27 years after the last Carry On film, 1992’s somewhat errant Carry On Columbus, it looks like the franchise is set to be revived – 2019 style. By which I mean the scripts will apparently be politically correct. Brian Baker has finally succeeded in his nine-year battle with ITV for the rights to market Carry On merchandise in order to raise funds to finance a new Carry On film.
According to Baker there are three scripts ready to go – one of which was written in 2006. I have already aired my feelings on reboots and while this is not a gender flip and there is, arguably, a precedent for multiple Carry On films I still struggle to see a reason as to why you’d fight tooth and claw (and spend £500,000) to revisit such a dated film franchise.
Baker told the Daily Mail “We’ll be bringing together a new team of actors with their own idiosyncrasies and personalities for the films. They will be adapted to bring it up to modern times. We’ll have to be a bit more politically correct today.”
And there’s the rub. I mean, He might as well have stated the obvious fact that they’ll have to use different actors. Even I, a snowflake, will say if it’s PC then it’s not a Carry On film, is it? In which case why bother? Perhaps Baker is simply clarifying how the franchise will be revamped to suit the political climate. However somehow people who use PC as a term usually vocally or silently suggest that being PC is ruining everybody’s fun. Cue loads of knowing jokes about being ‘woke’, possibly a saucy pansexual character whose gender the straight man* will never be quite certain of and lots of people being ‘triggered’. On top of this, I predict there will be a film called Carry on Brexit.
Of course the Carry On franchise featured a talented cast and there’s nothing inherently wrong in being ‘of its time’. If you want to watch reruns of Carry On Nurse in the privacy of your own home and don’t parade it in front of the children I won’t stop you. And perhaps I am being unfair, perhaps if these films do receive the funding needed they will tap into the new camp style in comedy. Think Joe Lycett, Tom Allen or Katherine Ryan and her Joan Rivers style of campiness.
If this is the case and Baker doesn’t have it in for me (I won’t apologise, that is no more shoehorned in than any nudity in the films) and PC culture then I will gladly step off my soapbox. However, I still think in a market flooded with comic book superheroes and Toy Story sequels I think audiences would appreciate something new. And PC.
*I mean straight man in the comedy sense of course, not the sexual preference sense.