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Is this where I say “Dynomite”? I should say it right away, right? You can’t do a Good Times story without dropping Jimmie Walker’s signature catchphrase, “Dynomite!” So, here you are: “Dynomite!”
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can report that Sony plans to bring the 1970s sitcom Good Times to the big screen, following a trend furthered by such screen-to-adaptations as 21 Jump Street, The Brady Bunch, Get Smart and on and on. The Hollywood Reporter says that Scott Rudin and Eli Bush will co-produce the big-screen version, and they’ve hired Phil Johnston (Wreck-It Ralph, Cedar Rapids) to write the screenplay.
The original Good Times ran on CBS from 1974-79, and followed an African-American family trying to make ends meet in Chicago. The sitcom initially was a spinoff from the hit sitcom Maude, which itself was a spinoff from All in the Family. The brilliant Esther Rolle and John Amos played Florida and James Evans, though the breakout star became Walker, who entertained audiences with his broad comedy as the couple’s oldest son, J.J.
The trade story doesn’t make it clear whether Sony wants to update Good Times to modern times, or if they’ll try to maintain the 1970s setting, which was a key aspect of the sitcom. It’s also unclear whether this will be a spoofy comedy, like Starsky and Hutch and Brady Bunch, or if they’re going to play the material straight. But this project has made it further along the chain than the studio’s planned I Dream of Jeannie or Fantasy Island, which have stalled in pre-production.