I’ve figured it out: The future of movies can be seen in our newspaper comics pages. An artist passes on, and a relative or hired hand is called in to continue their work as if nothing ever happened. New features have less space to break in as recycled concepts plow forward, even when they don’t seem to generate a lot of secondary merchandise (does anyone buy collections of Mark Trail or Barney Google?).
If anything can get an undead Leslie Nielsen to rise from his grave, trip over the headstone, and blunder into a charity “zombie walk,” it’s the planned reboot of The Naked Gun with Ed Helms as Leslie as Frank Drebin.
As was noted in an earlier post, the eventual reboot of Indiana Jones is going to take some doing as the character is so tightly tied to the franchise (his name is in the titles of 3/4 of the films). What’s odd here is that they could have just announced new sequels to Police Squad! with Helms playing a new character following in the footsteps of Drebin. Drebin’s death (treated with all the reverence we’ve come to expect from the series) could be part of the film, letting old fans not resent Helms’ appearance and people who’ve never seen these movies wouldn’t care if this new guy was named Frank or not. It’d be an odd whiff of continuity and an even odder acknowledgement of previous comedic work by a talented actor.
…which is probably why it won’t happen. Sorry, zombie Leslie Nielsen. And to show I’m not completely against a new take on things, I still like (warning: vidya game vehicular violence) this opening to The Naked Gun as done in Grand Theft Auto IV.