Looks like the days of CB radios, Trans Ams, and Coors beer are again upon us: Hollywood Reporter announces that a TV version of 1977 mega-movie-hit Smokey And The Bandit is now in the works. David Gordon Green—whose prior credits include The Righteous Gemstones, Pineapple Express, and, appropriately enough Eastbound & Down (named for the Smokey theme song)—is on board to direct and co-write with his frequent collaborator Brian Sides, while “Danny McBride, Jody Hill and Brandon James of Rough House Pictures will also exec produce the potential series alongside Seth MacFarlane and Erica Huggins and their Fuzzy Door banner.”
The answer to “why” may be found in the plausible theory that there are no longer any new ideas in Hollywood, but David Gordon Green maintains that he is a longtime fan of the original. The Little Rock native enthused, “Growing up in the South, Smokey And The Bandit was an iconic franchise for me. The legacy of these characters is a playground of swagger and sass that I’m excited to dig into.” It was in fact hard to escape Smokey in 1977, as the tale of Burt Reynolds’ rebellious Bandit bootlegging Coors beer across state lines while hounded by a vengeful sheriff become one of the highest grossing movies of the year, bested only by Star Wars. It was followed by a pair of sequels and some TV movies in descending levels of quality.
No discussions yet on casting, although McBride seems like he could be a Sheriff Buford T. Justice type (played in the original by Jackie Gleason). The thought of MacFarlane attempting Burt Reynolds’ iconic “swagger and sass” appears sacrilegious, to put it mildly, but let’s face it—everyone’s probably only going to be watching for the car crashes anyway.