(Story updated, 10/19/2011, 2:14 pm et — scroll to bottom for the latest)
General Motors is looking to get together with a Hollywood studio to remind us why we go to the movies: to see two-hour commercials! The car company, of which 27 percent is owned by the government, is reportedly in talks with WB to bankroll a Cannonball Run remake. That sounds great, new ideas are for assholes.
Producer Al Ruddy (The Godfather, Million Dollar Baby) is producing the project, and the Fox-based Shawn Levy (Real Steel) has expressed interest, wanting it anchored by his Night at the Museum star, Ben Stiller. However, we’re told that that Levy is second in line to Warner Bros.’ go-to action-comedy director Guy Ritchie, who is considering taking it on and envisions it with Brad Pitt starring with some of his Ocean’s 11 confreres.
So Brad Pitt and Guy Ritchie, but if that doesn’t work out, Ben Stiller and Shawn Levy. Uh huh, sure. 10 bucks says by the time this gets made, they’ll be down to Brett Ratner and the dude from Burn Notice.
With more involvement, they could use the road-race film as a way to introduce and spotlight their 2014 car lineup for two hours, maybe giving this new Corvette the lead. If the GM deal comes through, it’ll show just how far product placement has come. Back in 1981, the besotted priests Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin drove director Hal Needham’s own red Ferrari 308 to save on production costs.
You know how people are always saying that GM is on the decline, because instead of coming up with new cars for the modern era, they just keep trying to redesign their classic muscle cars from the days when they were the only game in town, and play on people’s sense of cheap nostalgia? Well that was the old GM. They’ve asked themselves the tough questions and made some difficult changes. This is a new company for a new day. And what better way to prove that than by remaking a movie from 1981! Hooray! And then all our politicians can solve problems by arguing about who likes Reagan the most!
Yes, it’s a wonderful time to be alive.
UPDATE: A guy who runs a GM blog who claims to be a PR spokesperson for GM is tweeting everyone who covered the story saying GM is not involved. I’m inclined to believe him based on his fashionable-but-conservative sweater.
I’m a GM spokesman. This is baseless speculation/rumor. GM wouldn’t condone a project portraying reckless/drunken driving.
Oh sure, but you were fine sponsoring a film (Transformers) about evil robots that try to take over the Earth? Look, pal, I may get drunk and drive recklessly, but never once has my car turned into a plane that bombed people. So now who’s the irresponsible one?