Ed Helms is Detective Frank Drebin in Remake of 'The Naked Gun'

December 13, 2013
Source: Variety

The Naked Gun / Ed Helms

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.

Find more posts: Casting, Development, Movie News



The Naked Gun is one of my all-time favorite movies. It holds up perfectly still today. Why remake it? Also, we don't need a comedian for this role. We need someone who can play it straight, and is a bit older. I nominate Patrick Stewart.

Scott Tremper on Dec 13, 2013


I am in the exact same boat as you! It still today is one of my favorites! And not just the first all three of them! It does seem more appropriate to go for an older actor as opposed to a young comedian or even for a comedian in general that's not what they should be going for in my mind. Patrick would be an excellent choice! However I feel this series should be untouched. Either way we'll always have the originals to fall back on! Long live Leslie Nielsen!

Nathan Williams on Dec 13, 2013


This is random since it's been a few days, but I just saw a mock-up of The Naked Gun cover with Channing Tatum's face on Leslie's. Channing could actually be a good choice. He can play ignorant so well.

Scott Tremper on Dec 16, 2013


I think Patrick Warburton should be cast as Frank Drebin. I like Helms but he comes off a bit too hammy at times.

objectivelyspeakin on Dec 13, 2013


and this is being remade for the twilight generation , the neutered bubble wrapped helmet protected youths of today. This will suck flat out . you could never replace neilson.

Christopher Philip Cinquegrano on Dec 13, 2013



Sean Kelly on Dec 13, 2013



Such heroic nonsense on Dec 13, 2013


Leave it alone, for fuck sakes.

Nielsen700 on Dec 13, 2013


You can't just "do" Frank Drebin....only Leslie Nielsen IS Frank Drebin, just like Peter Sellers is Inspector Cluseau and Harrison Ford is Indiana Jones

TheOct8pus on Dec 13, 2013


no, no, no.

Michael McRorey on Dec 13, 2013


The only way I would watch this is if somehow they let OJ out for another cameo. That isn't happening, so this doesn't have a snowball's chance. I can appreciate old comics turning into movies, but the most recent installment isn't even 20 years old!! Here's to hoping it goes straight to the VHS section at walmart.

evilahole2 on Dec 13, 2013


VHS section in Wal-Mart, hahahaha!

conradthegreat on Dec 13, 2013


I gotta nominate Will Arnett as the man for this job.. watch his work in Arrested Development to see the magic.

atlanta_guy_1 on Dec 13, 2013


Wow, Hollywood has no shame. Boooooo.

Gill on Dec 13, 2013


don't do it!!

Frank Drebben on Dec 13, 2013


Colbert, holy shit.

OfficialJab on Dec 13, 2013


Think I'll just ignore this and watch the brilliance of Leslie Nielsen and the rest of the cast and crew of those movies. No need for this.

grimjob on Dec 13, 2013


This is a big WTH moment for me. There is absolutely no need to remake this at all. The original movie is still perfect. Jesus call it something else, I won't watch this for a number of reasons, the main one being it shows no respect to Neilson. He is Frank Drebin. Period. So annoyed....

Mark on Dec 14, 2013


Problem is that Helms is a comedic actor. This is a role that needs to be done straight. Leslie Neilson was great in these roles because he was a straight serious actor before them. He knew how to do this. It's not just a comedic actor playing straight. It's someone that actually can play straight. Helms is just always a bit too silly and whimsical. I see him playing more a clue less idiot like Maxwell Smart. Frank Drebin is serious, I have never seen Helms do anything like this. It's why Charlie Sheen worked well in the Hot Shots film. He played them seriously, because he was an actor who had done a lot of serious and dramatic roles. Hell he'd actually be a great choice for the Frank Drebin role. You need someone a little older, who plays things so seriously and throws everything in. Maybe it's from the Hot Shots films where he essentially was the same character as Frank Drebin, but younger and tougher. He is actually the only person that comes to mind as being able to do the role. I really think though when it comes down to it, the need to be casting looking at dramatic actors, or actors with that range, some gravitas and strong serious presence on screen. Instead of going for a funny man. That displays a fundamental misunderstanding of the central core of the comedy from the films.

ScreamFace on Dec 14, 2013


No matter how ridiculous a remake so soon seems, the studios know that they only need to make 50 million or so at the box office to make a profit. After 3 weeks playing, it's made money. I don't care how many times I hear people say " no, don't remake this or that", those SAME people will line up at the theater to see it. That's why we have so much garbage being released. Forget what people say, you could film a blank wall for 2 hours and you'll get a certain number of people to willing pay money to see it because a trailer has made it look cool.

Chuckee Knowlton on Dec 15, 2013


Ha ha... could not agree more! People who are the most vocal about remakes are the ones who will be amongst the first in line to see it, regardless what is their reason. Maybe they don't agree with it but will still want to know, if it holds up to the original, or whatever.

Armitall on Dec 15, 2013


Or made it look "artsy"

Jimmy Love on Dec 15, 2013

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