Two years after Sony Pictures and producer Scott Rudin announced that they would be turning the 1970s hit sitcom “Good Times” into a feature film – news that, as I recall, many of you weren’t too enthused by – “Black-Ish” creator Kenya Barris has been announced as the proposed film’s screenwriter – apparently replacing Phil Johnston (“Wreck-It Ralph” and “Cedar Rapids”) who was initially hired to pen the script 2 years ago.
No director attached yet.
Rudin will produce the film with Eli Bush, with a story (as was initially revealed in 2013) that will be set in the 1960s, although we know nothing more than that, as in what specific story the film will tell (likely about a black family to start with), what approach the studio and producers take, will it be a straight comedy, more of a drama, or a mixture of the two – a dramedy? Will all the characters from the TV series feature in the film? Questions, questions, questions…
And since it’ll be set in the 60s, I assume it will reflect the social and political climate of the time; there’s certainly plenty of relevant material to mine.
It really 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, which 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.
I am definitely curious to know why Scott Rudin chose this particular series to turn into a movie. I’d love to chat with him about it, and find out what inspired him. It just seems like such an unexpected choice for a film remake.
But I’m glad that a black screenwriter has now been hired for the job. The previous writer (Phil Johnston) was not, which I recall turned a lot of you off.
Deadline was first to report the news of Barris’ hiring.