Get Smart: The Movie
or whatever the heck they're calling it these days

    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.

This image of Steve Carell ran in the November 2005 Playboy

The cast is:

Maxwell Smart .........Steve Carell
Agent 99...................Anne Hathaway
The Chief..................Alan Arkin
Agent 23...................Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Siegfried....................Terence Stamp
Shtarker....................Ken Davitan
Bruce........................Masi Oka
Lloyd........................Nate Torrence
Larabee....................David Koechner
Agent 13..................Bill Murray
Agent 91...................Terry Crews
The 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 boy's fantasy?
    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 more!
    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 "Yarmy Airlines."
    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 suites.