An Oral History of ‘Reno 911!’

The creators, cast and guest stars of ‘Reno 911!’ talk about the show’s origins on Fox, its run on Comedy Central, the trio of movies, its Quibi rebirth and whether or not Dangle really killed his ex-wife

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The Brainstorm That Led to Hollywood's Most Unlikely Remake


Geoff Chaser is the best Hollywood producer in history.Geoff Chaser was carving that sentence into the neck of a terrible and majestic white tiger, its head lolling from the sedatives, when the door to his office shuddered. He stopped and looked up. There was silence. He screwed the magnifying loupe back into the space between his eye and cheek, and picked up the knife. The door shuddered again. Geoff depressed a button, and his intercom buzzed into life."Janice!" he screamed into the little box, delighting in the classical conditioning that caused his personal assistant's asscheeks to clench whenever she heard his voice. "Either my door is possessed or you're going to find snakes in your bed tonight because you're not doing your fucking job!"

The Brainstorm That Led to Hollywood's Most Unlikely Remake
"Yes, touch them. Touch the snakes."

"Sorry sir!" the strained voice came instantly. "It's Mr. Blazer, sir. He's ah ... he appears to have enslaved a small army of interns. They've turned the water cooler into a sort of battering ram, sir.""Well for God's sake, woman, let him in! You know my door is always open for Chaz.""I know, sir, but he never asked! They ran in screaming and didn't even pause. They just attacked.""Fantastic!" Geoff stood, the abrupt motion tossing a limp tiger skull from his lap. "That's called initiative, Janice! Take notes; I'll carve them into a tiger later."The door shuddered again, cracked and split. A flood of pasty, red-eyed 20-somethings streamed into the office, yelling and frothing at the mouth. Each was wearing an elaborate leather harness, a beer helmet and nothing else. Behind them, Chaz strode casually through the wreckage. When he saw Geoff, he extended his arms in greeting.

The Brainstorm That Led to Hollywood's Most Unlikely Remake
Like this, but the complete and total spiritual inverse.

"Geoff, my Baby, Baby, Baby Bitch! Ask me why I've besieged your office!" Chaz, too, was wearing a beer helmet -- though his was equal parts polished aluminum and smooth white plastic. An Apple logo winked arrogantly from its side. "Chaz, Sweetbreads! Why have you besieged my office?"Chaz clapped his hands twice and clucked something in a complicated, grunting language at the interns. They immediately cowed, retreated to the far corner, squatted down meekly and awaited further direction."I've besieged your office because I have raped and pillaged the answer to all of our problems! You know how the investors were making a ruckus last meeting because our studio quote-unquote 'deals exclusively in the trade of fecal matter and human misery.' Well, I'll tell you what I did: I stocked my iBooze with pints of Dextromethorphan and moonshined Four Loko (I've had to fly it in daily from a little stilt-town down in the everglades since they banned it), and I sat down in my office and meditated on our little problem. Suddenly, it came to me! Baby, I got this shit! The perfect property! It's got literary esteem, mainstream American appeal, tits, asses, epic battles and sequel potential!""I'm hard," Geoff replied encouragingly. Chaz continued. "It's even got a nice, catchy title:
Paradise Lost."

Paradife lolt. A POEM IN TENBOOKS. The Author y. M. Licenfed and Entred according to Order. LONDON Printed, and are to be fold Peter Parker pnder Cree
"Poster needs some work, though ..."

"That underground parking garage Casino/Labyrinth in Koreatown? I love that place! I like to put horns on a homeless man and chase him through it with a sword.""No, no! Milton! It's a 17th century epic, written entirely in blank verse," Chaz was roving about the room in fast little circles with the flustered impatience of a man inspired -- or a man severely under the influence of caffeinated malt beverages and pharmaceutical hallucinogens. "OK, I get respectability from that, sure, but how does that callously make us billions of dollars?" Geoff strode across the room to the corner where the submissive intern slave-army was left idling. He reached to pull a Four Loko from one of their helmets, but the thing howled at him, slapped his hand and tried to scrabble up the wall. "Don't do that," Chaz warned him, "I've made it so they need it to live. But don't worry, plenty more where that came from. We're just the vanguard. The supply line is bringing up the rear behind us. Be here any minute.""Billions of callous dollars," Geoff prompted him, feeling the horrible tide of sobriety crest beneath his skin."Right. Right! See,
Paradise Lost is all about the war between heaven and hell, the first temptation and downfall of man, and the creation of the devil -- but he's a kind of sexy, complicated devil; probably be shirtless most of the runtime." Chaz became so overtaken by his muse that he dropped to all fours and rampaged about the room like an ape.

The Brainstorm That Led to Hollywood's Most Unlikely Remake
"Yes! A sexily misunderstood devil. Don't think those wings will play, though, let's have God afflict his visage with a bitchin' leather jacket instead."

"I love it! We'll make teenage girls
want to fuck the devil! But it's missing the Twilight Enigma: If we want to see the real money, we gotta have diametrically opposed hunks to turn the pre-teen girls against each other, then make them war about it via commerce. So who's our shirtless rival?""Why, the son of God himself, baby! Here's some meat in your vegan burrito: He's formless in
Paradise Lost -- not having come to Earth yet in the body of Christ - which means he can look like whoever we want! Open casting!" Chaz briefly attacked and murdered one of the interns before continuing "I'm thinking Djimon Hounsou as 'Sonny F. God.' You know, drum up some of that good ol' Baptist controversy down South before opening day. Always steers the dollars right." "I love it! But Chaz, Sugar Pops, you know me: Years of casual blasphemy have given me sexual ADD. You're losing it," Geoff gestured downward at the flatness in his slacks, "I need more convincing.""Check it: Here's how the poem starts," Chaz snapped his fingers toward the doorway and two more harnessed interns dragged a limp jungle cat in from the waiting room. The supply line had apparently arrived. Chaz seized the beast by the neck and read from the wounds: "Of Man's First Disobedience, and the Fruit of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal taste brought Death into the world, and all our woe, with loss of Eden, till one greater Man restore us, and regain the blissful Seat ...""It's like a gibberish matrix. I love it!" Geoff enthused. "Half-mast. What else you got?"

The Brainstorm That Led to Hollywood's Most Unlikely Remake
"... and Jesus spake: There ith nay spoon."

"Oh, Geoff, my warrior of the wasteland, my ayatollah of rock-and-rollah, don't talk about guns like I ain't got none. What, you think I sold 'em all? I brought the big ones, son!
Paradise Lost is a two-parter. The First part? Action epic, war between heaven and hell, birth of the devil. Second part? Temptation of Eve, the story of the garden, the downfall of man. I'm thinking if the first part is 300 ..." "Then the sequel is Failure to Launch! An action-epic-rom/com saga! We'll get 'em from both fronts! We'll rail them in every genre-orifice! A demographical gangbang!"Chaz spun suddenly and yanked a Four Loko from one of the supply slaves. The men laughed pleasantly as it scurried around in panic, then seized on the floor and lapsed into a withdrawal coma. Chaz handed the beverage to Geoff, who drunk deep of its misery and malted deliciousness. It tasted like money. It also tasted like somebody shat out a Jolly Rancher."So what did this war look like?" Geoff asked, feeling a combination of fanatic energy and poor impulse control course through his body. "Was the devil a transformer? Did the angels have machine guns, or what? I don't know the Bbible very well; I think I'm technically a Zoroastrian, last time I checked.""They're angels, man! They fly!" Chaz clucked and whistled again at the trembling interns, and they snapped abruptly into action. Two ran forward to secure either side of the door, while the other two knelt before Chaz with their palms spread upward. "It's all gonna be speed-ramped air jousting. Picture Zach Snyder doing
Braveheart, but in the sky, and spitting in the face of religion."

The Brainstorm That Led to Hollywood's Most Unlikely Remake
Like this, but with a bunch of lens flares and some Deftones playing in the background.

"I'll tell you what I'm seeing for this, and fair warning: You're probably going to fondle my proverbial balls in appreciation of my genius when I'm done. Are you ready? Got your hands cupped? I like 'em warm, Chaz, you rub those palms together. Here we go: Remember the guy did that movie with Nic Cage and the hair, you know the one? Where math is like, an alien weapon sent to destroy the Earth?" Geoff walked back around his desk to stare out his windows. This city was his. He owned it. Spiritually, if not legally -- and maybe this was just the illegally distilled Four Loko talking, but wouldn't it look pretty on fire?"
Knowing, right! Same guy that did I, Robot." Chaz stepped up into the waiting palms of the intern-slaves. They hoisted him unsteadily into the air."Seriously?" Geoff laughed with glee. "Fantastic! That movie sold so many Converse and Audis. Get that motherfucker on the phone.""I'm pretty sure I communicate telepathically now, but OK!" The slaves took Chaz on a circuit around the office and then paraded toward the door."Oh, and Chaz?" Geoff turned from the window, smiling, "Do I even need to say it?""3D!" they both yelled in unison."Bam!" Chaz screamed, trumpeting victoriously as the things-that-used-to-be-men carried him out of the office, "that is how you fucking do it!"

You can buy Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Or you could just start repenting your sins now, because you're going to need the headstart: The next Bible remake is giving the devil a Ducati and an uzi.

For more remakes that shouldn't happen, check out 5 Upcoming Remakes of 80s Movies (That Must be Stopped). And get you some more Brockway in 5 Upcoming Comic Book Movies That Must Be Stopped.

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