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The Police Academy reboot has been in the works for a number of years now – with Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele coming aboard as producers back in 2014 – but the project is still very much alive and kicking. Alex Rubens, who worked with the comedy duo on Keanu as well as the Key & Peele sketch series, and they have a very clear vision of what they want the movie the movie to be. In fact, they revealed to us earlier today that two titles being looked at for inspiration are David Ayer's dark cop thriller End of Watch and the classic Robert Altman dramedy M*A*S*H* (I was surprised to hear it myself).
I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down two-on-one with Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele earlier today at the press day for Keanu, and it was as we were wrapping up our conversation that they provided a quick update on the progress of Police Academy. I prompted them by asking about where it stood in development and if it would be a more modern take, and Key explained that they like the idea of making it a very real cop story that also happens to be incredibly funny. Said the actor/writer/producer,
It’s mostly about having a sense of, when Jordan was pitching the idea, it should feel a little bit like End of Watch - and this is going to feel like a strange reference, but it should also feel a little bit like M*A*S*H*. Do you know what I mean? M*A*S*H* is hysterical, but still [real about the Korean War]. We’re moving in that direction.
Keegan-Michael Key described this funny take on a grounded, real approach as "the Key and Peele way," and noted that it will give them access to talk about what’s going on in the landscape today. Of course, they aren’t forgetting the influence of the original Police Academy titles, and are playing with the idea of bringing back one of the most commonly used plot devices in the franchise:
Another thing is thinking about all the weapons that have come, all the technology is different now. [Police Academy producer] Paul Maslansky, he always tried to put the biggest technology from the ‘80s in the set pieces. So that’s a tradition we might follow.
It’s unclear if Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key will also be starring in the Police Academy reboot in addition to producing and influencing it, but an End of Watch/M*A*S*H* take certainly sounds different and interesting (which is really all that you need to provide reason for a remake). Hopefully we’ll hear more about this project in the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, get ready for Keanu, which arrives in theaters this Friday, April 29th.