First rumored back in February, when the bitter winds make callous disbelievers of us all, Warner Bros. really does seem to be prepping a remake of The Cannonball Run, really. Released in 1981, Hal Needham’s original madcap ensemble comedy—itself basically an all-star rehash of 1976's The Gumball Rally—was something of a pop-culture time capsule, a metaphorical race between Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.’s ring-a-ding ’60s cool and Burt Reynolds’ hirsute ’70s swagger to see which archetype would dominate the ’80s. (The answer: Adrienne Barbeau in Spandex.) And according to a report in Vulture, a new Cannonball Run might once again embody the era we’re living in by becoming, essentially, a two-hour commercial for General Motors. The beleaguered, now partially government-owned automaker is said to be considering boosting its public profile by possibly using the film as a way to spotlight its entire car lineup (except for perhaps the Volt, as nobody’s winning a cross-country race with that), which would make every U.S. taxpayer an indirect investor in the film. It sells itself!
But while the GM thing is just speculation at this point, what is clear is that Warner Bros. is interested in a Cannonball Run remake—so much so that it’s currently considering two different pitches. Ritchie’s proposal involves hiring Brad Pitt to play the lead, then putting some of the rest of the Ocean’s 11 celebrity cavalcade behind the wheel in Europe, where the speed limits are lax and the scenery can occasionally stand in for story. There’s also apparently a Plan B: Shawn Levy has expressed interest in building the project around his Night At The Museum star Ben Stiller—a decidedly more comic take that has already managed to sound exhausting, just in sentence form. Still, hopefully the studio will make up their minds on one of these two proposals before the project gets filtered down to Garry Marshall.