Who’ll reshoot J.R.? That’s the question Hollywood will be asking as ”Dallas” becomes the latest classic-TV staple to be remade as a movie. Variety reports that Twentieth Century Fox’s Regency Enterprises will make a big-screen version of the long-running nighttime soap about the contentious, wealthy Ewing clan. Coproducing will be Michael Costigan, who helped bring about the successful ”Charlie’s Angels” remake at Sony.
No word on whether Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Victoria Principal, or any of the other stars of the 1978-92 CBS drama might appear in cameos, but producer David Jacobs, who created the original series, tells Variety he wants to start fresh. ”I like the idea of doing it for the 21st century, with a new cast,” he says. ”We’ve got a new take on it. It’s a much bigger canvas today, and it belongs up on the big screen. Before people would have been interested in who is screwing each other. Now it’s the national crimes that are affecting everyone. The conflict is still about family conflicts, but the stakes are higher now. That’s the thing that excites me about it.”
It would be fun to see how Machiavellian oilman J.R. Ewing (Hagman’s character) would operate in the age of Enron. It would also be satisfying to see him get shot again. The 1980 episode that revealed the answer to the question ”Who Shot J.R.?” (it was his sister-in-law, Kristin; unfortunately for her, J.R. fully recovered) was one of the most-watched events in TV history. The show remains popular in reruns throughout the world and has earned $1.3 billion in syndication, Variety reports. Plus, if a movie version of ”Dallas” is in the works, can a movie of Jacobs’ spinoff, ”Knots Landing,” be far behind?