Wow! I didn’t expect this one, and I have to wonder if ESPN’s use of the “Welcome Back, Kotter” theme for the ACC Tournament spurred the decision to get this one into the news. I highly doubt it of course. As a matter of fact, I highly doubt many of you even noticed the song use during the ACC Tournament, but for those of you that did I hope you were rooting for the Heels! If not and you are a Dukey, well, you’re dead to me, but man can Redick shoot!
Anyway, back to the topic at hand here. Variety is reporting that Dimension Films has completed a deal to turn the ABC series “Welcome Back, Kotter” into a feature film, with Ice Cube producing and playing the title character.
Now, I want you to look at the picture above of Ice Cube. There is no denying this man is a bad-ass m’f’er. I have enjoyed just about everything Cube as done. I even enjoyed xXx 2 to a certain extent, but I have to wonder what is going on with this latest move. Did Cube not see what happened with Cedric the Entertainer and his turn as Ralph Cramden in Paramount Pictures’ The Honeymooners? That movie made a whopping $12.8 million! Disaster is not even an appropriate word to describe it.
So why, oh why, would Cube do this? You want even more bad news? Tom Brady, no not the New England Patriots MVP quarterback, the guy that wrote and directed Rob Schneider in The Hot Chick, a film that somehow made $35 million at the box-office, while receiving a 21% approval rating over at RottenTomatoes.com, is writing and directing this one as well.
Once again… I ask… “WHAT IS CUBE THINKING?” Well, Variety says that “Cube, a product of the inner city, sparked to a project that allowed him a return to the ‘hood.” Beyond that Cube is even quoted in the article saying, “There was no bigger fan of the original show than me, and I’m very excited to be able to put a new twist on it.”
“Welcome Back, Kotter” ran from 1975-79 and Cube will be playing the role made popular by Gabe Kaplan (pictured to the right), a teacher who returns to his tough, inner-city alma mater, where he meets a new generation of underprivileged troublemakers who are as unmotivated as he used to be.
I will admit that Cube’s interest and the fact that the Weinstein’s and Dimension Films are behind the project makes me think this film may have a chance, but why even call it a “Welcome Back, Kotter” adaptation? Are just the names of the characters going to be the same? Will there actually be a Vinnie Barbarino character, the role that launched the career of John Travolta?
It all just sounds absolutely ridiculous and until I see something good I will continue to remain skeptical.