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‘Every Which Way But Loose,’ a.k.a. Clint Eastwood’s Orangutan Movie, Getting a Remake

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

By the late ’70s, Clint Eastwood had made a name for himself as the tough-guy star of cop-on-the-edge flicks and spaghetti Westerns, his permanent grimace a symbol of macho heroism. As the star of the Dirty Harry franchise, he fashioned himself as a protector with an edge, and in Sergio Leone’s epochal Dollars trilogy, he nearly ascended into the annals of cinematic legend. Having built up all this public goodwill, Eastwood decided the time was right to use that clout on the kind of project actors dream of their whole lives: a buddy comedy where he stars opposite an orangutan.

Every Which Way But Loose was a surprise to audiences at the time and it’s only gotten weirder as Eastwood’s tough-cookie persona has solidified, but it made a handsome payday nonetheless and will re-enter the public consciousness once again in short order. Deadline reports today that the 1978 film will soon receive a modern-day remake courtesy of journeyman director Anthony Cohen. (He last directed little-seen comedy The Sex Trip, which is exactly what it sounds like.) James Fargo, the original film’s director, has also agreed to serve as a producer on the project.

The film was an odd bird, casting Eastwood as a truck driver who lets his fists do the talking for him, but then pairing the classically Eastwoodian character with a goofy and lovable simian with whom the actor had precious little comic chemistry. But who knows, maybe monkey humor is one of those universal forces that transcends time itself, funny to anyone in any era?

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