Gary Whitta says Columbo reboot could be next Sherlock

He's the screenwriter behind After Earth and even briefly worked on Star Wars spin-off Rogue One, but Gary Whitta didn’t have big blockbusters on the brain when he sat down with Crime Scene magazine. The writer and producer talked all things Colombo and why he thinks the time is right for a Sherlock-style reboot.

“I think part of the reason why Columbo has been so popular and continues to endure is that there’s never really been another detective show quite like it.” Whitta said of the long-running series. “Even today, if we were to bring Columbo back in that format, it’d still be unlike anything that’s been seen before or since.”

While there’s been plenty of speculation in the past about whether the mac-clad detective would get a silver screen debut, Gary Whitta maintains this is a detective drama for the small screen.

“Some people thought we were trying to do a feature film of Columbo. I don’t think that’s the right home for it. I think Columbo belongs on TV, an event series like the BBC Sherlock. A limited run of episodes, maybe four or five cases at most, 90 minutes.”

Mark Ruffalo (aka The Hulk) has already come out and said he’d love to play the TV detective in a reboot, but he isn’t the only big name star Whitta’s been dreaming about.

“If you look at the great guest stars that they had back in the day they were some of the biggest stars of American film, television and music in the ’70s and ’80s. If you were to do them now, you can imagine the big stars of today lining up – whether it be George Clooney or Meryl Streep or whoever.

“It’d be delicious to come on and chew up the scenery as some arrogant murderer who thinks they’re smarter than Columbo, and then get nailed at the end. I think actors would look on that as a tremendously fun thing to do!”

With a potential a-list line-up like this, who wouldn’t want to see the return of Columbo? We’ll keep our fingers-crossed.

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Lauren O'Callaghan

Lauren O'Callaghan is the former Entertainment Editor of GamesRadar+. You'd typically find Lauren writing features and reviews about the latest and greatest in pop culture and entertainment, and assisting the teams at Total Film and SFX to bring their excellent content onto GamesRadar+. Lauren is now the digital marketing manager at the National Trust.