After four-plus years of threatening everything from a Brady Bunch Movie-style spoof to a “very serious, post-Enron” exercise in faux-profound hamhandedness, Hollywood will apparently just not be able to sleep at night if it doesn’t find a way to remake Dallas. The ’80s drama about a family of Texas oil scions who variously fuck and fuck over each other on their way to realizing Reagan’s dream for America has been a candidate for a reboot since at least 2004, and has at one time had stars like John Travolta and Jennifer Lopez and even Ben Stiller attached to it. Unfortunately, various disagreements over story and tone caused the project to stagnate, as seemingly no one could agree on how seriously they should be taking this. Is Dallas a biting commentary on greed, or just a bedroom farce starring a bunch of rich yokels with big hair? Now it looks like Twentieth Century Fox’s long-gestating plans to finally answer that question may end up being totally moot, as Warner Bros. is currently working up a new TV version of Dallas for TNT that should beat any big-screen reboot to the punch, possibly as early as next year.
The TNT version would reportedly focus on “the next generation of Ewings”—namely characters that most people (outside of our resident Dallas fanatic Steve Hyden) probably don’t remember, because back then they were just the kids brought in to cute the place up a little. Characters like J.R. and Sue Ellen’s son John Ross, and Pam and Bobby’s adopted son Christopher, who was apparently revealed to be the son of Sue Ellen’s sister Kristin, who was the woman who shot J.R., and holy fuck we’re just remembering that this show got pretty convoluted sometimes. Anyway, so far the new version is just in the planning stages, but producers have already reached out to original cast members Larry Hagman, Linda Gray, and Patrick Duffy for either their participation or, at least, blessing. (As the New York Times puts it, “The last thing Warner wants is an original cast member bad-mouthing the idea of a remake.” Somebody better make sure Victoria Principal gets a phone call!)
On the one hand, this may not be so bad: It’s on TNT, and from what we’ve been told, it knows drama. Knows it. And it gave Mark-Paul Gosselaar a second life, so it’s already got some sort of voodoo shit down. On the other hand, LORD NOOOO ANOTHER REMAKE AIYEEEE, etc. And judging by the way the recent reboots of Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place have tried desperately to prove that they’re “current,” it could very well be retitled something like Dallas Nights, feature one softcore threesome per episode (that, knowing this show’s history, would later be revealed to be incestuous), and make John Ross the magnate of a “social networking empire” or something. But, uh, maybe this is better than seeing Ben Stiller in a comically oversized Stetson? Maybe?
And now, because we love you: A YouTube tribute to J.R. Ewing, set to a Limp Bizkit cover of The Who's "Behind Blue Eyes," because.