5 Steve Guttenberg Movies That Deserve the Cobra Kai Treatment
There are only two truths in life: Cobra Kai is the greatest TV show ever created and Steve Guttenberg is a friggin’ national treasure. That got us at ComingSoon.net thinking: what happens if you combine the two greatest things on Earth into one giant greatest-er thing?
Cobrai Kai brilliantly took a dormant 80’s relic (the Karate Kid franchise) as well as its stars (Ralph Macchio & William Zabka) and breathed glorious new life into it by approaching it with as much irony as reverence. Surely an 80’s superstar like The Gutte deserves a similar revival? As such, here are five Steve Guttenberg films that deserve the Cobra Kai treatment as it is heretofore known, copyright pending. Netflix, YouTube Red, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Peacock, Apple TV, Paramount Network, HBO Max or Hustler TV — make it so!
Proposed Title: “Suncoast Manor Retirement Community”
What’s Up: Cocoon is a got-darned classic packed with enough wonderful performances, humor and heart to melt [insert something really cold here]. It also features perhaps Steve Guttenberg’s finest performance as Jack Bonner, the hapless charter boat captain we lost saw canoodling with Courteney Cox moments after bidding adieu to the glowing love of his life, Kitty (Tahnee Welch).
The Pitch: Suncoast Manor Retirement Community sees Jack, now divorced from Courteney Cox, back to his old ways as a failed charter captain trying to pick up the pieces of his pathetic, miserable life. Meanwhile, David (Barret Oliver) has grown up and now works at Suncoast where he looks after his dying mother (Linda Harrison). Low and behold, more aliens arrive to deposit/collect more cocoons, including Kitty who will finally convince Jack to go with her to Antarean. Elsewhere, an evil government organization led by Matthew Modine has figured out a way to open a portal to Antarean and accidentally sets a monster free — nope. That’s Stranger Things. Shit.
The biggest issue with this planned TV show is that most of the cast from the original films are dead, which makes cameos — a Cobra Kai staple — impossible sans some sort of gimmicky CGI trickery. But, if memory serves, most of the old folks told the Antareans to f**k off at the end of Cocoon: The Return, which means they would’ve died anyway. At the very least the show could continually pan over to their photos while the surviving characters awkwardly discuss their offscreen deaths. Or, we can just disguise them in different human suits. I mean, it’s not like Walter really looked like Brian Dennehy, right?
What if Jack finally does go with the Antareans and discovers that they’re actually a race of aliens that hop from planet to planet ensnaring old people to use as factory workers on their planet in order to make — wait for it — cheap umbrella hats? That would be something.
Police Academy (1984)
Proposed Title: “Police Academy,” obviously
What’s Up: Does anyone remember Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol? Neither do we, even though it carries the much coveted 0% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s really hard to do — ask Michael Bay. We only bring it up because it was Guttenberg’s last foray into the long-running comedy series.
At any rate, none of the Police Academy films had anything to do with one another aside from some recurring characters, which is why a Police Academy series can more or less function as a soft reboot of the franchise with a handful of cameos (and the Guttenberg) serving as the bridge.
The Pitch: Mahoney is now a Lieutenant tasked with (what else?) helping a rag tag batch of new recruits become police officers. One of the new recruits is Mahoney’s son, who engages in the same shenanigans as his pop, predictably causing some family friction — especially after he recreates the famed prostitute podium gag with his dad. Callbacks rock. Anyways, the big plot twist is that Mahoney is being cajoled by outside forces, including one Thaddeus Harris (G.W. Bailey), to make sure the new Police Academy program fails … and Mahoney, in dire need of money, must determine whether to help his fellow police officers or himself.
Any number of cameos could occur, including Michael Winslow and Bobcat Goldthwait with a very special appearance by Kim Cattrall, whose character returns to the police force after being run out of Hollywood by a rival actress.
It’d be real cool if, at some point during a gang pursuit, Mahoney gets pinned by some baddies and blown to shreds in a violent scene that traumatizes viewers for the remainder of their lives, and re-emerges as RoboCop, complete with Winslow sound FX.
Short Circuit (1986)
Proposed Title: “Johnny 5”
Short Circuit was a fairly big deal at the box office when it released in the summer of 1986 but quickly vanished from the public psyche. Yeah, yeah, according to our Wikipedia research, Spyglass Media Group plans to remake the film for the modern age, but they should hear us out first because Johnny 5 would play better on the small screen in a Cobra Kai-style format than it would as a big budget wannabe blockbuster that will likely end up in the $5.99 bin at Wal Mart.
The Pitch: Johnny 5 lives with Guttenberg’s Crosby somewhere off the grid but is summoned for a top-secret military program headed by Gincarlo Esposito. As it turns out, the government wants to create more Johnny 5’s in order to build an army capable of protecting the nation. Except, plot twist, Gincarlo is a bad guy — gasp! And he plans to use the new army for his own nefarious political means.
Into the drama drops a kid claiming to be the daughter of Stephanie Speck, who has sought out Crosby in order to tell him of her mother’s passing. Plus, she holds a few secrets of her own, including a big one about Johnny 5 that we
have yet to figure out won’t reveal until Season 4. Stephanie’s kid also has friends and an absurd taste for decades-old fashion which gives us the perfect opportunity to riff on all those wacky 80s tropes that inexplicably continue to pop up in big budget Hollywood films.
And hey, G.W. Bailey could make another appearance as a revenge-seeking Skroeder who, it turns out, murdered Stephanie in cold blood using his one good arm … an event that forces Crosby to go on the run to clear his name after Skroeder pins the murder on him. At some point, Skroeder even gets his hands on Johnny 5 and transforms him into an unstoppable killer machine in order to hunt Crosby and Stephanie’s daughter.
Crosby: “Listen, an understand [Stephanie’s daughter]. Johnny 5 is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.”
Three Men and a Baby (1987)
Proposed Title: “Three Girls and an Old Man”
This one is trickier since Guttenberg’s character was really the B to Tom Selleck’s A and Ted Danson’s C. The only way a series works is if you bring the whole gang back or do a spinoff focusing on Michael as he moves away from his pals and tries to rekindle his fledging art (satirist?) career in his later life.
The Pitch: Yeah, we’re sticking with the latter. Michael moves away from his comfortable (though bizarre) situation with Selleck, Danson, Sylvia and Mary to start a new career in California. Once settled, he somehow finds himself stuck in a situation with three young women who may or may not be his daughters.
The mystery drives the show, see? At one point, we could even do a bit where the entire cast sings Abba songs as they try to solve the father dilemma. Or, it could be a sitcom (complete with laugh track) where each episode features a dilemma that results in one of the daughters running away angrily, followed by a tender moment in which everything is resolved in a way-too-simplistic-but-somehow-still-satisfying manner. Hell, Selleck and Danson can visit occasionally and serve as quasi-uncles — oh my God, is this just Full House?
The Big Green (1995)
Proposed Title: “Elma”
The Big Green is one of those weird Disney 90s flicks that works despite being a generally terrible film. It also marked the end of the Guttenberg high era of Cocoon and Three Men and a Baby and ushered in the actor’s current direct-to-video phase. As such, it only makes sense that Guttenberg would make his long-heralded return in a reboot of one of his last minor hits.
The Pitch: Elma is no longer the deadbeat town comprised of exactly one out-of-work drunk, a deputy sherrif and a handful of children. In fact, it’s bigger and better than ever before. Former Sheriff Tom Palmer (Guttenberg), now the resident deadbeat drunk and far removed from Miss Anna Montgomery, longs for the glory days of the Big Green soccer team and enlists the aid of students around town to rekindle the magic. The twist is that instead of being ragtag goofballs, these kids are spoiled rotten and must learn the ways of the field in order to channel their inner Beckhams and combat the rival Knights, who are still led by Coach Jay Huffer (Jay O. Sanders).
Yeah, it’s pretty much Cobra Kai, except with soccer standing in as the obsession of choice for the characters; and Tom acting as the lone Johnny figure. Still, how great would it be to see Guttenberg get the band back together? We’d reckon a Big Green show would be worth it just to bring back 90s icon Patrick Renna.
The best part is: this show could continue forever! A new group of kids could show up each season and learn the art of soccer during bad ass montages set to obscure 90s tunes. There could even be a season focusing on a young up-and-coming goalie who has to take over for the star goalie after he dies diving for a ball. The new goalie ends up stealing the spotlight and becomes something of a local celebrity and even ends up dating Tom’s daughter, who is played by the same girl who will play [Stephanie’s daughter]! Later, Tom gets fired from his position as head coach by a ruthless G.W. Bailey and takes a job at a poorer high school across the tracks where he meets wunderkind Michael B. Jordan, whose personal struggles subside once he learns to view the game of soccer with clear eyes and a full heart.
At some point, every single one of these TV shows will connect after it’s revealed that all of Guttenberg’s characters are related! Or maybe they’re clones, ala Multiplicity … we haven’t figured out all the details. Suffice to say, we can have special cameo appearances from the Olsen twins, Zeus and Roxanne and Daryl Hannah!
Look, we’re not saying that this will happen, but if the world were indeed just … it will happen.