As every studio exec knows, long ago the movie-going public spoke, saying, loudly and clearly “WE WANT REMAKES OF MEDIOCRE THINGS FROM THE SEVENTIES AND EIGHTIES!” PLEASE give us these things that we’ve heard of but don’t care about, we demanded, it’s so much better than original content.
Therefore it was all but inevitable that we’d get a movie version of The Rockford Files, which ran from 1974 to 1979. I mean, talk about a ground-breaking concept! A show about a private investigator in the seventies? It was unheard of! Now, I know what you’re thinking: “this Rockford, he was probably some by-the-book bureaucrat, right? Some Dudley Do-Right with a crew cut?” But see, that’s what’s so crazy about it, his methods were unorthodox!
Universal Pictures has set David Levien and Brian Koppelman [Rounders, Ocean’s 13, A Solitary Man] to write The Rockford Files, a feature adaptation of the memorable series that ran on NBC from 1974-80 and featured James Garner as the down-and-out private eye. The studio will develop the film as a star vehicle for Vince Vaughn to play Rockford, and Vaughn and Victoria Vaughn will produce through their Universal-based Wild West Picture Show Productions banner.
In the original series created by Roy Huggins and Stephen J. Cannell, Rockford was a private eye who’d spent a few years in San Quentin before being pardoned. He worked and lived out of a mobile home near the beach in Malibu, and unlike most of his TV detective peers, he dressed disheveled, and mostly used his charm and guile to talk his way out of trouble, instead of shooting. Vaughn certainly has that verbal dexterity. Universal’s sister network NBC has been trying to relaunch The Rockford Files as a TV series but put the brakes on it last year. [Deadline]
Vince Vaughn playing a private eye who lives in LA, doesn’t shave, and dresses disheveled? Anyone else get the feeling Vince Vaughn planned this as a way to do EVEN LESS WORK? Hey, maybe they could shoot it inside his house, and one of the scenes could be Rockford taking a dump after some bad crab cakes? Ooh, and after that I’ve got this other idea for a detective who solves crimes while he eats sliders and takes a nap.