In one of the stranger choices for films to remake, Planes, Trains, & Automobiles is getting a new life. The classic John Hughes comedy starring John Candy and Steve Martin came out in 1987. This time around, the new film according to Deadline will star Will Smith and Kevin Hart. Rookie feature screenwriter Aeyesha Carr is writing the script. She’s no stranger to television though, with credits on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Woke. Hart and Will Smith’s production companies will take the project on in a joint effort.
On the surface it’s a strange one to remake. It’ll probably elicit audible groans from some people out there. I err on the side of caution with remakes like this. John Candy and Steve Martin were gold in the original film. They were both at or near the peak of their careers. So when you take that and also include the incredibly touching and poignant script from John Hughes, you have huge shoes to fill. Luckily, they have two men in Will Smith and Kevin Hart who can bring the laughs and the tears. Hart hasn’t proven in his career that he can bring that touching side, but neither did Candy up until his role in the film.
That’s not to say that these two equal the powers of Steve Martin and John Candy though. But when you’re looking at a remake like this, ask yourself, what can we update for a new audience? The original film could have been fixed a LOT with the advent of the internet and cell phones. That adds a whole new wrinkle to an already timeless story of a trip gone bad. So before you grab the pitchforks, maybe sit and think about how this isn’t necessarily a remake of the original film, but a re imagining of the concept as a whole.
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