Stephen King once said “Sooner or later, everything old is new again,” and I’ll be damned if the Master of Horror didn’t hit the nail on the head with regard to today’s news. It’s been reported that a television remake of the 1977 Burt Reynolds classic SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT is being developed by Halloween‘s David Gordon Green and Brian Sides. The duo is teaming with Seth MacFarlane‘s Fuzzy Door for the project.
Directed by stuntman Hal Needham, Smokey and the Bandit revolves around Reynolds’ Bo ‘Bandit’ Darville and Jerry Reed’s Cledus ‘Snowman’ Snow, two bootleggers fixin’ to illegally transport 400 cases of beer from Texarkana to Atlanta as they are pursued by Jackie Gleason’s county sheriff Buford T. Justice. The film was such a success that it paved the way for two sequels, Smokey and the Bandit II (1980) and Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983). Neither sequel reached the success of the first, but the series has remained a memorable cult favorite for the last four decades.
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According to reports, the series will focus on a southern epic adventure of family, legend, and legacy, small-town crime, a novel quest, and unlikely heroes and is inspired by the genre of 70s and 80s drive-in dixie classics, exploring the crossroads where humble realities meet larger-than-life in a blast of tailpipe exhaust.
“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.
Green, who handily revived John Carpenter‘s Halloween franchise with 2018’s HALLOWEEN, will pen the script with Sides. Additionally, Gordon Green will also direct the pilot, which he’ll executive produce alongside his Halloween partner Danny McBride, Jody Hill and Brandon James through Rough House Pictures with Seth MacFarlane and Erica Huggins courtesy of Fuzzy Door.
“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 about the challenge of finding the right team to remake the classic property.