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David Zucker has made a great career out of spoofing some truly awful films. The writer-director-producer traces his roots back to the mother of all spoof comedies, the relentlessly brilliant Airplane!. Lately, however, he has polished his ribald jabs on the latest Scary Movie sequel… part five hits theaters on April 12.
But Zucker dreams of a day, sometime soon, when he can drift back to the style of comedy he perfected in the Naked Gun films, with the dry-as-dust talents of the late Leslie Nielsen gliding through a series of inane yet not disconnected set pieces. Speaking with Hollywood.com, Zucker calls the Naked Gun style of comedy “a sane way of doing a movie,” and revealed that his next picture likely would be a spoof on popcorn blockbusters that would follow along to the tone and pattern of a Naked Gun comedy.
At the same time, Zucker made it clear that it’s time for Hollywood to think about possibly rebooting the Naked Gun franchise for a younger audience.
“You could do another Naked Gun, with a reboot. Like Star Trek," Zucker says. "There are people who can [play it straight, like Nielsen], and they're not famous. You wouldn't know who they were. But I know actors who can do it. Again, I think Paramount has an international brand in Naked Gun and I think there's something you can do. … There's room for a Naked Gun style. A bumbling guy in a position where he's respected. Leslie Nielsen played Lieutenant Frank Drebin and nobody seemed to have a clue that he's an idiot. I want to do the character, but not the specific [job]. Not Naked Gun."
This calls to mind Steve Martin trying to resurrect Peter Sellers’ brilliant Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther. It sounds like a good idea on paper … but it’s not. Nielsen is Naked Gun, and while I understand what Zucker is saying, he should just create his own character under a totally different brand and try to strike the same spot twice with comedic lightning. Because resurrecting Naked Gun without Nielsen is a fool’s errand. Do you agree? Or would you like to see more Naked Gun movies in theaters once Zucker puts the wrap on Scary Movie 5, which he wrote?