From 1977-1983, two very sexy motorcycle cops patrolled California’s highways, having way more fun than seems reasonable, stopping crimes without using their guns, and generally overusing freeze-frames for comic effect. CHiPs starred Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox as Ponch and Jon, the rebel and the blonde, I guess. Deadline is reporting that Dax Shepard (Parenthood, Idiocracy) will write, direct, and star in a movie version for Warner Bros., presumably out sometime next year. Michael Pena will play Ponch (ahem, Frank “Ponch” Poncherello), which seems like a slight step down from American Hustle and Cesar Chavez, but he probably has kids to feed, right?
This isn’t the first time somebody has tried to kickstart CHiPs. Topher Grace wanted to reboot it for TV as recently as 2010, and before that, his That ’70s Show comrade Wilmer Valderrama was supposedly so excited to play Ponch that he dressed up as the character for a pitch meeting. Will Shepard’s version be the one that finally brings these tight pants back to life? Tune in next week to find out.
For a taste of some sweet, sweet late-’70s opening and closing credits, see below.