highway. Yeah, that would be a great movie.

Choosing the right director was tough. I didn’t want to go the obvious route and pick a car movie guy. No, this needs a new, fresh touch. I think the right choice is Timur Bekmambetov. I didn’t just have a stroke and hit random keys, that’s the guy that directed Wanted. Sure, he hasn’t really done much else, but Wanted was action packed with some comedic moments and the car chases were pretty well done. Clearly he can do action, and I’m willing to bet that with the right producers and writers he could make the Smokey And The Bandit remake fresh and original while maintaining the southern charm the 1977 version is known for.

Another thing that needs to be thought out well is the new Bandit car. The Pontiac Firebird became an icon, and sales of the vehicle skyrocketed after the film was released. The only real choice for the car in the remake would be a Pontiac Firebird. I don’t mean a 1977 one either. Let’s get Pontiac to make a new one, just like Chevy and Ford keep making retro inspired new Corvettes and Mustangs. I’m not really an expert, but I bet the new Firebird would sell quite well after the remake, just like the original.

That’s it for this week. Next week is the first article in October and it will kick off my horror month. Get ready for some great articles about horror movies you’ve probably never heard of. As always, sound off in the comment section and follow me on twitter. See you next Wednesday folks!

Written by: Justin Proper

James Shotwell
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3 Responses to “REASONABLE REMAKES: Smokey And The Bandit”

  1. NickDean says:

    My guess is that Rob Corddry is younger than rob lowe. I dont know for sure though. Maybe his son could be played by that guy from 30 rock. The guy with the southern accent. 

  2. The Roman says:

    I approve, but I bet it would pull a “Starsky and Hutch” and bomb

  3. Ferrari465 says:

    Yeah Kenny. He would be prefect.