It was announced last month that Paramount Pictures had signed Ed Helms to lead a reboot of the comedy franchise The Naked Gun. Today, CraveOnline caught up with co-screenwriter Ben Garant (who writes alongside creative partner Thomas Lennon) and learned that the project isn’t so much a remake as a sequel.
“Right now we’re calling it ‘Episode IV A New Hope,'” Garant says. “That will change, but that’s the working title… Our take is that Ed Helms is Frank Drebin, no relation. That’s how he introduces himself.”
Based on the earlier short-lived ABC TV series “Police Squad!”(which also starred Leslie Nielsen and was created by Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker), three films were released including The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988), The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear (1991) and The Naked Gun 33 /3: The Final Insult (1994).
Similar to what was done with John Singleton’s Shaft, J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek or even the surprisingly franchise continuity-faithful Herbie Fully Loaded (that Garant and Lennon also drafted), The Naked Gun will use the “no relation” joke to offer a rebooted protagonist without technically contradicting the events of any of the previous films. In fact, Garant suggests that his aim is to capture the style of the original films without repeating the specific storyline.
“We are trying to reinvent the world,” he says, “because that world was very ‘Dragnet,’ but we’re trying to fit in 100 jokes a page… It’s going to be a lot of fun. Were very much embracing the style.”
No release date is currently set for The Naked Gun, but check back for updates as soon as they become available.