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The Retro Report: Nothing Funny About SHAFT, MARRIED…Redux, It’s Doctor VENKMAN! & More!

The new Fantastic Four feature film is bombing at the box office not because of “miscast/race” issues, but because audiences are growing weary of the edgy, dingy, cynical and miserable characterizations that have infiltrated the superhero set on the big screen (and small).  Super Friends where are you?

According to E! News, Married…With Children may be following the retread path of Full(er) House with a new updated TV series version of itself.

MWC cast members Christina Applegate, Katey Sagal, Ed O’Neill and David Faustino in 2014

David Faustino, who starred as son Bud, had teased the news at the recent L.A. premiere of the new Vacation motion picture, which stars his former tv sibling Christina Applegate.  “They’re working out some legal issues that we hope they work out,” Faustino said.  But a source within Sony studios, Married’s proprietor, denied that any such reunion is in the works.

Meanwhile, Shaft is also on the re-bound, which it really has been since the original feature film starring Richard Roundtree debuted in 1972.  Roundtree had reprised the part for a short-lived small screen CBS TV rendition in 1975, only to be followed decades later in 2000 for a new big-screen adaptation featuring Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by John Singleton.

Samuel L. Jackson and the original Shaft, Richard Roundtree in 2000’s Shaft

This time, TV’s Black-ish creator Kenya Barris and The Goldbergs executive producer Alex Barnow are giving the franchise the re-Shaft.  The new film has not yet cast its lead, but apparently, the angle will be comedic…which some believe to be a mistake.  (Why Hollywood feels it must make a joke when going into remake mode remains a mystery to many!)

Last week the world celebrated the birthday of the legendary Lucille Ball (now SHE knows comedy!) with a monumental announcement by the Lucy-Desi Center in Jamestown, NY (Lucy’s hometown):  a five-years-in-the-making of National Comedy Center has been given the ground-breaking green light for a 45-million-dollar facility.

As Tom Benson, the center’s Project Chairman told the Time Warner Cable Buffalo News, “It’s surreal. It’s beyond exciting. It’s like, ‘Hey, we’re really doing this,’ and it just gives me goose-bumps.”  Plans call for a 38,000-square-foot facility that will feature interactive exhibits, as well as live programming dedicated to preserving the art of comedy and its contributors.  Said Journey Gunderson, Executive Director for the Lucy-Desi Center, this new massive mirthful space will “preserve [comedic] legacies in a way the world can enjoy and experience for generations to come.”

Word on the Retro street is that Bill Murray, who portrayed Dr. Peter Venkman in the original Ghostbusters feature films (from 1984 and 1989) will make an appearance in director Paul Feig’s updated reboot of the franchise.

The opening credit sequence for The Munsters or The Addams Family?  You pick.


Peace to lovers of all things classic.

Writer/producer Herbie J Pilato has worked for Bravo, Syfy, A&E, E!, TLC, NBCUniversal, Sony and Warner Bros.  
He’s also the author of several critically-acclaimed pop-culture books, all available at Amazon.com
 
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