David Zucker Says ‘The Naked Gun’ Remake ‘Won’t Be Like’ the Original
They’re making a new version of The Naked Gun, because they’re making a new version of every old movie. And they’re making this one with Ed Helms, because Ed Helms starred in some of the biggest comedies of all time, including The Hangover (and he’s already remaking, or at least updating, National Lampoon’s Vacation). But according to David Zucker, the director of the original Naked Gun, the new film “won’t be like” the old one, because ... honestly, I have no earthly idea.
Here’s his full quote, from Yahoo! News:
It won’t be like the Naked Gun that I did. It may be good, but it won’t be that kind of movie. They’re going to use the title. They asked me if I wanted to produce. They’re nice people, but they don’t want to do that style of spoof that I do. I would want somebody who had never been in an comedy. Ed Helms is very well known for three of the biggest comedies ever. I understand why Paramount is doing what they’re doing. If my name was on it, I would be making all sorts of suggestions and trying to change it, and it would be frustrating.
I have no ownership of The Naked Gun, and I’m already frustrated. Why make a Naked Gun that’s not a spoof? That’s what The Naked Gun is! That’s what the name means; it means Leslie Nielsen and cop spoof. Nielsen died in 2010, but Helms could be a totally respectable replacement — if the film was faithful to the spirit of the original. Zucker sounds pretty convinced it won’t.
Zucker also had some depressing things to say about the spoof subgenre in general:
It becomes watered down. I produced Scary Movie 5, [and] that was so watered-down that [it] contributed to ruining the genre, as did all the Friedberg and Seltzer movies [such as Date Movie, Epic Movie, and Meet the Spartans]. [Parody] has come on hard times. They’re not being done well.
It’s true, Scary Movie 5 wasn’t great. It wasn’t terrible though, and Scary Movies 3 and 4 were both pretty solidly funny. It wasn’t that long ago that spoofs were one of the most popular brands of Hollywood comedies. Now they’re almost entirely dead. As a kid raised on hilarious spoofs by the Zuckers, Mel Brooks, and others, it’s hugely disappointing. Hopefully this, like everything else in Hollywood, is cyclical, and a new filmmaker will come along and reinvent parodies for a new generation. Hey, they could do one about cop movie clichés. That’s a rich territory that no one is doing anything with at the moment.