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Just when you thought it was safe to get back on the highway, a long-dormant movie franchise just had its rights picked up by a major studio. If you prefer your comedy with only the loosest of plots, and packed to the gills with celebrity cameos, you may be about to get your wish. Warner Brothers just picked up the rights to the Cannonball Run franchise, and they’ve already got a writer and director on board.
Warner Brothers has tapped Etan Cohen, the writer of Men in Black 3 and Tropic Thunder to both write and direct the revival of the 1980’s comedy franchise. According to Deadline, the new movie with the title Cannonball is being called a "relaunch" rather than a reboot, which we suppose means it qualifies as a sequel to a series that hasn’t seen a new entry since 1989. Andre Morgan, a long-time producer, including all of the previous Cannonball films, will be putting the new version together as well.
For those of you who were too young to either see the original films in theaters, or watch them on perpetual repeat on basic cable in the mid 80’s, the Cannonball Run movies focused on an illegal coast to coast automobile race where numerous teams competed to be the first to reach California from the east coast. Each movie was crammed full of as many 80’s celebrities as they could get on board and each tried every dirty trick in the book to get a leg up on the competition. The first two starred Burt Reynolds and Dom Deluise, but included everybody from Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. to Jackie Chan. The third film, released in 1989, which had several different titles, including Cannonball Fever and Speed Zone, starred John Candy in the lead. Check out the most 80’s movie that ever existed.
The original Cannonball Run was a box office smash in 1981, though each sequel did significantly less than its predecessor. None of the three were loved by critics, viewed as little more than an excuse to get a bunch of celebrities together and make bad jokes. Having said that, with an entirely new generation of famous people to throw at this one, it will, at least, look very different from the previous installments.
Is there any potential here, or is this just going to end up as a Fast and Furious spoof? Who would you like to see leading the cast of Cannonball?