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Posted at 2:04 PM ET, 03/24/2010

'Laverne & Shirley': They're going to do it?

By Jen Chaney

A couple of weeks ago, Liz and I wrote about movie remakes, noting that, in some rare cases, they might not be a bad idea.

This is not one of those cases.

In case you missed the news, which has been percolating for a while, but was first confirmed last week by TV Guide and reiterated today on, producer Garry Marshall plans to move "Laverne & Shirley" to the big screen, courtesy of a screenplay written by one of the 85 million (note: number approximate) people who starred in his "Valentine's Day": Jamie Foxx.

Who would play Laverne and Shirley? Two more "Valentine's" vets: Jennifer Garner and Jessica Biel. But here, why don't I let Mr. Marshall explain it, courtesy of a quote from that TV Guide story:

"It’s a whole different modern day take on how they came up on the streets during difficult times. Laverne would be this very tough girl with a big ‘L’ tattooed on her arm. Jennifer Garner would play Laverne and Jessica Biel would play Shirley.”

So many parts of this concept seem misguided, I don't even know where to begin. So I'll just start with this: Jennifer Garner as a tatted-up, tough Laverne? I like Garner but she seems too sunny-sweet to take on De Fazio. Frankly, I'm not even sure she could choke down an entire milk and Pepsi without gagging.

And Biel as Shirley? Innocent, Boo Boo Kitty-loving, flat-chested (ahem) Shirley Feeney? Again, don't see it. I mean, watch this clip and imagine that being Garner and Biel instead of Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams:

Then again, I'm still trying to process the notion of the Oscar-winning actor formerly known as Wanda on "Living Color" penning this screenplay, and making it some sort of commentary on their difficult upbringing. What's this movie going to be, "Shotz (Brewery) N the Hood"?

If things continue to move forward, I can only assume I'll eventually be posting news in this blog about Robert De Niro getting cast as Laverne's dad, Frank De Fazio; Justin Timberlake and James Franco taking on the roles of Lenny and Squiggy; and Josh Groban making his big-screen debut as Carmine "The Big Ragu" Ragusa. (Oh, just imagine his soaring rendition of "You know I go from rags to riches!")

All of which is my way of saying: There is still time to stop this thing. Garry Marshall, Jamie Foxx and the rest of you need to come to your senses and leave both the schlemiel and the schlimazel where they belong -- on our TVs via reruns and not on cineplex screens.

By Jen Chaney  | March 24, 2010; 2:04 PM ET
Categories:  Pop Culture  
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Liz and Jen should star in the re-make. Liz already has the tats.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | March 24, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Better idea. Keep the original cast, update it to 2010, and it can be like a new version of Golden Girls. That way Henry Winkler (Fonzie) can make a guest appearance.

Posted by: kvs09 | March 24, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

kvs, how soon will the shark appear in your remake?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | March 24, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

yeah, it's wrong, just wrong. But I'll probably watch anyway.

Posted by: hodie | March 24, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Aaarrgggghhh Robert Culp has died. I remember him from Greatest American Hero. Oh this is so sad.

Posted by: epjd | March 24, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I just see that glove on the bottle in the opening credits turning into a Whole 'Nother Thing (if you catch my drift). Bad idea.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | March 24, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

-Hollywood has no original ideas.
-Remakes usually make money.
-Would the man who created shows like L&S in the first place, or anyone else in the film industry for that matter, turn down something that would make money for art's sake??
-Look at the junk that does well at the box office. This is that much worse?
-Surely Ben Stiller has a place in this. He stars in lots of horrible movies, and they still make money.

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