Gordon Green, McBride & MacFarlane team for Smokey and the Bandit series
While already busy at work developing Clive Barker’s Hellraiser for the small screen, David Gordon Green has found another iconic film franchise to bring to television in the form of the road action comedy Smokey and the Bandit, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Green is partnering with frequent collaborator Brian Sides (Alaska: The Last Frontier) to co-write the modern take on the 1977 Southern-set classic and are set to executive produce alongside fellow frequent collaborator Danny McBride, Jody Hill and Brandon James (The Righteous Gemstones, Vice Principals) via their Rough House Pictures banner and Seth MacFarlane and Erica Huggins for Fuzzy Door Productions (The Orville, Books of Blood).
“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,” Green, who was born in Little Rock, Ak., and raised in Texas, said in a statement.
In addition to penning the script, Green is set to step behind the camera and direct the potential pilot, which currently has no network attached to the series and is being produced by Universal Content Productions, who are also currently working with MacFarlane and Fuzzy Door for The Winds of War, Skywatch and an untitled Little Rock Nine project under their nine-figure overall deal inked in January.
“When UCP mentioned Smokey and the Banditwe were immediately drawn to it,” Huggins, President of Fuzzy Door, said in a statement. “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.”
Released in 1977, the Burt Reynolds and Sally Field-starring film became a major hit for the studio, grossing over $300 million on its $4.3 million budget, becoming the second-largest domestic grossing film of the year behind Star Wars and spawned a franchise that included two feature-length sequels and made-for-TV spinoff films.