The Rockford Files: Movie Being Developed for Vince Vaughn

Rockford Files Vince VaughnNBC’s reboot of The Rockford Files failed to move forward as a TV series but now a feature film is in the works.

According to Deadline, David Levien and Brian Koppelman have been hired by Universal Pictures to write a Rockford Files movie, based on the 1974-80 TV series. The film is being developed as a star vehicle for Vince Vaughn. The actor and his older sister, Victoria Vaughn, will produce through their Wild West Picture Show Productions company which operates out of Universal.

James Garner stars in the original TV show as down-and-out private eye Jim Rockford. Created by Roy Huggins and Stephen J. Cannell, Rockford was a private eye who’d served time in San Quentin due to a wrongful conviction.

Unlike other detective characters of the day, Rockford was often disheveled, would use his charms and feet to get out of trouble, and wanted to make sure that he would get paid before taking on a client. His infrequent jobs as a private investigator barely allow him to maintain his dilapidated mobile home/office in a parking lot on the beaches of Malibu, California.

A pilot for a remake of the TV series was written and produced for NBC by House’s David Shore in 2010. Dermot Mulroney was cast as the title character but it was deemed that the pilot wasn’t strong enough to move forward as a series for the 2010-11 season. The project was given to Peter Berg to rewrite and produce but apparently hasn’t moved forward.

What do you think? Do you think Vaughn could pull off Jim Rockford? Who would you cast in the supporting roles as his father Rocky, friend Angel Martin, or Sgt. Dennis Becker?

Canceled and renewed TV show

16 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. david ellison says

    Take a lesson from past remake attempts that have failed miserably! Don’t mess with Perfection! This needs no remake unless Garner was alive to play Rocky and you had an actor that could measure Garners talent and charisma for the part of Jim. Hollywood with all it’s money and supposed talent isn’t creative enough to think up new show themes instead they fall back on past winners! That is beyond pathetic! Leave TRF alone and allow that lighting in the bottle that made TRF so great to TV history! You will never match it and shouldn’t even try! Miss you Jim, Noah and all the cast, guest actors and crew that have left us! I will miss being nine years old and running around the beach in the 70’s watching them film this show!!! PS. Every single person associated with this show was down to earth and nice. Another thing Hollywood is lacking today!

  2. george says


  3. MadatMETV says

    Remaking the Rockford files is worth a shot if only to generate more interest in the original tv series so that it will be on every day, better yet three times a day so you can always get the right viewing time. That being said, clearly Vaughn is a fan and i’m all for that, one thing you have to admit is that he can play a very despicable character that you want to beat on, even James Garner was quick to point out that Rockford was a jerk, just so happens for Rockford fans, our kind of jerk. As for the debate of talent vs having the right “look”, id say that they are equally important and all to many movies of this type have real trouble with casting, usually the acting is good enough but look at the Ateam filling George Peppard’s could not be done, Mission Impossible on the other hand didn’t try to capture the look and it worked better. Here there can be no compromise so when it comes to looks its going to be about the forehead, so as much as I hate to say it, it goes to Vaughn.

  4. trivwhiz says

    Absolutely one of my favorite shows of all time, and still revolutionary in many ways, such as a down on his luck detective, rather than being obviously successful and suave. Also, believe it or not, Rockford was the first TV hero (maybe protagonist is a better descriptor than hero) to get hurt when he hit SOMEONE ELSE! No, I do not think that Vaughn has it in him to pull off James Garners’ sardonic and sarcastic wit, nor will Vaughn be able to pull off Rockfords’ obvious intelligence and lackadaisical nature.

    However, here are my suggestions for the roles: Sharon’s idea of Ryan Reynolds is more on target than you might think, because Reynolds has pulled off the sarcastic and reluctant nature of Rockford in several roles, with his only problem being that he is a bit too handsome and polished in a ripped model sort of way, instead of the everyman handsomeness that Garner always had, so accordingly, Reynolds would have to dull his looks down a bit to make it really work.

    For Rocky, I think that Martin Sheen would be very good in the role, a similar role that he played in the first “Wall Street” as a blue collar, very proud, working stiff type, and yes, I can see him calling someone “Sonny.”

    For Dennis Becker, I see Jason Bateman, who can really pull off a caught in the middle, put upon type of guy, or if you wanted someone older for Becker, then Oliver Platt or Richard Schiff, but whoever is chosen needs to play Becker as more put upon and angry than funny.

    For Angel Martin, I think that Rob Schneider might be a good match, or maybe Casey Affleck, or Eddie Jemison, or Bob Balaban with darker hair.

    I have not put my finger on who might play Beth Davenport or either Lt. Chapman or Lt. Diehl, although if he were not 80 years old now, Gil Hill, who played Inspector Todd in the Beverly Hills Cop series, had the attitude and demeanor for Chapman about 80% of the time (loud and demeaning), but not the other 20% of Chapman (smarmy and self aggrandizing). Allan Garfield had the right feel for Chapman too, but he is 73 years old now, and has been retired for 10 years. Actually, Vince Vaughn would be a better fit for Chapman than for Rockford, if he could just play Chapman straight, over the top serious, instead of over the top funny, which I’m not sure he could pull off.

  5. Sharon says

    One of my favorite tv shows and my most favorite actor, James Garner…loved the Rockford Files. For the movie, how about Ryan Reynolds as James Rockford?

  6. Alex McDonough says

    James Garner’s Rockford was a man’s man. Vince Vaughn is a large child. Zero interest in watching Vaughn trash a great character.

  7. Cindy says

    I loved Rockford Files, but the main charm was James Garner. He was a charming everyman. Vince Vaughn is not. You need a person everyone likes, not grates on you, so I will not be seeing this movie.

  8. Kat says

    From a failed NBC pilot to a major motion picture? Talk about failing upwards! I don’t think Vaughn can pull off anything beyond mindless comedy, but we’ll see.

  9. Tha Critic says

    Why even go to the movies anymore? All Hollywood is doing is remaking one thing after another, adapting one tv show after another, reboots, unnecessary cash grab sequels, video game movies, etc. Nothing personal against Vince Vaughn, but I’m sick of this.

  10. Doug says

    One of my favorite shows of all time. Hope they don’t over-sex it and let him stumble like he did in the series.

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