By now we all know very well that Hollywood is never going to leave anything alone, and that if a show or movie was ever popular it’s going to get remade, rebooted, prequeled, or otherwise rehashed. Just look to the theaters this weekend for a prime example. Not only is there a new version of RoboCop playing, but there are two other remakes opening today as well. This latest bit of news is actually one I’m surprised hasn’t happened sooner, The Weinstein Company is remaking the awesomely 1980s adventure hour known as Knight Rider, and the production has offers out to a pair of potential stars: Chris Pratt and Danny McBride.
Schmoes Know gleaned this bit of intel from one of their key sources, who had this to say on the matter: “Thought you’d be interested in knowing, Chris Pratt and Danny McBride are in talks for the KNIGHT RIDER remake at The Weinstein Company.”
At first you have to wonder if they’re going to play this for laughs, like MacGruber does with MacGuyver, or go relatively straight, like Joe Carnahan did with The A-Team. With Pratt on board it could go either way. He’s mostly known for being funny, but with movies like Moneyball and Zero Dark Thirty he’s shown he can also handle more dramatic roles. And with his ever-increasing status in Hollywood, it would be a good time for him to branch out.
Then you realize McBride may also be along for the ride, and you get a better idea of what this Knight Rider will look like. Throw screenwriter Brad Copeland, and his resume that includes Yogi Bear, Wild Hogs, and Arrested Development, into the mix, and you’ve got a full-blown comedy on your hands. Hopefully this will be more 21 Jump Street and less Starsky & Hutch.
For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, Knight Rider is the saga of Michael Knight, a sort of vigilante detective. This is the role that launched David Hasselfhoff to international stardom. In the company of his trusty talking car, the Knight Industries Two Thousand, better known as KITT, he goes around, solving crimes and looking hunky in a black leather jacket and feathered hair.
Knight Rider was one of my favorite shows growing up (my dad’s name is Michael McKnight, and I watched him get hung up on multiple times in the early 80s because people thought he was fucking with them), but let’s just say it doesn’t hold up particularly well. It’s hard for show from this era with premises based on super futuristic technology to maintain any relevance. The same goes for Airwolf, another show I dearly loved that leaves much to be desired.
Now we get to the question of what characters Pratt and McBride could play. Given his status, Pine is probably up for the Michael Knight role. That just makes the most sense. He’s got Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy coming up, and while I like McBride, I wouldn’t rely on him to carry an entire movie. But if McBride were to play KITT, that could be hilarious. Imagine that sweet black Trans Am zipping around, Pratt at the wheel, his foul-mouthed, smartass computer sidekick giving him shit the whole time. That actually sounds like a blast. In my head this plays like funny Fast and Furious movie.
I could also see McBride playing a version of Devon Miles. Knight works for an organization called the Foundation for Law and Government (FLAG), and Devon is the head of that group, essentially Michael’s handler, who gives him missions and support. McBride’s take on the straight-laced, upper-crust socialite do-gooder could be a lot of fun.
In case you were wondering, no, this isn’t the first time Knight Rider has been updated, not even close, and thus far, none of them have been any good. The series began in 1982 and ran for four years. In 1984 there was a failed spinoff called Code of Vengeance. Then came the TV movies Knight Rider 2000 in 1991, and Knight Rider 2010 in 1994. After that we got the series Team Knight Rider, my personal favorite offshoot, in 1997, and another TV movie in 2008, which doubled as a backdoor pilot for a short-lived series that followed.