Ed Helms is Detective Frank Drebin in Remake of 'The Naked Gun'
After Leslie Nielsen passed away in November of 2010, we thought we'd seen the last of Detective Frank Drebin. But if the last ten years have proven anything, it's that Hollywood loves bringing things back from the dead. No, Paramount Pictures isn't digging up Nielsen's body for a strange experiment, but they are developing a remake of the spoof franchise The Naked Gun, which featured Nielsen playing the skilled but bumbling detective. Variety reports The Hangover franchise and We're the Millers star Ed Helms will play Drebin in a new film written by "Reno 911!" creators Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant. Read on!
It seems appropriate that Lennon and Garant are writing this remake considering their work on the aforementioned Comedy Central series was basically a spoof of "Cops" with plenty of inspiration drawn from The Naked Gun. The film series was based on an ABC spoof series called "Police Squad!" that only lasted six episodes, but the three films from Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker (the team who brought us Airplane!) became comedy hits. Man, all these guys love titles with exclamation points. Lennon and Garant also just sold a comedy called Guinea Pigging for Mitch Hurwitz to direct, so they're on a roll.
Helms seems like a solid choice to bring Frank Drebin to life again (though we would have gone with Stephen Colbert if his TV schedule allowed). If anything, we're anxious to see what the comedic approach to The Naked Gun will be. Sadly, the cheap, stupid parodies from Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer like Meet the Spartans, Vampires Suck, Disaster Movie and this year's The Starving Games have ruined the spoof genre. But at the same time, we also wonder if the comedy audience has outgrown them. Maybe Lennon and Garant can infuse some new, clever life into the subgenre, or maybe this will be completely different.