One of the most successful comedy franchises of the 1980s-90s — Police Academy — is, according to actor Steve Guttenberg, ready to make a comeback. Launched in 1984, the original was an admittedly dopey series of films that spanned 10 years and seven adventures. The premise was a simple one: a newly-elected mayor passes a law that the police department must accept all willing recruits. The result? The motliest group of cops you’ve ever seen, one more dysfunctional than the next.
The only true voice of sanity there (relatively speaking, at least) was Steve’s Cary Mahoney, who, over the course of the series, found himself promoted from cadet to officer and, finally, sergeant. Well, according to a recent Twitter posting, we’ve got a new entry coming. When fan Adam Hirschovitz wrote to him, “Please tell me you’re making a new Police Academy film,” Steve tweeted back, “Adam, the next Police Academy is coming, no details yet, but it is in a gift bag being readied!”
You can hear the cheering now. Well, you’ve got to listen for it, but it’s definitely there.
The series consists of Police Academy (1984), Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985), Police Academy 3: Back in Training (1986), Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol (1987), Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach (1988), Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989), and Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994). What may be surprising to people now is the fact that Steve was actually only in the first four films. We say surprising, because in many ways he seems to be the guy at the center of the whole thing. As he revealed to the AVTV Club, this wasn’t because he was tired of the role. “They just decided they’d had enough of paying me,” laughed the actor, who had, in truth, made a fortune off of those films. “It was one of those deals: they just didn’t want to pay me anymore.”
As to how he was originally cast, he added, “Just an audition. My agent put me up for the part. I’d just gotten done doing The Man Who Wasn’t There, which was an invisible-man movie, and I went from there right into Police Academy. I got the part from doing a screen test, and that movie was terrific because of Hugh Wilson and Paul Maslansky, the director and producer, respectively. God, they were just brilliant, brilliant, brilliant comedy guys. Just out-of-this-world brilliant.”
No word yet on when the brilliance of the new Police Academy will actually go into production.