It’s been more than 30 years since Happy Days aired its final episode, signing off after 11 series in 1984, but the show’s creator Garry Marshall has revealed he’s had talks to bring about its comeback.
Marshall – who conceived the series, along with spin-offs Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy – told RadioTimes.com that he was “actually talking about a possibility” of rebooting more than one of his classic TV shows.
“It’s very possible that Laverne & Shirley or Happy Days will be back,” he said, “They talk about it, but again it’s all Paramount who owns it and they may do it because they talk to me about everything.”
He added that it was unlikely that Mork & Mindy would ever return to screens – “nobody is every going to be Robin Williams. That was a very special show and very special man” – but confirmed “the other two are very possible,” referencing conversations that had taken place “just recently”.
Happy Days began airing in 1974 and revolved around teenager Richie Cunningham (played by Ron Howard) and his family. Henry Winkler originally appeared in a recurring role as Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli who lived in the family’s attic, but was soon bumped up to a series regular and went on to become Richie’s best friend and television icon.
A reboot of the sitcom would follow in the footsteps of Marshall’s series The Odd Couple which originally featured Jack Klugman and Tony Randall. It was reimagined by CBS in 2015, starring former Friends actor Matthew Perry as Oscar Madison, Thomas Lennon as Felix Ungar and Marshall himself in a guest role as Oscar’s father.
But the director adds that, were Happy Days to be rebooted, he’d look for another unknown actor to play the Fonz, after casting Winkler with just one film – The Lords of Flatbush – under his belt.
“You have to be open. When I was looking for the original Fonz I was looking for a tall Italian guy on the streets of New York and I get a short Jewish guy from Yale. I don’t know who would be him today – there’s always somebody new coming up.”
Garry Marshall’s new movie Mother’s Day is out in UK cinemas now