Filling the considerably large comedic shoes of Leslie Nielsen isn’t easy, but Paramount thinks Ed Helms is the man to do it. The mountainous company has announced today that Helms will play Lieutenant Frank Drebin in the reboot of the Zucker-Abrams-Zucker absurdist classic, The Naked Gun, itself a spinoff of their short-lived but much-loved cop show, Police Squad!. Nielsen, of course, starred in three Naked Gun movies, the latter two given the subtitles 2 and 1/2: The Smell of Fear and 33 1/3: The Final Insult.
SlashFilm also reports that screenwriting power-duo Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant are attached to write the script. They, of course, are just coming off their first directorial outing, Hell Baby, which came out earlier this year.
As for Helms, he was meant to star in New Line’s Vacation reboot taking over the role made famous by Chevy Chase, but that project was put on hold due to a dispute over the proposed rating of the film (surely the filmmakers wanted an R, but the studio wanted that coveted and boring PG-13). Helms isn’t the first Office manager to be tapped to reboot a comedy series; his predecessor Steve Carell played Agent Maxwell Smart in the 2008 big screen adaptation of Mel Brooks’ Get Smart.
What do you think of this announcement? Can Helms be as deadpan as Nielsen or will he be a bit more outwardly goofy? Is a reboot of The Naked Gun something we need? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below, and enjoy the opening scene from the 1988 original.