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Dyn-o-mite? Sony Pictures Is Developing A Feature Film Based On ‘Good Times’

Dyn-o-mite? Sony Pictures Is Developing A Feature Film Based On 'Good Times'

Posted without comment… because, really, what is there to say? And no, it’s not April 1st.

The breaking news below: “Sony Pictures and producer Scott Rudin will turn the groundbreaking ’70s sitcom Good Times into a feature film. They’ve set a writer, Phil Johnston, whose most recent credits include Wreck-It Ralph and Cedar Rapids. Rudin will produce the family comedy with Eli Bush. While Rudin is selective about the remakes with which he becomes involved – Manchurian Candidate, Shaft and Sabrina – I think this has a lot of potential […] The movie will be set in the 1960s, which gives Johnston a rich and politically charged period to mine. William Bannister, Michael Daniels and Neville Moguel will be associate producers and Eric Monte, Tammie Evans and Carlena Harris will be executive producers.”

Ok, so I lied about posting without any commentary…

In all seriousness, however this turns out will depend on the approach the studio and producer take. Will it be a straight comedy, more of a drama, or a mixture of the two – a dramedy? Since it’ll be set in the 60s, there’ll be plenty of socially and politically-relevant material to mine. What will the story be exactly? Will all the characters from the TV series feature in the film? Questions, questions, questions…

So, let’s see how the filmmakers plan to really tackle this, because it could go down any number of paths. For example, it could just be a straight drama with some comedic elements about a working class black family growing up in the 1960s, and that forms the base for whatever narrative they think up to build upon it, and the title Good Times, may be the only thing that it has in common with the TV series, assuming they opt to keep the same title.

But really, there are so many other stories to be told about the black experience in this country (many that aren’t remakes of old TV series), that are set in the present-day (if you look at Hollywood studio output, you’d think there are so few contemporary stories about black people worth telling) that I don’t quite get why this is the one that Sony and Scott Rudin chose. I’d love to chat with Rudin and get into his head about this, because I’m really curious as to what inspired him to want to tackle this particular TV show.

Needless to say, the producer and screenwriter are both white, and we can probably guess that the director will likely be white as well. I’ll leave it to you guys to suggest actors for the various parts…

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E. Joyce

There are so many quality original content stories that can be told; why do this?

J. "Vootie" Fred Muggs

Sadly, there is no actress in existence working today who can match Thelma Evans' fine-ness. Who, I ask you? Who!? NOBODY. These wispy stick-thin "actresses" working today can't hold a flame to Thelma. DAYAM that woman was FOINE, inside and out.


Uh, no! Make that, HELL NO! We don't need to go backwards. Besides, isn't there enough buffoonery in black films today? I could call out one black director in a dress, but I will digress. As a black filmmaker struggling to make it as the first sci-fi director on par with or surpassing the likes of James Cameron, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg I find this depiction of blacks a step in the wrong direction. We need to have a united voice on this one. How long will we smile and passively go along with these shenanigans? My grandmother always said people will only do to you what you allow them too. We can't expect the world to see us any differently if we support films that continue to degrade us. Art imitates life––so is this what the world really thinks of us? We know the media does, but really will we pay our hard earned money to support it? What message does that send our youth?

Why are we even reading an article on it (smh)?

CareyCarey your comment made me laugh so hard that I forgot that I was outraged, kudos to you sir.

Please stop by and add your thoughts on a story worthy of our collective input here:

Timothy Holloway


Those producers should reference groundbreaking shows like OUR TOWN, BIRD OF A IRON FEATHER and of course THE WIRE mixed with a middle 90's TV show called THE SHOW, that starred soul train host-Mystro that would be good fodder.


I wish they never started showing reruns of the show. That is my story and it is enough to show my feelings on a movie based off the same.


Let all sing together… Temporary layoff/ good times/ easy credit ripoff/ good times/ ain't we lucky we got them/ GOOD TIMES!

WTH? What's good about easy credit ripoff! Did I hear a subliminal message? Living in the projects, jobless and dealing with booger nose Bookman and Dap 'Sugar' Willie, were good times, huh?

How about this one, join in… Beans don't burn in the kitchen [no mo']/ grits don't burn on the grill [no mo']/ took a whole lot of crying/ just to get up that hill / now we up in the big league / took our our turn at bat/ it's you and me baby/ and ain't nothing wrong with that/….. We MOVIN' ON UP.

Hold up, wait one minute, don't go anywhere. What the hell was "that"? I mean, to start with, George Jefferson was Archie Bunker's special kind of fool. Sure, George was given a bone by being allowed to say "HONKY HONKY HONKY". But what businessman runs around doing the slop and yelling honky?

I know, this is "just" comedy, so what's wrong with bringing back all the blaxploitation series from the 70's (including Sanford & Son)? Can't we laugh one mo' again — at ourselves — for being dumb, poor, ignorant, used and abused?

Well, it should be noted that Esther Rolle had become dissatisfied with the show's direction and at the end of the 4th season, she decided to leave the series. She wanted higher quality scripts and she also wanted the producers to make the character of J. J. more responsible as she felt the character was a poor role model for African American youths. So, which way will they go?

I don't know, but I'll play along.

Dave Chappelle as James "J.J." Evans, Jr

Lorretta Devine as Florida Evans

Cedric the Entertainer as Bookman

Quvenzhane Wallis as Penny

Terry Crews as James Evans, Sr.

Monique as Willona Woods


I just don't know why. Nobody's asking for this. I don't even see how it would work; going the Brady Bunch Movie route would be a HUGE mistake and Good Times was often so maudlin and preachy, a drama would be overbearing. I'ze confused.

Miles Ellison

There is no morsel of rotted TV carrion that Hollywood's golden toothpick cannot reach.


Poor Eric Monte. This must be akin to rubbing salt in a wound.


Another case of how the studio system feels about black films. The black audience is hungry for films about them that is diverse, instead of going that route to feed that market. Hollywood decides to do a remake of a black tv classic. I got a feeling the movie is going to be laced with stereotypes. Do you see any black writers that's involved that tells you all you need to know about this project. Hollywood has always had this idea that white folks is need to tell black stories before it is greenlit. If they do make the film I bet you it has a budget of at least 30 million dollars, while black writers and directors get budgets of 3 to 5 million dollars for their films. To the black directors, actors, and actresses, hollywood is not your friend, so stop trying to jump through a hoop to get their approval for what you are doing. Let's tell our stories and work together, that's when you are going to have change.

Damn. Damn. Damn!

Turning 'Good Times' into a movie: Bad Idea…Setting it in the 60s: Worse idea…Hiring a white writer to pen it: Horrendous idea…All of it is insulting. Way to go Hollywood.


i loved Good Times as a kid. as an adult, and what makes it funny now is that sense of nostalgia. once you start dissecting the show by modern politics. it becomes a tough swallow.

james – hyper-masculine uneducated black buck, who rules his house with a loud voice and muscle

florida – stay at home mom, who despite her families financial woes, refuses to get a job as to not bruise her husband's fragile ego

j.j. – artistic, flamboyant and pure jive

thelma – the voice of female power who never actually asserts any

michael – the smartest, most politically conscience and also youngest member of the family. ouch.

willona – lives in the projects while maintaining a free, name brand lifestyle. yet never uses her beauty or savvy to leave the ghetto? c'mon son.

i think we're all scared at just how bad this could turn out.


About the ONLY reason I'd want a movie version is so that [assuming he's brought back from the dead] James can LIGHT INTO KEITH'S ASS – because there was no earthly way in HELL that JAMES would've allowed his BUM ass to marry his daughter AND LIVE IN THE APARTMENT WITH THEM!!!!!!!!!

Michael A. Gonzales

I had a dream about this once (really) and JJ was played by Mos Def. As for this concept of setting Good Times in the '60s, I don't really understand the point.

willie dynamite

A Good Times movie… Development in the Hollywood Studio system is dead.


Why Jesus, Why? Since people swear that all of these movies boil down to money only, did they at least do a survey to see if the public is even interested in seeing this on screen?

I know people in my family who grew up during that time period. Everyone did not like "Good Times". I have heard multiple people say that the show actually had very few good times, and a lot of what happened to the family was down right depressing.

Based on the conversations that we have daily on this website, I feel as if the core audience (African Americans) are looking for something more positive and uplifting on the screen. We have done "the struggle" on screen forever. If I want to watch Black people struggle, all I have to do is walk around (unfortunately). I have no desire to watch "the struggle" on the big screen.


A Good Times film set in the 60s has already been done… A Raisin in the Sun.


hate it. i loved the show, but i hate the idea of somebody trying to make it in to a movie. there is too great of a margin for error.


This is going to be a comedy all of the way through. Just like Starsky and Hutch, 21 Jumpstreet, and those other remakes of old tv shows but since it will be black folks I expect some coonery and flat out disrespect of black folks in the name of comedy.


Even if I WERE to entertain this foolishness, this should not even BE a thought. Esther Rolle is deceased—she’s the CORNERSTONE—she’s way too integral for this to even happen. OK—so Esther Rolle REALLY IS deceased, and “James” is deceased, but NOT John Amos—so WTF—what are we doing here????!!! WTF—we gon’ bring “James” back to life? He really didn’t die in a car crash in Mississippi? He “faked his death” cuz he had had enough of JJ’s ass? GTFOH!


This is one of those things where you have to ask: If the late Esther Rolle is gone, why even bother? Don't mess with a classic. If the new film allows all the original surviving cast members to at least make cameo appearances, then maybe we can cut the producers some slack.


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