These days, if you’re in need of a funny leading man to reboot a beloved comedy film franchise, it seems like there’s only one pick – Ed Helms. The comedian has already been tasked with taking over the Vacation franchise made famous by Chevy Chase, though that production has been tabled due to various troubles for months now, and now it looks like he’s found something to fill the gaping hole left by the Griswold family.
Variety reports that Paramount has picked Helms to star as Detective Frank Drebin in their upcoming The Naked Gun reboot. The moronic crime fighter role was originated by Leslie Nielsen, who played the character in the short-lived ABC spoof series, Police Squad!, and in three very popular Naked Gun features that made a staggering $275 million at the box office (see! Spoofs can be profitable and smart! Sorry, Friedberg and Seltzer!).
The new film will be written by screenwriters Thomas Lennon and R. Ben Garant (Night at the Museum, Reno 911, that new Baywatch film) and promises to put a “new spin on the Drebin character.” Well, as long as he’s still an idiot.
The Drebin character may be, well, a bit dim-witted, but he’s also just dead funny and Nielsen did some phenomenal work with him. Is Helms up to the task? Or wil he ham it up a bit too much and stray from the deadpan roots that made Drebin work in the past?
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