Valderrama to play Estrada role of Ponch
Warner Bros. Pictures is remaking TV highway patrol classic “CHiPs” for the bigscreen, hiring Wilmer Valderrama to reprise the role of “Ponch,” a part immortalized on the small tube by Erik Estrada.
Television showrunners Paul Kaplan and Mark Torgove will pen the screenplay.
“CHiPs,” created by Rick Rosner and running from 1977 to 1983, followed the pursuits of California highway patrol officers Francis Llewellyn Poncherello and Jon Baker, played by Larry Wilcox, from 1977-1982.
The feature version, however, will be much more lighthearted, much as Warners’ movie version of TV cop drama “Starsky & Hutch” was. Project is being described as a contemporary action comedy.
Warners still has to cast the role of Baker, as well as bring on a director.
Rosner is exec producing the feature version, and continues to have close ties with the California highway patrol.
Warner Bros. Pictures Greg Silverman and Nina Perales will supervise for the studio.
Valderrama (“That ’70s Show”) stars in upcoming indie feature “Darwin Awards,” which will preem at the Sundance Film Fest. He’s also star-producer of the new MTV show “Yo Momma,” which bows in February.