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The New Cannonball Run Movie Has a Director—Maybe

Clifford Atiyeh
Photo credit: Car and Driver

From Car and Driver

The Cannonball is back, baby! The latest Cannonball Run movie (the third official) has a director. According to the website Deadline Hollywood, Rawson Thurber (whose previous credits include Central Intelligence and Dodgeball) is on tap for the Warner Brothers remake of the Cannonball legend. A week earlier, however, Deadline Hollywood had reported that Doug Liman (who directed the action flicks The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith) was the choice.

The first two Cannonball movies were directed by Hal Needham and produced in part with C/D’s late editor-in-chief Brock Yates, the prime conspirator behind the Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash from 1971 to 1979. His widow, Pamela, as we previously reported, announced the latest movie’s existence and its $100 million budget last June.

With Brock Yates, sadly, no longer available, Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant (who played the wacky short-short-wearing cops in Reno 911! and also wrote the Night at the Museum films) are the screenwriters. The title and release date are uncertain.

The original 1981 Cannonball Run, which starred Burt Reynolds, Farah Fawcett, and Jamie Farr, made $72 million, not a bad take for a goofy summer comedy. The 1984 follow-up, Cannonball Run II, took in $28 million. A more obscure and unofficial Cannonball movie, Speed Zone, starring Farr, John Candy, and Eugene Levy, fared less well in 1989, despite featuring a Lamborghini Countach skipping over a pond and a Ferrari Daytona driving down stairs. Our boneheaded race also inspired a 2013 Japanese porno film, The Sex Cannonball Run. Unfortunately, Car and Driver receives no royalties from any of the Cannonball flicks, but we’re flattered that our magazine’s historic, highly illegal cross-country race will reach a new generation of car enthusiasts.

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