Dax Shepard recently revealed that the upcoming CHiPs film adaptation will differ somewhat from its TV ancestor. The NBC series, which originally ran from 1977 to 1983, focused on the laughs. The movie will bring the action.
Shepard told Entertainment Weekly, “It’s not the spoof version at all, and it’s not the comedy-first version. It’s the action-first version. It’s way more tonally in keeping with Lethal Weapon or Bad Boys. I’m super, super into motorcycles. It’s something that I take absurdly seriously, so my commitment to it being a very kick-ass motorcycle movie is No. 1, and then my other commitment being to, you know, authentic dialogue that maybe isn’t expositional in nature but more slice-of-life in nature. So, it’s not set-up jokes. The comedy I’m trying to mine is the intricacy of male relationships and how awkward those are at the beginning—and then once they take off how kind of funny and satisfying.”
Not everything will change, however. Shepard, who will portray Officer Jon Baker (originally played by Larry Wilcox), revealed that aviator sunglasses and tight uniforms will remain. “I will keep the pants tight. I promise to keep the pants tight from your childhood show,” he said.
The script is complete. Shepard said it includes a “legit crime plot. . . There’s a series of crimes happening, and it seems quite evident to the FBI that one or more people in the CHP is complicit in this or involved in it, so the movie starts with Ponch, who’s an FBI agent, getting sent to the CHP undercover.”
Michael Pena has signed on to portray Frank “Ponch” Poncherello, the role originally played by Erik Estrada. It’s unclear whether Estrada or Wilcox will make cameo appearances.