Is GM planning a run at the movie business, throwing its corporate weight behind a remake of the 1981 movie Cannonball Run? That's what insiders are saying about a project that could become the largest, and edgiest, product placement deal in history. UPDATE!
According to New York magazine's Hollywood gossip site Vulture, unnamed insiders say Million Dollar Baby producer Al Ruddy will produce the Cannonball remake, and that British action-comedy director Guy Ritchie is considering populating it with Brad Pitt and his Ocean's 11 buds (naturally, Burt Reynolds would have to do a cameo). As Vulture points out, Ritchie and Pitt are both clients of Creative Artists Agency, which also represents GM as a corporate client.
The deal would see GM do more than provide typical marketing support. Instead, it would take an equity stake, becoming in effect a producing partner. For the money, GM would likely get two hours to show off its car line, perhaps even spotlighting the next Corvette in a leading role.
So how might GM get around potential liability and public outcry from promoting the kind of recklessness that would likely be portrayed in Cannonball in these sensitive times? By shooting it on the Autobahn, of course. Apparently Ritchie wants to film at least part of the movie in Europe.
UPDATE: GM spokesman Tom Henderson told us there's no script in play, and thus no discussions, and that the Vulture story is "without merit, and nothing but random speculation." What's more, Henderson wrote in a comment to this story on Jalopnik, "Acts of drunk driving and complete recklessness are considered reasons for GM to dismiss involvement."