DEADLINE: This is an attention-getter: Smokey and the Bandit is being remade for television by Halloween’s David Gordon Green
and Brian Sides.
The pair are developing the adaptation of the 1977 Burt Reynolds movie with UCP and Seth MacFarlane’s Fuzzy Door.
The movie, which was directed by stuntman Hal Needham, follows Reynolds’ Bo ‘Bandit’ Darville and Jerry Reed’s Cledus ‘Snowman’ Snow, two bootleggers attempting to illegally transport 400 cases of beer from Texarkana to Atlanta as they are being chased by Jackie Gleason’s county sheriff Buford T. Justice.
The series is described as an epic adventure of family, small-town crime, unlikely heroes, legend and legacy. Inspired by the genre of 70s and 80s drive-in double-features, the series explores the crossroads where humble realities meet those larger-than-life, all in a blast of tailpipe exhaust.
Gordon Green, who was born in Little Rock, Arkansas and grew up in Texas, recently revived the Halloween franchise, directing the 2018 horror film from a script that he wrote with Danny McBride. On the TV side, he has produced series including Eastbound and Down and The Righteous Gemstones.
He is writing the script with Sides, who he has written screenplays before. Sides, who splits his time between North Carolina and Colorado, has worked as a producer and director for documentary series such as The Horn and Alaska: The Last Frontier.
Gordon Green, who will direct the pilot, will exec produce alongside McBride, Jody Hill and Brandon James for Rough House Pictures with Seth MacFarlane and Erica Huggins exec producing for Fuzzy Door. Sides is set as co-exec producer.
The show comes out of Fuzzy Door’s overall deal with UCP and is its latest development on the back of series including The Winds of War (w/t), Skywatch, and a series based on Carlotta Walls’ memoir.
“Growing up in the south, Smokey and the Bandit was an iconic franchise for me. The legacy of these characters is a playground of swagger and sass that I’m excited to dig into,” said Green.
“When UCP mentioned Smokey and the Bandit we were immediately drawn to it. We knew we had to remain faithful to its original setting in the South, and find an authentic voice. David’s immediate interest and his unique perspective and love for the original made it possible. Smokey and the Bandit was a very cool and irreverent film at the time and we hope to achieve that same feeling in the show,” said Huggins.
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