“Get Smart” is one of the iconic shows of the 1960s. Sure, I was not even close to being born when it originally ran, but I can remember sitting at home as a kid watching Don Adams as Maxwell Smart talking on his shoe phone in re-runs, his internal battles with The Chief, and his love for Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon). And, of course, who can forget the equally iconic cartoon spin-off Inspector Gadget of the 1980s, voiced by Don Adams but that’s a different subject for a different day.
Well, now Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow Pictures is taking Get Smart to the modern era in the new feature film starring Steve Carell as Agent 86 himself, Maxwell Smart. It’s directed by Peter Segal, and written by Tom Astle and Matt Ember; James Lew served as stunt coordinator. ComingSoon.net was on the Los Angeles set of Get Smart last year and had the chance to check out some of the fun, as well as chat with the cast and crew.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Terry Crews, Alan Arkin, Terrence Stamp, David Koechner, and Anne Hathaway as Agent 99 give the flick a boost of star power. With the update of the show comes a few new characters; The Rock plays Agent 23, “Heroes” star Masi Oka and Nate Torrence play jokesters Bruce and Lloyd which coincidentally, those two are already the subject of a direct-to-DVD spin-off called “Get Bruce and Lloyd,” with some of the feature cast having cameos.
This version of Get Smart is an origin story it tells of how Max went from being a very good analyst to becoming that agent everyone grew up knowing. But how did Max get to the 86 status? CHAOS destroyed most of CONTROL’s main headquarters taking out a lot of the field agents lucky enough for Max, he was quickly promoted.
As with most set visits, there’s a lot of sitting and waiting around — Get Smart was no exception — however, there was definitely a lot to check out. The Rock, Steve, Peter and James Lew rehearsed the stunts for the best way to shoot the scene. At one point, we passed by David talking to a few of the extras, all in their gear. Walking through the maze that is the CONTROL obstacle course, the AD (assistant director) lets us know “It’s going to get loud, get ready.” Hence, we’re given ear plugs for when the scene started.
We were able to check out one full sequence, shot in two different sections, and from a couple different angles. Each time, Steve’s adlibs and expressions cracked us up and the writers.
But one thing was made perfectly clear about Steve’s performance. He didn’t want to play Maxwell Smart as a bumbling detective (as he somewhat was in the TV series). Both writers, as well as Steve, clarified that the character of Max was very smart; he may have just gotten into a few minor accidents along the way.
There’s definitely more to come from the set of Get Smart, including our sit down interviews with Steve Carell, The Rock, Terry Crews and David Koechner.
Get Smart is scheduled for release on June 20, 2008.