Okay folks, hear me out on this one. We will preface this by saying that there are zero plans for a Judd Apatow-related Police Academy reboot. Back in March, it was reported that there would be a new Police Academy film, focusing on a brand new group of young hopefuls, eager to join the force. What we propose is a re-casting of all of our favorite characters, under the direction of Apatow or Adam McKay. Without further adieu, we present OUR picks for an Apatow’d cast-list for my dream Police Academy reboot:
Mahoney: For the complex role of our hero, Mahoney, we would undoubtedly choose Paul Rudd to take a turn at the practical jokester originally portrayed by Steve Guttenberg. Rudd has proven himself as comic chameleon and expert at delivering a line. It doesn’t hurt that he has a pretty man-face, so it wouldn’t be shocking when he gets involved with a woman, undoubtedly played by Leslie Mann.
Hightower: Everybody remembers friendly giant, Hightower. Bubba Smith was pretty excellent, especially in City Under Siege when he faced off with the larger of the Wilson Heights Gang members. Our choice for Hightower is a little faster on the wits, but we think he would be perfect. We would LOVE to see Craig Robinson dunk a basketball so hard that it cracks the pavement.
Tackleberry: Tackleberry is the lovable, yet trigger-happy, member of the Police Academy squad. A few actors crossed our minds for this one, but we agree that Jason Segel is the real shoe-in. We can easily see that guy looking at guns and grinning like an idiot. It’s perfect.
Hooks: This might have been the easiest one for us to figure out. Picture Hooks, if you will. She’s funny when she’s calm and quiet and even funnier when she gets mad and loud. There is no better fit for this character than Charlyne Yi. Anyone who’s seen her in Knocked Up or in her live performances knows that she’s more than capable of pulling off Hooks. Mindy Kaling would be the obvious second choice.
Callahan: We had a few ideas for Callahan, the object of affection for numerous recruits and citizens. Above all, she’s confident and exudes authority, very much like Jane Lynch. Lynch has been on fire ever since Glee, but she’s worked with the Apatow team a number of times (Talladega Nights, The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story). Our other thought was Katherine Heigl, but we don’t think she can be Callahanny enough. Lynch is the top pick.
Jones: This is a pretty tough character to cast. Michael Winslow made Jones what he was due to his ability to make funny noises with his mouth. Above all, he was charming and hilarious. Plan A: Aziz Ansari. He’s funny, likable and he can probably come up with a few good noises. Plan B: Donald Glover. Glover has the same confident swagger as Winslow, but we think Ansari would definitely nail it.
Zed: Assuming we’re casting for all of the Police Academy films, we can’t forget about Zed, birthed from the genius brain of Bobcat Goldthwait. He’s totally insane and a loose cannon. As much as we want to say Charlie Day, we would hate for it to be a carbon copy of the Academy’s wild child. Rather, we would go with Zach Galifianakis, who would give Zed’s insanity a more subtle touch. We could see him having a lot of fun with the character and breathing a unique life into it. And you cannot have Zed without Sweetchuck, are we right?
Sweetchuck: Zed’s partner/best friend/tormentee during his reign in Police Academy was Sweetchuck, the little nerd who did nothing to deserve such harassment from Zed. That’s the great part about their relationship, nothing ever provokes the harassment Sweetchuck gets from Zed, but he gets it extra hard. Now, you may not know him by name, but you’ve certainly seen Whit Hertford throughout the years. He was in Jurassic Park, Full House, Nightmare on Elm Street 5, Glee and did many appearances in pre-taped segments for The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. Hertford has more than paid his dues and needs to be back in the movies. We can’t imagine a better role for Hertford or a better actor for Sweetchuck. You’re welcome, Hollywood.
Fackler: You might not remember Fackler as well as some of the other characters. Fackler was the accident-prone cadet who always managed to create a scene wherever he went, usually leaving whoever he passed in a wake of destruction. He was wide-eyed and only wanted to do good. However, he usually managed to help the most by means of his accidents. Not only does he look like the character, but Ed Helms would totally nail the nativity of Fackler. Perfect, no?
Captain Harris: Harris is an asshole, but he always manages to be the perfect butt of any of Mahoney & Co’s practical jokes. Gary Cole has proven he can play the tough guy (Pineapple Express) and the dumb boss (Office Space). Combine those two characters and he IS Captain Harris. Can’t you picture him singing “Shortnin’ Bread”?
Proctor: You can’t have a Harris without a Proctor. It would be great to just bring back Lance Kinsey, but let’s refresh it. How about Jay Baruchel? He can do the bumbling nervous thing pretty well. Plus, he has worked with Apatow on both Undeclared and Knocked Up. And let’s face it, he deserves some redemption from She’s Out of My League and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
Commandant Lassard: This fish-friendly overseer of the gang has to be a man of distinction and a man of complete ignorance at the same time. He loves and trusts his team, and who better than Harold Ramis? Ramis has been a comedy god for decades and continues to wow audiences with lesser roles, like in Orange County and Knocked-Up, as Seth Rogen’s father. We would like to see Ramis play Lassard very, very much!
Chief Hurst: Hurst doesn’t appear on screen as much as the rest of those knuckleheads, but he certainly is an important character. He is the big boss of the entire police squad and academy. Several names ran through or minds: Ed Begley, Jr, John Michael Higgins, Chevy Chase, Richard Jenkins, Larry David, Rob Corddry. All of these amazing actors would be perfect as Hurst, but we would love to see J.K. Simmons take on to role that he does so perfectly. In every Police Academy movie, Hurst questions Lassard’s team, but they ALWAYS succeed in winning him over. Simmons is the man for the job.
We could seriously go on for about 30 pages, but we’ll sum up the last few pretty quickly…
Guy from Blue Oyster Bar: Seth Rogen
Nick Lassard: Adam Scott
Tackleberry’s in-laws (The Kirklands): John C. Reilly and Katherine Keener
Kathleen Kirkland: Lizzy Caplan
Bud Kirklan: Bill Hader
Leslie Barbara: Jonah Hill
Copeland: Seann William Scott
note: this article was co-written with Dan Wiener