The move to adapt classic TV shows to the big screen seems to have slowed down a bit, but it has’t, and probably never will, stop completely. Case in point, a movie version of the late 1970s/early 1980s cop show CHiPs has just been greenlit with Dax Shepard and Michael Pena set to star. The original series starred Larry Wilcox and Erik Estrada and Shepard and Dax will be stepping into their roles as two California Highway Patrol motorcycle cops.
Pena spoke to Collider about the project during their interview about Pena’s upcoming appearance in Ant-Man. Unlike the recent 21 Jump Street and Land Of The Lost TV-to-film translations, CHiPs was going to not play the source material for laughs but take it in a much more straight forward action vein.
It’s more like a Lethal Weapon where there’s a lot of action and what we wanted to do is if there’s any comedy that we do, it’s not like one-liners here and there, like we’re the guys always being stand-up comedians. It’s almost like you lose a little bit of the plotline whenever you’re off doing your own comedy thing, so we’re focusing a little more on the plot, if that makes any sense whatsoever.
While I am old enough to (barely) remember the show from its original run from 1977 to 1983, it was never something that caught my imagination. Catching up with reruns years later, I found it to be rather average, skating by on Estrada and Cox’s chemistry together more than anything else. So the idea of taking it in a more action-oriented direction certainly has my interest piqued, doubly so as Pena says that Shepard’s script definitely heads towards R rating territory.
Here’s the whole section of Collider’s interview with Pena that deals with CHiPs.