Let’s Be Cops was something of a surprise hit this past summer. Despite getting just brutal reviews (it didn’t even screen for press in many cities before hand, screenings were scheduled but cancelled last minute) it still raked in $82 million stateside and more than $125 million globally. Against a $17 million dollar budget, that’s not too bad a showing. It also earned director Luke Greenfield some sway, and now he’s going to direct an original sci-fi film for Warner Bros. called Slingshot.
The project is described as being an homage to the 1980s style sci-fi films like Back to the Future, E.T., and Steven Spielberg’s other genre films from that era. These are reportedly the movies that made Greenfield want to become a filmmaker in the first place. Beyond that, however, there’s not too much in the way of details available about Slingshot.
If you’re familiar with Greenfield’s previous work, this definitely sounds like a departure, as he’s most known for his work in raunchy comedies. His most recent, of course, is Let’s Be Cops, but he also directed The Girl Next Door, about a former porn star who moves in next door to some high school nerds, and The Animal, yes, the one where Rob Schneider gets organ transplants from wild creatures and, well, becomes and animal. In addition to his directorial work, he served as a producer on David Wain’s Role Models. At least that one is kind of a throwback to foul-mouthed ‘80s buddy comedies.
While there’s definitely room for comedy in the kind of film Slingshot is said to emulate, they’re usually much tamer affairs. Then again, maybe the plan is to take this template and insert some blue humor into the mix, effectively combining the two sensibilities. That could wind up being decently fun, or completely terrible, but what the hell, we’ll give this the benefit of the doubt, even though we’re not the biggest fans of some of Greenfield’s work (Role Models is a lot of fun though). If you’re going to ape any film, it might as well be the Amblin movies from that era.
This will be Greenfield’s first foray into science fiction. He directed two episodes, including the pilot, of the acclaimed, but short-lived CW comedy series Aliens in America back in 2007, which, despite the title, has absolutely nothing to do with sci-fi. It follows a young Muslim student from Pakistan who is sent to live with a Christian family in Wisconsin for some reason, and I imagine wacky hijinks and cultural misunderstandings ensue.
There’s no word on a timeline for Slingshot, but we’ll keep you posted as we hear more.