The 'Slap Shot' Remake Is Coming

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↵For the better part of a year, there have been scattered rumors of a possible remake of the 1977 sports comedy classic, Slap Shot. Yesterday, word came out of Hollywood that plans for the remake are continuing apace, as the producers have hired Dean Parisot to direct. ↵

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↵Parisot, who most recently directed another 1970s remake, Fun With Dick and Jane, but is probably better known for the Star Trek spoof, Galaxy Quest, will be directing from a screenplay written by Peter Steinfeld. ↵

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↵As for Steinfeld, he hit a home run last time out with 21, the story about a group of MIT students conspiring to break the bank in Vegas while playing blackjack. To hear him tell the story, he's been getting a lot of grief from fans of the original Slap Shot: ↵

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↵⇥I've never had so many people hate me for writing something they haven't seen yet. It's such a classic film and fans of the original feel like I'm grave-robbing or something. But I think the movie will be really fun and will capture what it's like to play minor league hockey in 2008. ↵
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↵Plenty of folks are expressing doubts about the project, and it's easy to see why. After all, it isn't as if Hollywood hasn't butchered the source material for the movie twice before with both Slap Shot 2 and Slap Shot 3, a pair of direct-to-video classics. ↵

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↵If anything bothers me about a potential Slap Shot remake, it's one thing that plenty of people seem to be forgetting. The screenplay for the original film, written by Nancy Dowd, wasn't drawn exclusively from her fertile imagination, but from personal experience. ↵

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↵As I wrote back at FanHouse in 2007, Dowd got the idea for Slap Shot after getting a drunken late-night phone call from her brother, who at the time was playing minor league hockey with the Johnstown Jets. It was during that phone call that Dowd's brother told her the story about how the Jets were either going to fold or be sold at the end of the season. And when Dowd pressed her brother on who actually owned the team and he couldn't answer, she knew she had her story: ↵

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↵⇥Three AM in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and my brother was drunk. The bottom line of the conversation: his team was to fold or be sold. I asked: who OWNS the Jets? He had no idea. And at that moment I knew I was going to write the screenplay that would become Slap Shot. I had never been to Johnstown, never seen my brother play, never met his team, but I had my story. ↵
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↵Dowd headed to Johnstown to meet the team and begin devising all of those memorable -- and often incredibly filthy -- lines of dialogue. One wonders if Steinfeld has gone to the same lengths to fill out his own screenplay. Then again, even if he actually did, the screenplay he produced probably wouldn't have been Slap Shot at all. For more on that, here's Elisabeth Rappe from Cinematical: ↵

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↵⇥Instead, do the unthinkable and give us a new hockey comedy. The sport is rife with hilarity (Psycho goalies! Goons! Spitting chiclets! Weird accents!) and I see no reason it can't be mined. They did it in 1977 -- surely you can do it now? ↵
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↵I guess we'll just have to wait and see. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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