We first heard about the inevitable remake of The Cannonball Run remake back in February when Guy Ritchie was linked to the project. What we didn’t know at the time was Ritchie’s big plans for the action-comedy. Ritchie reportedly wants his Snatch star Brad Pitt for the lead plus a few of Pitt’s Ocean’s Eleven castmates to fill out the ensemble, and hopes to shoot in Europe. That’s the Warner Bros. package. Producer Al Ruddy (Million Dollar Baby) is also fielding interest from Fox and director Shawn Levy, next in line if thin. Levy reportedly wants his Night at the Museum star Ben Stiller. Mr. Ruddy: could you, for the sake of science, produce both the Ritchie/Pitt and the Levy/Stiller versions of Cannonball Run? That would be a fascinating case study.
Hit the jump for news of the potential new financier of the remake: General Motors.
Vulture reports GM is in discussions to back The Cannonball Run in a deal that would be “much larger than your average product placement.” For comparison, the reports cites the Transformers franchise as an example of “soft marketing support.” So, yes, The Cannonball Run could be less subtle than Transformers when it comes to product integration. Given the nature of the property, geared toward gearheads, it’s probably for the best if the movie is a two-hour car commercial with some plot going on in the background.
The good news is that your money will technically go to finance the movie if you are a U.S. or Canadian taxpayer. The U.S. government holds a 27% stake in GM; the Canadian government owns a 12% stake.
A Europe-set Cannonball Run remake directed by Guy Ritchie; starring Brad Pitt and cars; funded by you, me, and GM. It’s so crazy it just might work.
Here’s the synopsis for the original:
Burt Reynolds and director Hal Needham team up for the fourth time, this time bringing an all-star cast of characters on a cross-country car race in the vein of 1976 release The Gumball Rally. The police are the least of the Cannonballers’ worries as they push the pedal to the metal in a race from Connecticut to California. Reynolds stars as J.J. McClure, a speed-loving racer disguised as an ambulance driver to outsmart the police. He is paired up with Dom Deluise, who plays his dimwitted sidekick Victor and who, on occasion, dons the suit of Captain Chaos. Rat Packers Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. join the lineup as Ferrari-driving priests, while martial arts expert Jackie Chan takes on one of his first U.S. film roles driving a souped-up Subaru. Among the many other stars are Roger Moore doing a parody of his 007 character, complete with secret devices and weapons, Farrah Fawcett as Pamela, a woman McClure and Chaos pick up, and Jamie Farr as a deranged Islamic sheik. Jack Elam joins the cast as a crazed proctologist along for McClure’s ambulance ride, and Needham makes a cameo as a patient. [Fandango]