Shane Black’s 2016 film The Nice Guys is one of the best comedies in recent memory. It masterfully integrated the heart-pounding action elements of a buddy-cop romp with the sharp, dark wit commonly seen in Black’s films. Now, it’s officially returning to the public eye on the small screen with a change that seems to be a current trend in both film and TV.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox has “given a script commitment plus penalty” for the gender-swapped reboot of The Nice Guys, which is currently titled The Nice Girls. The series is still in the early stages of development and is described as a one-hour contemporary female take on the acclaimed feature film which saw Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe play a mismatched duo tasked with solving the disappearance of a young woman in 1977.
2011’s 30 Minutes Or Less writer Michael Diliberti is set to write and executive produce the series along with Ken Kao (The Glass Castle), Rodney Ferrell and Black’s frequent collaborator, Joel Silver. Silver served as the producer on the original film and also produced the Lethal Weapon franchise – another property that has been rebooted as a TV series on Fox and is currently on their second season. The network also recently announced a TV adaptation of the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic True Lies, so they certainly aren’t slowing down when it comes to adapting film favorites for the small screen.
Can This TV Reboot Capture The Film’s Brilliance?
It’s somewhat ironic that while The Nice Guys was an antidote to the lack of original storylines in movies, it has now become another property set to be reimagined for TV.
The Nice Guys was praised by fans and critics alike, and grossed $62 million worldwide on a $50 million budget. While that number is respectable, it wasn’t nearly enough to warrant the studio giving the green light for a sequel that virtually every fan of the film (including myself) wanted to see.
It’s somewhat ironic that while The Nice Guys was an antidote to the lack of original storylines in movies, it has now become another property set to be reimagined for TV. A reboot can certainly be just as good as the film, however it’s seemingly destined to be a constant uphill battle because of how revered the original film is – why not just create a brand new property featuring two female characters similar to Ryan Gosling’s Holland March and Russell Crowe’s Jackson Healy?
Including The Nice Guys’ label on this potential series is going to come with certain expectations that simply wouldn’t be present had it been developed as a new addition to the classic buddy-cop genre.
I truly hope that original director Shane Black is somehow involved in the creative process. The original was a 16-year passion project of his and the love he had for it is clearly illustrated with every word spoken from each character. Black describes how he strove to not make the main pairing in The Nice Guys your typical buddy cop duo:
“… [It’s] so common nowadays if you’re doing a detective or cop buddy movie to just pluck two SNL alumni and say ‘Be funny.’ And that’s something I was never capable of. I need guys who are organically good—who have the gravitas and the acting chops to do the dark moments as well.”
It’s with this mindset and the subversion of certain action comedy tropes that caused fans to adore The Nice Guys as much as they do. Hopefully The Nice Girls is able to follow in the footsteps of its cinematic counterpart and feature action sequences that aren’t necessarily one bombastic bang after another, and well-rounded characters who don’t solely exist for a punch line.
featured image credit: warner bros.
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