Ed Helms Firing Up ‘The Naked Gun’ Reboot for Paramount (EXCLUSIVE)

Ed Helms
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

'Night at the Museum' writers on board to script

Detective Frank Drebin is coming back with Ed Helms on board to portray Leslie Nielsen’s character in Paramount’s reboot of “The Naked Gun” comedy franchise.

The studio has tapped the scripting team of Thomas Lennon and R. Ben Garant — best known for the “Night at the Museum” and “Reno 911” franchises, to write the screenplay as a new spin on the Drebin character.

Helms starred in “The Hangover” trilogy and “We’re the Millers” and recently recently wrapped “Stretch” opposite Chris Pine and Patrick Wilson. He stars in the romcom parody “They Came Together,” which will premiere at Sundance, opposite Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler.

Paramount released “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!” in 1988 with Nielsen battling Ricardo Montalban’s character plotting to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II at a baseball game in Los Angeles. Sequels “The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear” and “Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult” followed in 1991 and 1994; the three films cumed $275 million.

George Kennedy, Priscilla Presley and O.J. Simpson co-starred in all three films.

The films were based on the 1982 ABC spoof series “Police Squad!,” which was cancelled after six episodes. Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker created the series, which also starred Nielsen as Drebin in a similar  deadpan vein as his Dr. Rumack character in 1980’s “Airplane!”

“It’s true what they say: Cops and women don’t mix,” Drebin said in the first film. “It’s like eating a spoonful of Drano; sure, it’ll clean you out, but it’ll leave you hollow inside.”

Lennon and Garant recently wrote “Baywatch” for Paramount and “Rent a Ghost” for Fox and just sold “Guinea Pigging” to Fox 2000 for Mitch Hurwitz to direct. They wrote and directed “Hell Baby,” which debuted at Sundance this year” and Garant wrote the Lionsgate horror/thriller “Jessabelle” for Blumhouse and Principato-Young with an Aug. 29 release date.

Helms is repped by CAA, Principato-Young and attorney Ira Schreck. Lennon and Garant are repped by CAA, Principato-Young and attorney Karl Austen.

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  1. Adolf Hitmaker says:

    Well shit…
    In light of this I think Maynard James Keenan said it best:

    Some say the end is near.
    Some say we’ll see Armageddon soon.
    I certainly hope we will.
    I sure could use a vacation from this

    Bullshit three ring circus sideshow of freaks

    Here in this hopeless fucking hole we call L.A.
    The only way to fix it is to flush it all away.
    Any fucking time. Any fucking day.
    Learn to swim, I’ll see you down in Arizona Bay.

  2. jerry webb says:

    This Should Be Great Can’t Whait Untill It Comes Out

  3. Steve Kenna says:

    Thomas Lennon and R. Ben Garant make me very nervous.

  4. Dave says:

    I love naked gun and I like Ed Helms, I think it’s a great idea. Comedy is not about continuity or whether or not Helms will be Neilsen’s Drebin, it’s about proposterous situations; especially in slapstick and Helms is more than up to the task as long as his big-screen and small-screen cohorts join him to fill out the cast and pay tribute to slapstick. Steve Corelle and Zach Galifianakis would be excellent actors to think about for the movie. With the Naked Gun franchise, your imagination is the only limit when dreaming up impossible yet ridiculous hilarity. I say fuck your petition.

    • Doug G. says:

      This version of the “Naked Gun” will come and go and that will be forgotten. Will Smith’s kid was in a Karate Kid remake but ask most anyone who is The Karate Kid and Ralph Macchio (whom I still can’t believe is 50!) is the answer you will probably get the most. Will Smith’s kid’s movie should have been called “A Karate Kid.”

      The “Naked Gun” remake won’t work for a number of reasons. One reason the original worked is Leslie Nielsen: he knew how important it was to keep a straight face no matter how ridiculous the premise was which was part of the joke. Ed Helms is a comedian first which is probably why he’s going to have a hard time keeping a straight face like that. Nielsen was a dramatic actor first and a lot of those dramatic skills he learned were put to use in “Airplane!” and “The Naked Gun” which is why he worked out so well.

  5. Daniel says:

    It is an absolutely stupid idea to reboot The Naked Gun without Leslie Nielsen. He passed away before anyone could work up the intelligence to make more Police Squad, and that ship has sailed.

  6. This is just awful. It’s only a matter of time before one of these exec’s thinks it’s a good idea to remake The Godfather — or (insert comparable movie here). Leslie Nielsen cannot be recreated, people.

  7. Jeff says:

    Come up with a original effing idea please, everyone is so quick to wanna ruin classics ie robocop n naked gun

  8. Tyler says:

    What a joke. Leslie Nielsen is iconic, Ed Helms isn’t funny. The end.

  9. Sweet Bain says:

    wow. just. wow. Remakes of remakes of remakes. a multiBILLION dollar industry that can’t be bothered with providing original content for the hungry masses. How hard would it be to make a screwball cop comedy with original characters and an name of its own? You could promote it with comparisons to the much beloved original, but why oh why do you have to…aww forget it. I’m moving to South Korea.

  10. Well, that’s financial suicide. If they want to get rid of money they could just throw 10% of the budget at me. Pretend they made it, keep the rest of the budget and come out far ahead of what they will wind up with if they actually attempt this.

  11. Gerry says:

    No. No. No. No. No. Stop it. Don’t even try to reboot Leslie Nielsen.

  12. Jake says:

    “Can you fly this plane and land it?”

    “Surely you can’t be serious.”

    “I am serious… and don’t call me Shirley.”

  13. Derek says:

    Does this mean, we might see OJ again..? I hope not.
    There is plenty of original funny material out there people, really!

  14. AC says:

    Crap, crap, crap, crap . . . .

    I’d rather hit myself in the head with a hammer, than watch this. Which, I suppose, might make future films more endurable.

  15. Tommy Tryne says:

    Will not watch this,.nothing can compare to Leslie in this genra.

  16. This is going to be a DISASTER. Nothing else needs to be said.

  17. Hawkeye says:

    A Naked Gun reboot written by two of the unfunniest people in showbusiness? Why? Why? WHY? Only bad things can come of this.

  18. aaron says:

    Why reboot? Let Helms be Frank’s son and go from there. Naked Gun: The Son of All Fears

  19. Gary says:

    You can’t make a reboot of Nielsen? Look at the joke they did of the reboot of Sellars in the pink panther using Steve Martin????

    • Doug G. says:

      Or the Karate Kid with Will Smith’s kid which did a great of job of reminding us that Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita cannot be replaced.

  20. Lt. Pat McGroin says:

    Ugh. The Powers That Be are missing the whole point of what made these movies/Leslie Nielsen funny. Before hooking up with the ZAZ boys, he was a dramatic actor that moved from movies to broadcast TV, guest starring in just about every series ever made since they started shooting “In Color!” In these movies, he hilariously parodied his own acting career/style when playing a straight character in absolutely ridiculous situations. Hiring a comedic actor to play the role defeats the point. Paramount–its not too late! Here are some better suggestions: John Stamos (seriously,) Bryan Cranston (may be too successful at this point,) Tom Selleck, Mark Harmon (my favorite pick,) and Helen Mirren(!) And side note: Keep Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer away from this project…far away.

    • Frank W says:

      The other thing was that Nielsen was really more like his character in real life. I agree, to me, he was Bracken on the second season of Bracken’s World before Airplane. Seeing him nasty again in 1987’s Nuts was a reminder of his dramatic chops, but the next year, bringing back Police squad as Naked Gun, he never really looked back at Drama. ….And seeing him all young and earnestly handsome in Forbidden Planet today.

      I saw him at a Spa/Hot Tub show in the early 00s. He was making promotional videos and appearances for an LA based company. (I think it was LA Spas–butt ugly tubs, but they had him)

  21. Robbie says:

    How many decent unread scripts are out there? Go and find some you lazy lazy fucks.

  22. kenmandu says:

    Hollywood goes to the well yet again and finds an empty bucket.

  23. Greg says:

    This will flop…..I won’t pay a dime to see it.

  24. This is a BAD IDEA. The reason The Naked Gun series worked is that Leslie Nielsen was a straight dramatic actor who didn’t really do comedy until AIRPLANE!. Nielsen played comedy with a true deadpan which Ed Helms can only fake.

  25. Jack says:

    Now MGM needs to give the Pink Panther Franchise to Sacha Baron Cohen as Inspector Clouseau and see what he can do with it.

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