'Dallas' reboot scoop: Larry Hagman's (still) in play!

Larry-HagmanImage Credit: Pixplanete/PR PhotosA Dallas reboot without J.R. Ewing? TNT can’t imagine it! Despite an internet report that the cabler’s remake of the classic CBS drama is moving ahead without Larry Hagman, EW has learned that the network is hopeful a deal can and will be reached with the original star.

TNT has already persuaded Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy to make appearances in the new version, which was penned by Cynthia Cidre (Cane) and focuses on the sons of J.R. and Bobby Ewing.  The network remains high on the new iteration, even though it has yet to begin production on a pilot. “I don’t want to give away the plot, but [Cynthia] found something authentic to business and to Dallas that allows them to trade on the same dynamic of the super wealthy,” TNT/TBS programming head Michael Wright told Variety on Thursday. “Dallas was always something of an Upstairs Downstairs paradigm. If it wasn’t the rich and poor, it was attitude – entitlement versus a populist point of view. This covers all that.”

Meanwhile, Hagman told EW in September that he continues to make appearances on behalf of Dallas, which syndicates in 60 countries today. ”It’s like an annuity, really,” Hagman, 78, said. ”I go out, they adore me, and then they pay you. What better job can you have?” He seemed willing to do the Dallas reboot.

This isn’t the first time that someone’s tried to revive the Texas oil family drama that aired from 1978 to 1991. In 2006, Twentieth Century Fox decided to adapt the soap for the big screen, closing deals with John Travolta, Jennifer Lopez, and Luke Wilson. But then research indicated that the Dallas brand didn’t mean much to younger moviegoers, says a source close to the project. Travolta and Lopez soon dropped out.

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  • Robert

    Please get Larry Hagman back. I want this remake to be great. There is not Dallas without JR Ewing.

    • Tia

      Its more important who they get for the 2 sons. They need actors who can carry a series. I wonder how old they would be? 20s? 30s?

      • Barack Palin

        On “Dallas” J.R. Jr was born in 1979 while Kristin gave birth to Christopher offscreen in 1980 or 1981.

    • nuttyart

      it would b nice 2 c the most deveious man and 1 of the best character ever created; u the man J.R Ewing

  • GLAM

    Larry Hagman was excellent in NIP / TUCK in 2006. Even if he would play a small but recurring part as J.R. on the DALLAS reboot, he is clearly as Patrick Duffy and Linda Gary are a bridge from the old to the new generation. Let’s hope they relaunch it properly and not in the MELROSE PLACE style.

  • colby

    I think it would be awesome to have Larry Hagman kick off the new Dallas premiere, but not appear on a regular basis. Watching a 78 year old J.R. bed multiple 25 year old girls would be gross!

  • scorpo

    I would love to see this happen ONLY if they stay true to the mythology of the original Dallas, not made up for convenience like 90210 and the new Melrose Place.

  • Allan

    Linda Gray is a lovely person and a much better actress than people give her credit for. I just heard her on a children’s CD (Robbo, A Kid’s Life, I think) doing a monologue about her deceased grandmother. It made me weep. And Larry Hagman is such a great actor. It would be wonderful to have him back. I’d watch the reboot for sure, religiously if Hagman was back.

    • Dee Jones

      Diddo on your comment. I loved Sue Ellen! She was such a nasty and spiteful drunk. I remember the storyline when she had a nervous breakdown and was out on the street. Linda should had won an Emmy for that storyline. J.R. too should have a couple of Emmys (Larry Hagman).

  • sam

    I thought JR died in the last installment? Wasn’t there a confrontation with the devil and a gunshot?

    • Roger S.

      I remember that as well. Joel Grey played the devil if memory serves. I remember the devil telling J.R. to pull the trigger, we hear the shot and Bobby rushes in and has a shocked look on his face. We never see J.R.’s body so I guess even then they were planning for the possibility of J.R.’s return!

    • Andy

      **SPOILER ALERT!** Don’t read the following if you don’t want to know what happened yet!

      A couple of years later there was a TV movie in which J.R. returned to Dallas. He had shot the mirror he was looking at, then fled overseas for a while to recuperate. This was followed by a second TV movie a year or so later.

    • Braniff

      JR Ewing being JR Ewing, there is NO way he would die!!!! (LOL!!!)

  • wizard62

    Can’t wait for the new Dallas. Continuity is the key though. Many are just now experiencing the original Dallas via DVD. The new Dallas needs to embrace the legacy of the old show. Hagman, Duffy and Gray are a good start. Once the new show gets established, they need to bring back other characters for guest roles. The long awaited reunion of Bobby and Pam (Victoria Principal) would be priority number one. After that, Ray and Donna. Then Lucy. Dallas wasn’t just about a power struggle over an oil company between brothers or a Ewing/Barnes feud. Dallas was strongest when it concentrated on the family dynamic. The new series should also follow that formula. If it’s done right, it can be a success.

  • charles

    Man, I still remember when Kristin shot J.R. and when Jock died. I hope if they do this remake, that it is as well-done as the original. And I hope they continue the rivalry with the Barnes clan too.

  • GLAM

    No, @wizard62, what you want is a DALLAS revival, not a DALLAS reboot. I don’t want to see Pamela, Donna, Ray or Lucy again. And no rehashes of old storylines. Except for Pam none of them had ties to the sons of JR and Bobby and it makes no sense to integrate them into a new younger cast.

    • Lije

      @Glam. Agreed! Wizard62 is in the wrong, sorry to say. Not trying to offend, but as a regular Dallas watcher, well … Lucy was not the most fascinating of characters and Charlene Tilton’s acting was … well, not trying to offend, like I said! And Donna and Ray were fine as actors, but their story lines were a bit snooze worthy. Even Sue Ellen, who I loved, could only do so much of “I Hate JR, I love JR, I hate JR, I love JR” before that got old and Linda Gray stepped out with a BETTER man. Let’s reboot and focus on the new, but it will need the great Larry Hagman to make it soar, I think. It will certainly need him to make me watch weekly!

      • wizard62

        You guys misunderstood what I meant. I said they should bring them back in “guest roles”, not as series regulars. I also said “once the show gets established” meaning after it’s been off and running a while. One or two episode guest spots for some of the original characters will add continuity and be a treat for some of the original Dallas’s loyal viewers.

    • Lije

      @wizard62. No, I understood. Seems Glam got the gist of it, too. I just have zero interest in Donna, Ray and Lucy. Most Dallas fans feel the same way (not all, but most). The new show being ‘established’ doesn’t change that. Challenged acting and boring story lines are what they were.

  • j

    I thought Larry just got tapped for some work on Desperate Housewives? Can he do both? The man is not 25 you know.

    • Ryan

      It takes like a week to film an episode of a TV show, a couple days less for a guest star, depending how much you’re in it. They haven’t even started production yet. I’m sure he’ll be just fine

  • Sophie

    Wahooo I love Dallas! im only 16 but love it, It would take a lot to make this Dallas succesfull! TBH Gray, Hagman and Duffy made the show so without them we don’t have the Ewings! xx

    • Cole

      I’m willing to watch it. I’m 16 too and love the show but I’m willing to watch it with just the kids from the original and with Patrick, Larry and Linda just making guest appearances.

  • Barack Palin

    They just have to get Victoria Principal.

  • John N.

    Don’t forget that Bobby also had a son with Jenna who Ray raised as his own so there could be three sons vying for control of Ewing Oil.
    Also, it was revealed in one of the reunion movies that Cliff Barnes sired a daughter with Afton so that character could be brought on to continue the Ewing-Barnes rivalry.

    • Tom_b

      Actually, JR also had an illegitmate son from before he married Sue Ellen (played by Sasha Mitchell). And, there was another son by the very young wife he married immediately after the last divorce from Sue Ellen. So, there could conceivalby be 5 Ewings boys in the mix.

  • Voodoo

    WHY?!!

  • JJ

    I just hope they don’t wind up with a cast of 1,000s like the original did at the end with a contrived storyline that had to be resolved as a dream!

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