Original ‘Naked Gun’ Creators ‘Totally Blocked’ From Liam Neeson Reboot

‘The unfortunate part of it is that Paramount owns it, so they can do what they (bleep)ing want’
Original ‘Naked Gun’ Creators ‘Totally Blocked’ From Liam Neeson Reboot

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The thing that had most comedy nerds buzzing about the news of a Naked Gun reboot was casting action star Liam Neeson to replace the late Leslie Nielsen as (we assume) bumbling police lieutenant Frank Drebin. On the face of things, Neeson seems like an odd choice to star in a big-screen comedy, but no odder than Nielsen when he was cast in Airplane. “We got very excited because this captain of the Poseidon guy (Nielsen was in The Poseidon Adventure) or whoever he was didn’t seem to have a humorous bone in his body,” says writer/director David Zucker in oral history Surely You Can’t Be Serious. It worked back then so who knows — maybe Neeson will kill it. Some people are already applauding the news. 

One person not happy about the reboot announcement, however, is David Zucker. He and original Naked Gun co-writer Pat Proft have had a script for a new Drebin adventure ready to go for some time. However, “somewhere along the line, they decided not to go with” the original creators, Zucker told Hollywood Reporter last November. “That’s when they got Seth MacFarlane, and he has Akiva Schaffer directing Liam Neeson. I was never able to meet with Seth.”

“I’m not happy — and there’s a story with it,” Proft told Hollywood Reporter. “But I’m not pleased. It may come out and may be great — and good for that — but I sure as fuck should be writing it. I should have done this one.”

You can understand where Proft is coming from — the first three Naked Gun movies made hundreds of millions of dollars for Paramount. Was a meeting with Seth MacFarlane too much to ask? At least Lonely Island’s Schaffer connected with Zucker. “Akiva did reach out and came to my house,” he says. “I had a very nice meeting with him. He’s a great guy, and we just talked about comedy. At some point, maybe they were going to give me the script. They wanted me to be involved, but I never got a script, so nothing ever came of it.”

“We’ve been totally blocked out of it,” says Proft. “The unfortunate part of it is that Paramount owns it, so they can do what they fucking want.” 


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