Hey, it’s that dreaded “R” word again. Yes, Hollywood is looking at reviving another bit of nostalgia for a modern do-over and this time its beloved filmmaker John Hughes’ 1987 “screwball comedy with a heart” Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Deadline broke the news last night, revealing that Paramount Pictures is developing a reboot starring Will Smith and Kevin Hart.
The original film was an odd-couple road trip movie that starred Steve Martin and the late John Candy. Martin played Neal Page, an uptight ad executive who has his Thanksgiving family holiday plans dashed when his plane is suddenly rerouted forcing him to partner up with Candy’s Del Griffith, a good-natured but highly obnoxious salesman as the duo use a barrage of different transport modes to get across the country to their respective destinations in time. There are no exact casting details at the moment, but just going on typecasting, I would assume that Smith would take Martin’s role while Hart fills in for Candy.
The reboot is penned by Aeysha Carr in her first feature film writing gig. The scribe has been a highly touted mainstay on the small screen though, writing on comedy shows like My Wife and Kids, Everybody Hates Chris, House of Payne, The Carmichael Show, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Rel, and the upcoming Hulu series Woke. She’s also been an exec producer on a number of those shows. There’s no director attached to this reboot yet, but Smith and Hart will co-produce the film.
As for the idea of Paramount rebooting Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Hughes’ film was actually not much of a commercial success upon release, barely breaking even with its $30 million production budget once promo costs were added. It was pretty highly regarded critically though, as Martin and Candy were at the peak of their respective funnyman careers at the time. That being said, you would be hard-pressed to find anybody declaring it as iconic as Hughes’ other 1980s cultural touchstones like The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Pretty in Pink, etc.
As such, the idea of rebooting it will probably be a lot more palatable to the public, especially when you have two very capable and charismatic stars like Smith and Hart who will be bringing their considerable fanbases into this. Smith has been heavily in the limelight as of late thanks to some very messy, very public revelations about his marriage to Jada Pinkett-Smith, but he is clearly not letting that slow down his career. I’ve never been the biggest Hart fan though, especially when he’s playing up his irritating schtick, but if he can strike the right balance between funny obnoxious and just plain obnoxious like he’s done in the Jumanji films, I would be down to see this. Or maybe the roles will actually be reversed? That I would pay to see.
Last Updated: August 18, 2020