The drawback to the wild box office and critical successes of 21 and 22 Jump Street is that studios are probably going to keep on making movie adaptations of once-popular TV shows, because we’re all suckers for nostalgia. Dax Shepard is well aware of this wormhole to success, as he’s going to give the whole writer/director/star thing another shot with a big screen version of the NBC series CHiPS, which ran from 1977 to 1983. According to Deadline, Shepard and Michael Pena will star as Officers Jon Baker and Frank Poncherello, respectively, in a new story of the California Highway Patrol that is certain to be hilarious or something.
Shepard last tried his hand at writing, directing and lead actor duties for 2012’s Hit and Run, which had advertisements running on TV practically every five minutes, but still only made $14 million at the box office. The decision to cast Pena as Ponch has to be a huge blow to Wilmer Valderrama, though, as this had basically been a dream project for the actor, whose biggest claim to fame since That 70s Show is sleeping with troubled actresses. As Deadline points out, Fez once tried to lock down the role by pulling a Sean Young and showing up at Warner Bros. dressed as a cop. And as recently as 2010, he was still pretty hyped about the idea.
“Yeah, we’re looking to be gearing up for that early next year,” answered the actor. “I’m finishing up a bunch of stuff this year and there have been a bunch of development problems over at Warner Bros. so we’re just gearing up again right now to do it,” Valderrama explained. Finally, we asked him if he was still planning on playing Ponch in the film? “Yeah, I’m going to have fun with it man.” (Via MovieWeb)
So as much as we could be down about the idea of yet another TV-to-movie adaptation or Shepard recreating the slightly-less-than average story of Hit and Run, we should probably all be pretty thankful that CHiPS didn’t end up looking like this: