June 13, 2024

Warner Bros. to Reboot “Cannonball Run” Franchise

The powers that be at Warner Bros. have decided that it would be a good idea to reboot the decades old Cannonball Run series, for some reason. They are eyeing Central Intelligence director Rawson Thurber to direct.

For the uninitiated, Cannonball Run was a 1981 comedy based on the real life (and illegal) cross country race, the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, and starred Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, Farrah Fawcett, Jackie Chan, Roger Moore, Jamie Farr, and Rat Packers Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. Though universally panned, it was wildly successful, and sequel was released in 1984. Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, Jackie Chan, Jamie Farr, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. all returned for Cannonball Run II, and were joined by Shirley Maclaine, Marilu Henner, Don Knotts, Tim Conway, and, in his final film role, Frank Sinatra (marking the last onscreen collaboration for The Rat Pack). Also poorly received by critics, it made enough money to justify a third film called Speed Zone in 1989. The only cast member to return was Jamie Farr (albeit briefly), with the cast consisting of SCTV alums John Candy, Joe Flaherty, and Eugene Levy, with Brooke Shields, Donna Dixon, Matt Frewer,  Dick and Tom Smothers, Peter Boyle, Alyssa Milano, and John Schneider. Not surprisingly, it did not do well.

The reboot is being written by The State and Reno 911’s Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant, who despite their success on TV, have had, at best, spotty records as screenwriters (look no further than Herbie: Fully Loaded).  The Cannonball Runs were not good movies, but as they were shown at nauseum on weekend afternoons in the eighties, we just got used to watching them a lot. There is very little promise in a reboot.



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