Sony Wants To Let The Good Times Roll
By adapting the '70s sitcom into a movie
Everybody stop joking about how Bod could one day become a movie! Because eventually, every TV show ever will be noticed by the roving eye of the remake robot and we’ll all have to put up with months of casting rumours about Hollywood’s top talent competing to be the milkshake-obsessed frog on the right. But we aren’t there yet, and Sony optioning ‘70s US sitcom Good Times at least has potential for comic material and a poke at issues in the ‘60s and ‘70s.
Plus, Scott Rudin is the man driving the latest attempt to repurpose nostalgic TV for the big screen, and he’s not a man who gets involved with just anything. He’s put Wreck-It Ralph co-writer Phil Johnston on to the task of finding a way to make the movie work.
Good Times was a spin-off of a spin-off (it came via Maude from All In The Family), focusing on working class couple James and Florida Evans (John Amos and Esther Rolle) who live with their three kids in inner city Chicago. The series, co-created by Eric Monte and Mike Evans, and developed by sitcom pioneer Norman Lear, was among the first shows to focus on African American issues, especially one with a family trying to make it work in the big city. However, some of that was eventually undermined by the breakout character of wacky oldest son James Jr “JJ” Evans, played by Jimmie Walker, who quickly won attention with his catchphrase, “Dy-no-mite!’” It was remade here as The Fosters featuring a young Lenny Henry.
Johnston will apparently turn back the clock on the show to the 1960s, which will allow for an intriguing twist on the show’s format. But will it be released over here? Or will Working Title figure out a competing Fosters remake?