Smart: The Movie
or whatever the heck they're calling it these
The movie version of Get Smart started filming March 21, 2007
and was shot in California, Canada and Russia. The movie was released June 20, 2008 --which
was a week before my
30th birthday. It felt rather bad-omenish at the time.
The cast is:
Maxwell Smart .........Steve
Agent 99...................Anne Hathaway
Agent 23...................Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Agent 13..................Bill Murray
Agent 91...................Terry Crews
Giant.................The Great Khali
The movie was directed by Peter
Segal. Writing credits went to Tom Astle and Matt Ember and eventually
Mel Brooks and Buck Henry.
Unfortunately the GS movie had bad buzz
before filming even started. What didn't help was a perpetual ping-pong game of
directors, writers and lead actors coming in and out of the project over the
course of 10 years. Check out my old timeline of movie
updates to see who had their fingers in the pot.
One of the initial hang-ups was a weak script --as illustrated
by the trouble in getting an actress to accept the role of 99 or even negotiate.
Names uttered early on for 99 included Kristina Kruek and Rachel McAdams. Two
un-named A-list actresses turned the offer down after reading the script. It was
not until late fall of 2006 that Anne Hathaway signed on.
There are a lot of little things that are particularly troublesome with the new
Get Smart yarn. Maybe the biggest one is the character of 99. Early on 99 comes across as an ice princess --not our smart and sweet 99.
By the end of the show 99 and Max are making nookie. In order to build a bridge across Carell and
Hathaway's mammoth age gap, 99 explains she had plastic surgery to hide her identity.
Yeah... and I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell these guys.
Max's character also has some interesting differences from
the TV series. Instead of being one of Control's top agents from the start, he's
a research nerd.
Hmmmm... why is this all starting to seem like a 12-year-old
One of the movie's big problems early on was the
lack of consultation with any of the creative forces that crafted the original
Get Smart. Why you wonder? Some
interesting information was at Hollywood
Elsewhere A well placed spy informed the webmaster of that
site that Warner Bros. tried to bamboozle Mel
Brooks and Buck Henry out of credit as creators of Get Smart. According to the
aforementioned website, Warner Bros.' attorneys allegedly took depositions to
attempt to prove that Talent Associates came up with the concept for GS and
Brooks and and Henry "served as writers for hire." *sigh* Talk about
throwing all the sh*t against the wall to see what sticks.***
Due to highly appropriate mass outrage, Warner Bros. changed its tune and dropped the suite. Brooks and Henry
were listed as creators and consultants. Leonard Stern visited the set and was treated rather nicely.
He also made a cameo in the movie. The forces of niceness triumph
over evil once
There was some back and forth as to whether
Barbara Feldon would make a cameo, but that never happened. Feldon was quoted as thinking the movie is a great idea and lauded
Carell and Hathaway in the June 2007 Watch! CBS magazine:
Bernie Kopell did make a cameo and Don Adams gets a nod via a plane labled
Get Smart 2008 didn't end with just its credits. Control computer geek Bruce
( Masi Oka of Heroes) and buddy Lloyd (Nate Torrence) reprised their Get
Smart roles in a direct to DVD flick: Get Smarter: Bruce & Lloyd Out
of Control. Apparently before
production even started, on the Get Smart movie, Warner Bros. asked Oka
to play Bruce in a separate movie. Get Smarter, made for a fraction of the cost of
its parent movie, was released 10 days after Get Smart opened in theaters.
But wait! There's more!
Just when we thought it was over, plans were in the works for
a sequel. Likely those plans consisted of someone saying, "Hey this made
enough money, lets do another." There was a script, but it needed
re-working. Plus the principles in Get Smart 2008 have since been involved in a
number of blockbuster project. As of 2019, Peter Segal said the time for a
sequel has long passed. Some things are just as well.
*** That's a newspaper
technical term. Our next discussion will be on the virtues of slap
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