EXCLUSIVE: 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 series, which aired on CBS from 1974-79, was one in a series of socially aware Norman Lear-generated sitcoms that pushed the envelope by mixing comedy with topicality and hot-button issues. Others included All In The Family (bigot patriarch), One Day At A Time (struggling single mother) and Maude.
Good Times focused on working-class couple James and Florida Evans as they raised three kids while struggling with hard financial times, unemployment and keeping their kids away from temptations that came with living in a Chicago housing project. 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 Mouguel will be associate producers and Eric Monte, Tammie Evans and Carlena Harris will be executive producers.
Johnston is repped by CAA and Management 360.