Sure, why not?. A new TV series based on hillbilly action comedy Smokey and the Bandit is being developed by the truly anonymous-sounding Universal Content Productions, per The Hollywood Reporter. This new version of the 1977 Burt Reynolds–Sally Field road movie, with a pilot written by David Gordon Green and Brian Sides (Green will also direct), doesn’t have a home yet, but Peacock seems like a pretty good bet for this kind of splashy, high profile, IP-based show. Additional executive producers include Green’s Rough House confederates Jody Hill, Danny McBride and Brandon James and Seth MacFarlane and Erica Huggins of Fuzzy Door.
According to THR, “The new take is inspired by the genre of ’70s and ’80s drive-in double features, the potential series explores the crossroads where humble realities meet those larger-than-life, all in a blast of tailpipe exhaust.” Sure! The original film, a surprise lowbrow hit that wound up being the second biggest earner of 1977 (after some movie called Star Wars), spawned two sequels – Smokey and the Bandit II in 1980 and Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 in 1983 (that’s how rebellious they were, they didn’t even follow standardized naming conventions!) The movies also popularized the Pontian Trans Am and gave Paul Williams something to do in-between writing hit songs, appearing on talk shows, and snorting cocaine (he is now very sober). They also inspired four (!) television movies (Bandit Goes Country, Bandit Bandit, Beauty and the Bandit and Bandit’s Silver Angel) that featured Brian Bloom playing a younger version of the Burt Reynolds character.
“Growing up in the south, Smokey and the Bandit was an iconic franchise for me. The legacy of these characters is a playground of swagger and sass that I’m excited to dig into,” Green said in a statement. And if somebody can make the property relevant and stay away from (or potentially engage with/subvert) some of the messier elements of its iconography and setting, it’s Green, who is currently working with Universal on a pair of follow-ups to his well-received Halloween reboot, Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends.
It makes sense that Green and the Rough House team would tackle Smokey and the Bandit; a Jerry Reed song from the soundtrack inspired the title of another of their projects, the gleeful obscene HBO comedy series Eastbound and Down.
Smokey and the Bandit is one of a number of projects MacFarlane has set up with UCP, after signing a lucrative deal earlier this year and joins the ranks of other Universal television properties based on their stable of popular legacy titles like Chucky (coming to Syfy next year) and Battlestar Galactica (coming to Peacock).