We are not shocked, in any way, to hear that someone's gearing up to remake Cannonball Run, the blockbuster cross-country car race movie that with an all-star cast that included Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Dom DeLuise and Jackie Chan. That was probably inevitable. What was significantly less inevitable was the involvement of Guy Ritchie who, Sherlock Holmes aside, is not known for his family-friendly films. Or for that matter the involvement of General Motors, who are looking to bankroll the film as one big, giant advertisement for their 2014 car line.
Vulture reports that GM is trying to do just that, and that Guy Ritchie is seriously considering the project in the hopes of casting Brad Pitt (Ritchie's star from Snatch) and some of his old Ocean's Eleven cronies. Who else is excited about this project? Try Shawn Levy, who's coming off of the successful (but not as successful as anyone would have liked) family film Real Steel and eager to cast his Night at the Museum star Ben Stiller in the lead. Wowzers.
Most disconcerting of all is that GM is the one putting this remake together. That's troubling on a variety of levels. For one, GM is one of the many companies which had to be bailed out by the government during the recent… unpleasantness… so the idea of that they'll invest a lot of money in the notoriously unpredictable film industry, where even good films don't always make a profit, isn't encouraging. Moreover, the idea of turning a movie – even a flighty one like Cannonball Run – into a two-hour commercial for their products goes beyond product placement, and runs the risk of pandering. You may remember, or have desperately tried to forget, the E.T. rip-off Mac & Me, which was partially funded by McDonalds, resulting in scenes like, say, this one…
On the upside, profits from Mac & Me went to the Ronald McDonald Charities (but then McDonald's wasn't desperately in need of a profit when Mac & Me came out in 1988). On the downside, wasn't this false advertising? We kept going to McDonald's for years after seeing this movie just in case a musical number happened to break out.
CraveOnline will be back with more Cannonball Run news, even though Gumball Rally was a better movie anyhow.