Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Another Shot of Paladin, Anyone?

Really? This is what Hollywood thinks Americans are craving most, what bored viewers really need, what they can’t possibly live without? A new version of Richard Boone’s Western-detective series Have Gun--Will Travel? Really? This item comes from Deadline Hollywood:
CBS has put in development Have Gun--Will Travel, a reboot of the 1957 CBS Western drama, to be penned by writer/director/playwright David Mamet. Mamet is set to direct the potential pilot, which will be produced by CBS TV Studios. He is executive producing with agent-turned-producer Elliott Webb.

Have Gun--Will Travel, whose title plays on a line commonly used in personal ads, aired on CBS from 1957 through 1963 and also spawned a successful radio version. Its producers included Frank Pierson, and one of its main writers was Gene Roddenberry who would go on to create Star Trek. Created by Sam Rolfe and Herb Meadow, Have Gun starred Richard Boone as Paladin, a top-notch gunfighter who preferred to settle problems without violence but stood his ground when provoked.
Listen, I enjoyed Boone’s Have Gun--Will Travel, just as I liked his NBC Mystery Movie series, Hec Ramsey, in the 1970s. But am I desperate to see a revised version of it, when the original is easily available in DVD format? No, not any more than I was dying to see resurrections of Charlie’s Angels, or The Rockford Files, or Kojak.

The subhead on Patrick Goldstein’s last Los Angeles Times column this week was right on the money: “Sequels, remakes, reboots. What Hollywood needs is an original thought.”


Evan Lewis said...

I agree with you about Rockford, Kojak and the Angels. But it's time for westerns to make a comeback on TV, and HGWT would be a great place to start.

Robert Wilhelm said...

The original Have Gun Will Travel was probably the most intelligent of the 50s westerns. Normally I'd say "who needs another." But the thought of David Mamet writing HGWT is irresistable. I want it now!

michael said...

I used to hate the idea of rebooting old series but io9 website has had some interesting thoughts about the trend.

They compare it to the way humans told folk tales. It is still common to retell those tales and change them to fit the audience. Shakespeare continues to be rebooted.

The idea is TV with its mass audience is our folk tales. Characters from TV series such as Rockford and "Star Trek" are our version of Snow White, Dracula, and Hamlet.

I am not sure why they can't do what we did and steal the character and rename it as we have done with all the versions out there of Marlowe, Spade, and Nick and Nora Charles.

But while I am more tolerant of rebooting characters (it has worked for Holmes), I dislike rebooting writers such as the future attempt to recreate Chandler's Marlowe. Marlowe's appeal is not as much the character as it was Chandler that made the books special.

As for Have Gun Will Travel (which was also a radio series), I don't care. I have my originals. Let Mamet enjoy himself.