EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures and producer Scott Rudin will turn the groundbreaking ’70s sitcom Good Times into a feature film. They’ve set a writer, Phil Johnston, whose most recent credits include Wreck-It Ralph and Cedar Rapids. Rudin will produce the family comedy with Eli Bush.
While Rudin is selective about the remakes with which he becomes involved – Manchurian Candidate, Shaft and Sabrina – I think this has a lot of potential. The series, which aired on CBS from 1974-79, was one in a series of socially aware Norman Lear-generated sitcoms that pushed the envelope by mixing comedy with topicality and hot-button issues. Others included All In The Family (bigot patriarch), One Day At A Time (struggling single mother) and Maude.
Good Times focused on working-class couple James and Florida Evans as they raised three kids while struggling with hard financial times, unemployment and keeping their kids away from temptations that came with living in a Chicago housing project. The movie will be set in the 1960s, which gives Johnston a rich and politically charged period to mine.