The Great Outdoors isn't necessarily a memorable comedy. Co-starring John Candy and Dan Aykroyd, the 1988 film was written by John Hughes -- yes, that John Hughes -- and directed by Howard Deutch (Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful), but it didn't stand out beyond being a mild theatrical diversion centered around the semi-decent chemistry of the leading men. They both had very different comedic styles, and the film played to that pairing. But because everything from our childhood is prime for a reboot, we're getting a new version of The Great Outdoors, this one tailored around Kevin Hart.
Universal will be backing this new comedy from Kevin Hart, handing the screenwriting duties to Randall Green (the live-action Scooby-Doo, the Showtime series Billions), according to Deadline. In the original movie, John Candy played a Chicago man who plans a vacation in then woods with his family, only to have the getaway disrupted repeatedly by his boorish, obnoxious in-laws, played by Dan Aykroyd and Annette Bening. It's a standard odd-couple comedy, with the mild-mannered Candy playing disgruntled straight man to Aykroyd's exaggerated lout. Check out the trailer. It sells the type of comedy that this was, back in 1988.
Truthfully, the only scene I really remember from this is "big bear chase... big bear chase... big bear chase me!" That happened when John Candy was chased by the legendary bear that roamed in the woods.
Kevin Hart and Universal have a long history that has been extremely profitable and generally creative. Projects between the two have included the two Ride Along movies, The Five-Year Engagement, and the animated The Secret Life of Pets. This could be a slam dunk for Kevin Hart, but the key, obviously, is going to be pairing him up with the right polar opposite. Could Universal sweeten the deal and just bring Ride Along cohort Ice Cube to torment Hart on his outdoor vacation? Wouldn't this be interesting if Hart took the bullish Dan Aykroyd role, and made someone else's life a living hell?
We'll keep you posted on the development of Kevin Hart's The Great Outdoors over at Universal Studios. For now, what do you think of the project?