Kevin Hart is quickly making a habit out of remaking beloved comedies. The comedian is already working on a remake of The Great Outdoors and Scrooged. Now the comedian has added another one to the development slate in the form of a Planes, Trains and Automobiles remake, and he’s dragging Will Smith on the trip with him.
Deadline has word on Paramount Pictures developing the Planes, Trains and Automobiles remake with Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Carmichael Show writer Aeysha Carr tackling the script as her feature writing debut. No director is in place yet, but Kevin Hart and Will Smith are both producing through Hartbeat Productions and Westbrook Studios respectively.
Written and directed by John Hughes, the 1987 comedy Planes, Trains, and Automobiles follows Steve Martin on an itinerary from hell as his travel plans back home for Thanksgiving are continually screwed up by many mishaps, most of which are brought on by a fellow traveler played by John Candy that he can’t seem to stop running into.
The idea of Kevin Hart and Will Smith starring in a road trip comedy is an enticing prospect, especially if they get Will Smith to be the annoying part of the duo instead of Kevin Hart (though there’s no indication that will happen). But what immediately sullies that excitement is calling it a remake of one of the most beloved comedies of all time. It’s not just a good comedy to watch around the holidays. This is a movie that’s hilarious at any time, and it also stars two comedians who were at the top of their game. So this is a tall order for a remake.
Frankly, I just hate when studios use name recognition like this. How hard would it be for Will Smith and Kevin Hart to star in a road trip comedy that stands on its own? They’re huge stars, and people will turn out for the movie just because they’re in it. Saying the movie is a remake of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles sets the movie up for bitterness from fans and also puts expectations pretty high. Look at a movie like Due Date with Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis. That’s an R-rated comedy that is basically a remake of Planes, Trains and Automobiles and it raked in $211.7 million at the worldwide box office.
In this day and age, almost nothing is safe from the remake machine in Hollywood. I just wish studios would use a little discretion when it comes to these decisions. You don’t need a bankable title when you have two big stars like Will Smith and Kevin Hart on board. If anything, the larger worry should be making a comedy with such expensive talent at a time when comedies seem to be falling by the wayside at the box office, especially R-rated comedies. But we’ll see if this one actually gets off the ground, on the tracks, or on the road.
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August 17, 2020