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Ed Helms Will Be Frank Drebin in NAKED GUN Reboot

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.

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  1. dr-nix says:

    This reboot is such a bad idea, i don’t even know where to start.

  2. Ethan Schaeffer says:

    This really sucks. Pick like Ed Helms, but he has no business filling this role. This casting reeks of another half-assed, cash-grab reboot, following in the footsteps of the likes of the Pink Panther and Get Smart remakes. Not horrible films, but, at best, just mediocre, forgettable films some star is shoe-horned into a role they had no business being in, and little chance of doing justice.

  3. Matt the King says:

    You know what would be cool? If anyone in Hollywood had an original thought. Enough with the “reboot” nonsense. It’s lazy, and usually awful. Write some scripts. Stop trying to remake movies that were great the first time around.

  4. Cartman says:


  5. The Big D says:

    Some franchises do not need a reboot, and this is one of them. Hollywood is just being lazy and unoriginal like always. Doesn’t anyone write original material any more???

  6. Jonathan says:

    Why is Ed Helms remotely popular?! This is a terrible idea to reboot at all, yet alone with Helms. Perhaps someone could get Kevin Kline instead? Which also makes me think about another terrible remake in The Pink Panther, that should have been Kline in the lead as well…and a worthy script too would have been nice.

  7. .
    PS: I said ‘relatively’ above as i do believe there are others who have done the straight-guy-serious-bit….examples include: Lloyd Bridges (Airplane, Hot Shots), Robert Stack, and…yes…William Shatner (Airplane2).

  8. Matt says:

    Does Ed Helms have a twitter? I want to tell him that this is a terrible career choice. It will be the end of him. No there should not be a Naked Gun Reboot. Never. Ever. If they want today’s youth to be able to experience The Naked Gun, then they should just bring the originals back to the box office. That’s the only acceptable reboot for these movies.

  9. Three Toes of Fury says:

    Terrible idea.


    Neilsen had a relatively one-of-a-kind persona in playing the oblvious-serious-guy that was HILARIOUS in Airplane, Police Squad (IN COLOR!), and the first Naked Gun movie.

    Parody…good parody…is very tough to pull off. Its easy to [email protected]#k up. Honestly with the exception of Black Dynamite, i think pretty much every parody in the last decade has been lame. Even Neilsen had alot of bad movies as i feel the directors/writers and maybe even Neilsen himself were trying to hard to copy what they thought worked about his earlier stuff.

    That will be the problem with the proposed Helms remake. They’ll try to hard to copy what they think worked. It wont. I like Lennon and Garant ALOT. Their book on screen writing is awesome and they’ve done some great stuff. But this flick will be nothing more than a series of meh-funny setpieces with visual gags and Helms acting serious….its like the attempted reboot of Pink Panther and Get Smart….a bad, bad, idea and an unnecessary update on material that not only got it right the first time…but holds up great today. Speaking of which…i think its time to rewatch the handful of episodes of Police Squad…which i HIGHLY encourage all nerdists to do if they’ve never seen it before….IT is brilliant.

    Peace .n. Dont call me surely.