Here's a fun game you can play with your friends. Tell them: "Hey, there's going to be a Cannonball Run remake directed by Guy Ritchie starring Brad Pitt." Note their reaction. Go to another friend and say, "Hey, there's going to be a Cannonball Run remake directed by Shawn Levy starring Ben Stiller." Note their reaction. We're willing to bet you get two wildly different responses.
The oddest part? Both scenarios are apparently true.
Producer Al Ruddy ("The Godfather") is apparently weighing both options, which at first glance seems like a no-brainer call (Um, RItchie, obvs) but once you consider that "Real Steel" has been #1 at the box office two weeks in a row suddenly Levy seems like a contender. Plus, consider the upside: With Ritchie at the helm, you're talking about expensive, "Ocean's Eleven"-sized talent being on the casting wish list (Pitt, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr, Angelina Jolie...). With Levy at the helm, you'll get much more manageable, "Hollywood Squares"-sized talent (Stiller, Kevin James, a Wilson brother or two, Anna Faris...)
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But hidden in the dream-casting and director debating is a slightly more troubling notion: The film, according to a Vulture report, will be financed by General Motors. That gets more chilling when you learn that GM considers their involvement in the "Transformers" franchise as "soft" marketing and wants to go bigger with "Cannonball." That's right, the franchise that stars WALKING, TALKING, WORLD-SAVING GM VEHICLES is a "soft" marketing push. That can only mean that the new "Cannonball Run" will be shown exclusively inside GM vehicles to a limited audience of people who have just purchased a GM vehicle.
And let's not even get into the fact that your tax dollars will partially fund the film (The U.S. government owns a 27% stake in GM).
Remember back when the whole exercise was an excuse for Burt Reynolds to abuse Dom Deluise and Dean Martin to be drunk on-camera? Simpler times.