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Is a new 'Police Academy' a good idea?

February 24, 2011 |  4:17 pm

Even as moviedom marvels at/mocks the idea of “The Bodyguard” coming back, a new blockbuster is returning from the '90s (and '80s) grave. A new installment of “Police Academy,” the comedy franchise about misfit police recruits that made us think Steve Guttenberg was the man (for about three seconds), is making progress on its path to the screen.

David Diamond and David Weissman, the writing team behind the Nicolas Cage drama “The Family Man,” are set to turn in to the studio their draft of a "Police Academy" reboot, said one person who was briefed on the project but not authorized to talk about  it publicly. If the script passes muster with studio New Line, that should set the casting process into motion.

Paul Maslansky, who produced the original, was originally on board to direct, but the person briefed on the project said the studio is looking for a new director.

As for that cast, some of the original actors are expected to return -- Guttenberg in particular has been talking it up in interviews -- and looking at the resumes of some of the other actors, we can't imagine scheduling will be a problem.

Still, Maslansky, who produced all the films during the original go-round, said last year that the new "PA" will contain "a new class. We hope to discover new talent and season it with great comedians." (He also described the new "Police Academy," the eighth in the franchise, as “anything but another movie with a numeral next to it.”)

One wrinkle, though, lies with New Line: The Warner Bros. label confirmed this week that it's consolidating from eight movies per year to just four, which could slow down the project. Then again, "Police Academy" represents one of the more lucrative franchises in the company's catalog, so it may be spared. A studio spokeswoman declined to comment.

Beginning in 1984, the goofy exploits of Mahoney, Hightower Tackleberry and the rest were a spring comedy staple. A new "Police Academy" film arrived, like clockwork, every March or April for six consecutive years,  although by the fourth installment ("Citizens on Patrol") many fans had turned away and the box-office numbers plummeted.

The franchise about uniformed underdogs feels much older than “The Bodyguard,” though the seventh and final installment (“Mission to Moscow”; you can admit it’s in your DVD collection) actually came out in 1994, two years after the Costner-fest.

By the time that final "Police Academy" movie came out, the series had devolved into such camp it’s hard to imagine anyone feeling too protective of the original brand. Then again, given the dive it took at the end, some will no doubt also wonder if another trip to the Blue Oyster Bar is really necessary.

--Steven Zeitchik


 Photo: A shot from "Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment." Credit: New Line




Comments () | Archives (11)

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No wonder I don't go to the movies anymore.

Meow!! Such catty remarks!!

No, none of us own "Mission to Moscow"; but I guess you apparently do.

NO! STOP MAKING REMAKES AND SEQUELS YOU GREEDY, UNINSPIRED PEONS! If the movie was good the first time around, let it stand on it's own. If it was a bomb, sure, try to make it something better, but otherwise, develop some of the thousands of original scripts and ideas in this town. The teats of some of these franchises have gone black and fallen off from movie executives milking them so much.

No, it is NOT a good idea. It's not even a NEW idea. I'm sick of re-makes. Come H'wood...use your imaginations, or do you no longer have one?

Loved the original Bodyguard movie and would love to see an updated version....haters.

Wow, so much creativity coming out of Hollywood.

A "Bodyguard" reboot or sequel will only work if Kevin Costner returns in the lead as Frank Farmer. Remaking a movie just 19 years after the original was a huge hit is ludicrous and laughable. It supports my theory that the people with the most power in Hollywood right now have trouble remembering anything prior to the year 2000. A "Police Academy" reboot or sequel will only work if they go back to the bawdy, R-rated comedy of the original and forget all those increasingly lame PG-13 or PG sequels. Steve Guttenberg and Michael Winslow also MUST return as leads. If their health permits it, G.W. Bailey, Bubba Smith and more of the original cast should return too. Just don't make it gross and explicitly vulgar. Make it in the naughty, funny, un-PC, but ultimately harmless spirit of the 1984 original.

The relationship between friends Kevin Costner and director Kevin Reynolds became strained during the arduous filming of "Waterworld," with Costner eventually shutting Reynolds out of the editing room.

I'm afraid I bailed from the series at the same time The Gutte did, after #4. Did I miss any real knee-slappers in 5, 6 or 7?

Personally, I think that Police Academy 8 could work if done properly, because like James Rolfe said: we've seen Rocky Balboa come back in the ring in Rocky 6, John McClane kicking some terrorist ass again in Die Hard 4, John Rambo gunning down Asians once more in Rambo 4, Indiana Jones fighting Soviets while finding more treasure again in Indiana Jones 4 - and coming soon, Axel Foley coming out of retirement for one last adventure in Beverly Hills Cop 4.

Besides, the only way that Police Academy 8 can ever suck is if they did the following:

1.Rely too much on CGI for the stunts and special effects, just like the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy.

2.Have Michael Bay, Uwe Boll, or Paul W.S. Anderson direct the film.

3.Make the film all super high-tech, such as the squad cars flying, and the officers wearing uniforms that show off their abs.

4.Cast Shia LeBeouf, Megan Fox, Justin Bieber, and/or Mark Wahlberg, and give them lorryloads of screentime than Mahoney, Jones, Harris, or any of the originals.

Besides, I have a great plot in mind for Police Academy 8:

The legendary graduates of the Metropolitan Police Academy have long since retired from active duty and moved on with their lives, as well as Sgt. Mahoney having now succeeded Eric Lassard as the academy's Commandant, much to Capt. Harris' chagrin. But however, a huge crimewave of epic proportions storms the city, and only Mahoney, Jones, Hightower, Hooks, Callahan, and Fackler are forced to come out of retirement and tackle the massive crime syndicate behind it all! Also, Tackleberry (who should be mentioned as having died while on duty many years ago)'s son, Tackleberry Jr., from Police Academy 6, could join them, along with Harris and Lt. Proctor, as well as two new cadets. One would a lone male vigilante prankster who gets along well with Mahoney, while the other would be Proctor's niece (who was mentioned in Police Academy 6, as she would be the child of Harris' nephew and Proctor's sister, who were both mentioned in Police Academy 5). The two cadets would sort of have a rivalry that should be good if portrayed properly.

So there you go, that's my two cents worth on Police Academy. Be sure to check out my website, because I will try make my newest videos more like the classic episodes.

P.S. Remember when I said in my 2009 Slammies blog that "tag-teams in wrestling have been dead for ten years"? Well, I take it all back, because my loyal fans told to go and watch all those awesome tag matches that WWE have been doing for the last ten years.


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