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David Zucker ushered in a generation of imitators with his successful spoof movie Airplane! and The Naked Gun. He is hoping to do it again. The filmmaker is developing a new project with a spoof of film noir tropes, writer/actor Michael McManus and co-written by Police Academy writer Pat Proft. The new movie will be titled Star of Malta. The new film sounds like it can go into a bit darker territory since it is centered on a character who kills someone accidentally and goes to jail. When he gets out, he ends up accidentally killing a lot more people along the way.

Rainmaker Films will produce the movie. Rainmaker Films were behind Dallas Buyers Club and the upcoming Shailene Woodley, Misanthrope. No word yet on who will be in the movie Star of Malta.

The official synopsis, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is:

Set in late-1940s America, Malta follows prizefighter Joe Medina, newly released from prison for killing his opponent in the ring, as he pursues his love, Harriet Evans, to Hollywood. Hitchhiking west, he accidentally gains possession of a highly sought-after but cursed gemstone, known as The Star of Malta. He proceeds on an accidental murder spree, leaving a trail of people he never intended to kill.

David Zucker and his brother Jerry entered Hollywood in 1977 with Kentucky Fried Movie. Three years later, they wrote Airplane, which became an iconic comedy of the ’80s and is still regularly quoted by movie fans 40 years later.

After that, the Zuckers wrote the TV series Police Squad, which was almost immediately canceled. Down the line, the concept and characters of the series were revived a decade later in The Naked Gun. As a movie rather than a TV show, it proved popular enough to earn two sequels.

After The Naked Gun movies, the Zuckers have had limited success. Jerry directed the hit Ghost in 1990 and the Rat Race in 2003, but hasn’t directed a film since, serving as a producer-only on a handful of things in that time. David has remained active as a writer, producer, and director but has had limited success, working on movies like My Boss’s Daughter and the third through fifth installments of the Scary Movie franchise. 

The Scary Movie brand launched the careers of the Zucker Brothers’ somewhat heirs to the spoof-movie throne, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. They effectively killed the box office potential of spoof movies with increasingly unpopular titles like Superhero Movie, Date Movie, and Meet the Spartans. 

Will David Zucker be able to make a comedy that would resonate with the modern audience? We don’t know. But, we can only hope that the new movie will be as great as the movie Airplane!

Bernard Bond

Bernard Bond is a leading expert in celebrity journalism and a television critic.

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