It’s been more than two decades since Leslie Nielsen started splitting sides in the Naked Gun franchise as the absurd Detective Frank Drebin. Now, we’re getting a reboot, and The Hangover’s Ed Helms will be his replacement.
Yes, I’m serious—and don’t call me Shirley.
Paramount has tapped Reno 911 and Night at the Museum writing duo R. Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon to pen the Naked Gun reboot as a new spin on the Drebin character. Most recently, the pair wrapped a Baywatch script.
The studio first released The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! in 1988 as an absurdist take on the procedural police and became a near-instant classic. The followups, Naked Gun 2 1/2 and Naked Gun 33 1/3, were less well received, but the series in total garnered some $275 million.
Which is to say, a remake was only a matter of time. But in Helms, Paramount has found someone not only similar in physicality to Nielsen, but comparable in tone and delivery. So long as that absurdist style still resonates with today’s audiences like it did in the 90s, this may be a remake to only worry about marginally.
After all, with a history going back to 1982’s Police Squad! spoof series—arguably the progeny of shows like Reno 911!—Naked Gun is a comedy culture giant. Doing it justice won’t be easy.
Now if we only knew who will be playing Nordberg. Justice for that character ought to be a little easier.