What’s old is new again. And while some old TV classics are being rebooted or revived, like Full House and Gilmore Girls, others are making their way to the big screen instead (Baywatch anyone?) The latest to join the club is the signature ’70s comedy staple Three’s Company, which may be turned into a movie, reports Variety.
New Line is reportedly in talks to acquire the movie rights for the popular sitcom, which ran for eight seasons from 1977 through to 1984.
The series starred the late John Ritter (Jack Tripper), Joyce Dewitt (Janet Wood), and Suzanne Somers (Chrissy Snow) as platonic roommates. Sounds simple enough, but at the heart of the plot was that Jack was pretending to be gay in order to appease their conservative landlord, Mr. Roper (Norman Fell), then later, Ralph, played by the hilarious Don Knotts. Richard Kline also starred as Jack’s best friend Larry, the stereotypical sleazy-but-lovable car salesman. Somers was replaced in later seasons by Jenilee Harrison, then Priscilla Barnes.
Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein (Valentine’s Day, How to Be Single, The Vow) have been tapped to write the proposed movie adaptation, while Robert Cort is said to be sitting in the producer’s seat. It seems New Line may be taking the show back to its roots in the ‘70s ala the Starsky and Hutch reboot, versus trying to bring it into the present. That makes sense, as a man having to hide his homosexuality in order to share rent with two straight women simply wouldn’t be believable in today’s society. And Cort is ideally-suited to head up such a throwback story: he’s known for working on some comedy classic of yesteryear, including Three Men and a Baby, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise.
Today’s best sitcoms like Modern Family owe much of their success to the path that clever shows like Three’s Company helped pave. The show focused on Jack’s clumsiness, and awkward attempts to remain deceptively out of the closet, so to speak. There were also plenty of one-liners thanks to buxom blonde Chrissy and her ditzy, but lovable nature. At the core of every episode were the various hijinks arising from constant misunderstandings and innuendos. That said, Three’s Company itself was not an original concept: it was based on Man About the House, a British sitcom.
Of course the elephant in the room is: how can we possibly conceive of a Three’s Company that doesn’t include Ritter? The comedy icon sadly passed away on the set of his show 8 Simple Rules in 2003. (Knotts passed away in 2006). Hopefully DeWitt and Somers will at least appear in cameos.
There’s no word yet on when the movie may begin production and casting, but the team will have some big shoes to fill.