I remember watching CHiPS as a kid. Seeing Ponch and that blonde guy riding motorcycles around chasing bad guys and stopping crimes was something cool to see while I was waiting for the next episode of Battlestar Galactica. So, when I read that Dateline.com broke the news that Warner Bros. had announced that Dax Shepard was attached as writer, director, and star of an upcoming movie based on these mirror shade wearing motorcycle cops, I wanted you all to know about it.
The original cast of the series that ran from 1977-1983 consisted of Eric Estrada as Frank “Ponch” Poncherello and his partner Jon Baker, played by Larry Wilcox. For the movie version, Dax Shepard will be taking the role of Baker while Micheal Pena is attached to Ponch. No word yet as to what storyline the script may follow, but with the success of other TV to big screen movies, such as 21 Jumpstreet, Get Smart, and even Dukes of Hazard and Starsky & Hutch, there is a market out there looking for ways to get back in touch with the shows of our youth without having to sit through 120 hours worth of TV.
I am very interested in this, based on Shepard’s name being attached. He is best known for his recent role in the TV show Parenthood, but also for his very funny roles in the prophetic Idiocracy and Employee of the Month. Hopefully he will bring his own brand of humor and wit to this movie. While Shepard has the comical side, Pena has a grittier background that may play well opposite Dax. The fact that the studio said this film would be more along the lines of rough buddy cop movies like Lethal Weapon and Bad Boys shows that there will still be some humor, but the grit factor is high as well as gunfights, language, and explosions. This could be a very different ChiPS in a very different world.