There’s a lot of buzz circulating at the moment concerning a potential Knight Rider movie.
The most likely direction this project will take at the moment seems to be a buddy comedy starring John Cena, with Kevin Hart providing the voice of KITT, the talking car. If these plans go ahead, we’ll be looking at a kind of 21 Jump Street comedy revival that provides a tongue-in-cheek look at a classic television series.
Yeah, sure, that’s one way to go. Alternatively, the studio could do what David Hasselhoff wants to do, which involves getting Machete director Robert Rodriguez to make a dark, gritty Western in the vein of Logan.
There’s no denying that this sounds far more exciting.
According to Hasselhoff:
“I have met Robert Rodriguez. He does Dusk til Dawn and Machete. And I said ‘You need to do Knight Rider.’ Because he was doing a marathon of Knight Riders and he said ‘Can we have a selfie!?’ And I said, ‘No, I don’t want a selfie! I want to do the movie! I want to shoot the TV series! I want to bring it back and make it dark! Michael Knight comes back and he’s pissed.’ … I hope it happens, and if it does, it’ll be kind of like Logan. It will be dark. Hasselhoff as Michael Knight in 2017. Knight Rider. The saga continues.”
This is a pretty big departure from the show’s roots, but then, that’s kind of the point. The original Knight Rider was always a little silly, if only because all television in the Eighties was silly.
A gritty Knight Rider could work though, especially if based on Logan. Hugh Jackman’s final turn as Wolverine does a fantastic job at taking an inherently cartoonish character, stripping away all his fantastical elements, and making a grounded, emotional, often unsettling story about death, family, and old heroes being left behind in modern society.
David Hasselhoff has never really been what you’d call a deeply serious actor – he’s been happy to play up his pop-culture relevance for laughs in everything from the original Spongebob movie to the recent Guardians of the Galaxy sequel.
In a weird way, it’d be fun to see what happens when such an inherently over-the-top actor attempts to play a deep, serious, grim take on his own past role. Whether this would turn out to be a phenomenal performance, or a phenomenally bad performance, it doesn’t matter – either way, this feels like it’d be something worth watching.
It’s worth assuming, though, that many creative decision-makers in Hollywood will end up learning the wrong lesson from Logan, assuming that blood, guts, and swearing are what’s made that movie a hit, when the film’s strengths instead come from building a strong, personal story around well-written characters.
The Machete movies aren’t exactly known for their nuance – if this film ever got made, it might just be two hours of David Hasselhoff swearing and running people over, with guts flying in the most disgusting way possible.
Actually, that sounds pretty fun in and of itself! There’s no real downside to this project.
Such a shame that, instead of an overly gritty take on a campy TV show, we’ll instead get a fluffy comedy that tries too hard to copy 21 Jump Street.
Oh well. Perhaps the grimdark Knight Rider movie is better in abstract than it would be in reality, anyway.