Let's Remake Smokey and the Bandit
There have been a lot of old movies, television shows and skits from shows remade as current movies the past few years. Some examples included Charlie’s Angels, Gone in 60 Seconds, Dragnet, The Coneheads, The Blues Brothers, The Wild - Wild West, The Dukes of Hazard, The Brady Bunch, Wayne’s World and The Longest Yard. Some of these were pretty decent, some just seemed to poke fun at the original, while others we very entertaining.
As Greg, Ronnie, and I talked with Junior Johnson preparing for this week’s Legends of Racing segment, Junior talked about some of his enterprises which include the sale of Midnight Moon, the now legal version of Johnson’s family recipe from the Bootlegging Days. Junior talked about his product being sold in 34 states now.
A movie was made about Junior Johnson in the early seventies titled ‘The Last American Hero.’ Though the film was roughly 25 years from Junior’s days of running shine, it was well received and if I catch it on AMC, I will watch it flag to flag.
Knowing Junior has been involved with the folks in Hollywood before, the idea of another movie being remade today came to mind. Smokey and The Bandit, which premiered in 1977, was the story of two truckers taking a bet from Big Enos Burdette that they could bring a load of Coor’s Beer to Atlanta without getting caught, and in a timely fashion. Coor’s Beer was considered bootleg east of the Mississippi River in the seventies.
The main characters were The Bandit (Bo Darville), played by Burt Reynolds, The Snowman (Cledus Snow) played by Jerry Reed, Sheriff Buford T. Justice played by Jackie Gleason, Frog played by Sally Field, Junior Justice played by Mike Henry, with Pat McCormick and Paul Williams playing the father/son combo of Big and Little Enos Burdette.
Okay. To remake this movie, the story line could be used that The Burdette’s want a load of Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon delivered to them at a race track out west. We will say the track is the Tucson Raceway, since I am not sure what states sell Johnson’s products.
Now to set a list of potential stars to revise these characters for the movie: Big Enos Burdette should be portrayed by Burt Reynolds. Burt might not be able to pull of The Bandit these days but he could do a great job as Big Enos. For the role of Little Enos how about Verne Troyer? Verne is a great actor and very funny and should make Paul Williams proud.
Sheriff Buford T. Justice needs to be a big man that can pull off comedy as well as serious roles. John Goodman would be great. For is son, Junior Justice Harland Williams. Now for the last three:
Cledus Snow aka The Snowman needs to fill the shoes of a Country Singer and fit the role of a truck driver. Trace Adkins would do a great job on the sound track and I would bet he has experience driving a truck. For the role of Carrie, aka Frog the would-be bride of Junior Justice, who ran from the church and hitched a ride with The Bandit, Jessica Biel. The Bandit needs to be able to pull of comedy and the part of being a wheel man. The star of the remake of Gone in 60 Seconds would be a perfect fit, Nicholas Cage.
With three American Muscle cars on the market today, The Bandit could have his choice, a Ford Mustang, a Chevy Camaro, of a Hemi-filled Dodge Challenger. If the folks with General Motors had not killed of the Pontiac brand, just imagine how many new Trans-Am’s would be sold because of this movie. If I was with GM, I would roll out a special edition Trans-Am just for this film if the Hollywood folks run with this idea. But if The Bandit can’t have a Trans-Am, that Challenger might be his pick.
This could be a great remake. Junior Johnson could have a role as the truck pulls in to pick up the load. One scene from the original that could easily change in this one is the scene where Snowman lost a fight to a bunch of bikers. I think Trace Adkins would hold his own pretty good.
The scenery would be different, but the story could remain the same and this would be a great re-make of a great movie.