Variety has just broke the story that New Line Cinema has signed on Scott Zabielski to direct its upcoming remake of the lowbrow 1984 comedy Police Academy. Zabielski comes from television, most notably as director of several episodes of the Comedy Central show Tosh.o (a viral video clipfest hosted by comedian Daniel Tosh). According to Deadline, who also claim to have broken the story, Zabielski is actually a reserve police officer in West Hollywood so he has first-hand knowledge of police academies so there’s at least some sort of thinking behind this besides “he’s cheap, let’s hire him!”.
The original Police Academy, which followed a group of new recruits to the police squad that were less than qualified (zoinks!), was successful enough to spawn six sequels as well as two TV shows (one animated in 1988, and one live-action in 1997) . It also helped launch the careers of Steve Guttenberg (there was a time where he had one, trust me!) and more importantly Michael Winslow, a stand-up comedian who had the inhuman ability to recreate any sound effect you could think of just by using his voice.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the Police Academy movies but I remember liking them; they were dumb, sure, but they were the fun kind of dumb (the first few anyway; towards the end it just got kind of sad). New Line is probably banking that this new Police Academy will have similar success and longevity, but to be honest, I doubt it. Still I do enjoy slapstick, so instead of being annoyed at how desperate this seems, I’m going to roll with the punches. As long as they bring back Winslow; he is that series to a lot of casual observers.
Here’s the trailer for the 1984 original if you’ve never seen it before:
What are your thoughts on New Line’s attempt to remake Police Academy? Will it succeed? Will it fail? Will there be a Guttenberg cameo for the ladies?
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