The Good Times remake has been given the go-ahead, Deadline reported on Tuesday, March 12. Producer Scott Rudin will team with Sony Pictures on the project and writer Phil Johnston will handle the script.
Johnston’s recent credits include Wreck-It Ralph and Cedar Rapids, while Rudin has a 33-year-career producing film and television. His latest projects include work on the HBO series The Newsroom and Wes Anderson’s 2012 film Moonrise Kingdom.
Good Times followed a low-income African-American family in the housing projects of Chicago and was known for standout performer Jimmie Walker as J.J. Evans, whose iconic phrase “Dynomite!” crossed over into 1970s popular culture.
No casting news has been released at this time, but Rudin and Sony told Deadline the Good Times remake would be set in 1960s Chicago, so purists can rest easy knowing there will be no attempts at updating for modern times.
Rudin is no stranger to the world of remakes. Previous updates included The Manchurian Candidate with Denzel Washington, Shaft with Samuel L. Jackson, and Sabrina with Harrison Ford.
Good Times joined other Norman Lear sitcoms All in the Family, Maude, and One Day at a Time in setting a new trend for socially-aware comedy that relied on hot-button issues of the day for inspiration.
Esther Rolle and John Amos played the original mother and father of the Evans clan, and the show also featured a young Janet Jackson during seasons five and six.
The Hollywood remake trend has worked for much longer than you think, according to a recent analysis from The Inquisitr, and foreign markets are even getting into the mix with a Japanese update of the Clint Eastwood westernUnforgiven in the works.
Yahoo! Voices speculated in August 2012 that a Good Times remake would be hard to pull off in modern times, but perhaps the decision to set the film in the original time period is just what this project needs.
What are your thoughts on a Good Times remake, and were you a fan of the original series?