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STARSKY AND HUTCH

About The Production
From September 1975 to August 1979, Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul starred in the wildly popular buddy-cop television drama Starsky & Hutch as detectives Dave Starsky and Ken "Hutch” Hutchinson. Not only did they trounce criminals on the seamy streets of Bay City every week, more importantly, they looked good doing it. They had the clothes, they had the hair and they had the car: Starsky's beloved red and white striped Ford Gran Torino.

Starsky & Hutch presented a groundbreaking portrayal of cops – they didn't always follow the rules, using unorthodox methods to solve the toughest of crimes. Perhaps most unorthodox was the detectives' association with Huggy Bear, an ultra hip, jive talking, streetwise informant played by Antonio Fargas, who walked the fine line between crooked and righteous. The relationship between the two detectives was unique in that they didn't take themselves too seriously and shared a sense of humor that was notably absent from such earlier police dramas as Dragnet and Adam-12. The fresh mix of gritty crime drama and occasional tongue-in-cheek moments propelled Starsky & Hutch to extremely high ratings over its entire run. Although it went off the air in 1979, the show still maintains a large following.

In 1998, producers Alan Riche and Tony Ludwig hit upon the idea to remake the hit cop drama – as a feature film comedy. "I was a fan of the show,” Riche recalls. "I thought it had heart and soul, and it was very much of the time – it wasn't fluff. I always liked the relationship between Starsky and Hutch and felt that it could translate into a movie relationship. It's classic movie yin-yang: you've got crazy and intense Starsky and more laconic, laid back Hutch. Each has value in terms of their own persona, but put them together and one plus one equals three – you really enjoy hanging out with these guys.”

The producers soon found that the show's creator William Blinn held the motion picture rights. Blinn had been contacted in the past to bring the show to the big screen but had never been inclined to do it. "It wasn't until I met with Alan and Tony that it seemed to take on some reality,” he says. "Their enthusiasm really turned me around.” Blinn felt they had a fresh perspective and was eager to work with them.

Riche and Ludwig went into partnership with Blinn and took the project to Warner Bros. Pictures, where producer Akiva Goldsman became involved. "The funny thing about Starsky & Hutch is that like a lot of the TV shows from when I was a child, it evoked a set of memories that are different than what you might feel today if you watched the show,” muses Goldsman. "Whatever Starsky & Hutch engendered in our imagination when we were kids was sufficiently delicious that you look back on it and you think, ‘Wow, they were kind of funny and serious at the same time and they were really kind of cool.' There's a genuineness to their friendship, which we're definitely screwing around with in a good way in this movie.”

When Ben Stiller heard that Warner Bros. Pictures owned the rights to the iconic TV show, he made it known that he wanted the chance to play Detective Dave Starsky, and along with his producing partner Stuart Cornfeld, quickly became a welcome addition to the project. "I used to play Starsky & Hutch when I was a kid,” explains Stiller, "so I thought, why not do it as an adult? I mean, there are actually a lot of reasons why you shouldn't do it as an adult, but I chose to ignore them and go forward with the project.”

"It amazes me how much Ben is truly reminiscent of Paul Glaser,” Riche marvels. "He is a very dedicated artist, and he had this amazing passion to do Starsky. So we were lucky that we got Ben, and from there found the right director and the right partner in Owen.”

The filmmakers and Stiller then began their search for the right director to helm the project.<

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