- The original creators of The Naked Gun franchise feel excluded from the upcoming reboot.
- Their initial script for Naked Gun 4 was rejected, leading to Seth MacFarlane taking over the project.
- The unused script has been repurposed into a new movie called Counterintelijence.
The forthcoming reboot of The Naked Gun franchise has failed to win over the creators of the original movies, who feel left out of the project. The iconic comedy series, which thrived in the late 1980s and 1990s with its absurd visual humor and wordplay, is reported to have Liam Neeson portraying Lt. Frank Drebin’s son, with Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane as producer.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, co-creator David Zucker and writer Pat Proft revealed that they had been planning to write the fourth movie in the franchise, but their script was rejected due to a “stupid, mild joke” that a female Paramount executive disapproved of. Zucker recounted:
“Pat, Mike and I wrote a script for Naked Gun 4, and we heard Jon Gonda at Paramount had read the script and laughed all the way through it, but somewhere along the line, they decided not to go with Pat and Mike and me. So that’s when they got Seth MacFarlane, and he has Akiva Schaffer directing Liam Neeson. I was never able to meet with Seth.”
Zucker continued to recall a meeting they had at Paramount four years ago:
“…It was a woman who complained about some joke that Pat and I wrote about a police officer having to adjust her Kevlar vest or have a breast reduction or something. It’s just a stupid, mild joke, but that was too much for them. So I can’t even imagine how they’re limiting whoever does Naked Gun 4, if they’re that frightened.”
Regardless, Zucker added that their unused script would still see the light of day, as it has been reworked into a new film called Counterintelijence:
“We’re not involved, and we’ve repurposed what was going to be Naked Gun 4 — as we called it, Counterintelijence, spelled with one L and a J — and we’re going to go out with that one.”
Although Zucker has come to terms with the franchise continuing without his involvement, writer Proft is less amicable about the situation, believing he should be the one writing the reboot:
“I’m not happy — and there’s a story with it, but I’m not pleased. It may come out and may be great — and good for that — but I sure as f*ck should be writing it. I should have done this one… We’ve been totally blocked out of it. The unfortunate part of it is that Paramount owns it, so they can do what they f*cking want. So that’s it.”
Despite the changing times and some controversial humor, The Naked Gun’s legacy remains. Originating from the unsuccessful TV series Police Squad, the trilogy began with the 1988 film The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, followed by two sequels in 1991 and 1994. With notable commercial success and a lasting impact on the film industry, the franchise’s influence can still be seen in many modern comedies.
Details about the reboot are limited, though Liam Neeson has expressed his excitement to be part of the project. For the time being, the original Naked Gun movies are available to stream on Max or Paramount+ depending on your location.