Actor Steve Guttenberg has taken to social media to reveal that Police Academy may soon return. The Policy Academy franchise got its start with Hugh Wilson’s movie in 1984, starring Guttenberg, Kim Cattral, and G.W. Bailey, among others. It became an unexpected box office phenomenon, thus leading to numerous sequels in the 1980s and 1990s.
There have been rumors about an eighth Police Academy film since the early 2000s, when series creator Paul Maslansky began work on a script. Unfortunately the project was shelved in 2006, and it wound up stuck in development hell for over a decade. The last update was back in 2012, when Jeremy Garelick was hired to rewrite the script. Thankfully, it seems like it hasn’t been forgotten – yet.
Responding to a fan question on Twitter, franchise star Steve Guttenberg – who played the hapless Sergeant Mahoney – has confirmed that Police Academy 8 is still in the works. “The next Police Academy movie is coming,” he wrote. “No details yet, but it is in a gift bag being readied!” No doubt AT&T is eager to develop some of the long-forgotten franchises they gained with their purchase of Warner Bros.
The Police Academy films all follow the same basic concept; a struggling police department opens its doors to accept all recruits. Guttenberg played the franchise star, Sergeant Mahoney, the most well-balanced of all the cadets, whose father was a decorated police officer. Other recurring characters include Michael Winslow’s Jones, best known for his bizarre and entertaining impressions and sound effects; Tim Kazurinsky’s Sweetchuck, a nerd who learned to stand up for himself; Bobcat Goldthwait’s Zed, a surreal gang leader who became Sweetchuck’s roommate during training; and, of course, G.W. Bailey’s Harris, the scheming police officer who was constantly attempting to undermine the Police Academy.
Sadly, a number of key actors have passed away since 1994’s Police Academy: Mission to Moscow. That includes George Gaynes, who portrayed Commandant Lassard, head of the Police Academy. One of the most hilarious characters in the entire franchise, Lassard was known for his many quirks and foibles, including his love of traveling by golf cart. Lassard’s finest hour was in Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach, when he was honored as Police Officer of the Decade – and unwittingly foiled a jewel heist when he picked up the wrong bag at the airport. It’s frankly hard to imagine a Police Academy movie without Gaynes, whose comedic timing was the basis of many of the films’ best gags.
If another Police Academy is to work, it will need to reinvent itself for the twenty-first century. Hopefully, Guttenberg won’t be the only member of the classic cast to sign up to the long-awaited sequel. But, at the same time, the franchise will need a lot of new blood, based on more modern tropes and ideas.