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Ron Howard to Direct Live-Action ‘Spy vs. Spy’ Movie

The last time fans saw Spy vs. Spy in live action, the black and white foes were up to their usual brand of MAD Magazine conflict in Mountain Dew TV spots. Flash forward to 2011 and the dudes are graduating from doing the Dew to potentially starring in a full-fledged feature from Warner Bros. helmed by Ron Howard and David Koepp. According to Deadline, Howard will serve as director while Koepp and Brian Grazer will produce the adaptation of the EC Comics/MAD staple created by Antonio Prohías in 1961. Writer John Kamps will reportedly pen the script.From Deadline:

The film will be a physical and highly visual action comedy with two spies going mano a mano in ruthless fashion.

Ruthless? That sounds about right. Given Kamps’ experience writing Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie’s story back in 1995, I think the guy has what it takes to pull of some serious spy gags.

Deadline’s writeup makes it pretty clear that both Howard and Koepp are busy enough that it could be some time before Spy vs. Spy becomes a reality — especially with the live action Dark Tower film on Howard’s docket.

Spy vs. Spy ran as a series of animated shorts on MAD TV during its earlier seasons in the ’90s and new Spy vs. Spy segments can be seen in each episode of Cartoon Network’s current animated parody show MAD.

It’s unclear what a potential new Spy vs. Spy film might look like under Howard, but perhaps the aesthetic could tread a middleground between the old school Mountain Dew shorts and his approach to adapting Dr. Seuss cartoonishness in How the Grinch Stole Christmas? Otherwise it seems like all you’re left with is two pale guys with inverted coats and hats. Provided things roll forward, it’ll be interesting to see how the spies are handled.

[Via Deadline]

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