Who should play

“Me! It’s about time a
Chinaman got the starring role!
Hell, no one ever even
asked me once to
say ‘Book ’em.’ ”

-- Kam Fong, portrayed Chin Ho

‘Five-0’ film execs
due to fine-tune project

By Tim Ryan

BURBANK, Calif. - Producers and other production executives are expected to travel to Hawaii in January to break down costs and the logistics of filming the entire movie adaptation of "Hawaii Five-0" here.

"We have just finished a second version of the script, 'Day of Infamy,' which we think is much better that the original," producer George Litto said Saturday at the "Mahalo Con: Hawaii Five-0 Reunion."

Litto, however, said a definite production date depends on the availability of "the right star and the right director" for the project. He declined naming actors being considered for the starring role of Steve McGarrett, although in September he suggested that Harrison Ford or Mel Gibson might be right.

Will the movie actually be made? Litto said a producer is never confident any film will be made until the camera is turned on.

"The idea is to start a film for the right reasons including having the right script, the right star, the right director, production plan and financing to carry it through," he said. "We're still at step one."

The majority of fans at the convention want the McGarrett character to remain stoic, stern, a difficult taskmaster with very little humor. Litto indicated that not all that may be possible.

"We will maintain the basic characteristics and attitudes of all the characters, but also make them adaptable to the '90s with some personal look at their private lives," Litto said.

Litto hasn't reached the point of thinking about casting the lesser roles, including using actors James MacArthur, Kam Fong and Zulu from the original show.

"All is possible," Litto said.

A couple things that won't change are key phrases from the TV show like "Book 'em, Danno," or the music.

"That theme is our rocket to the moon."

Who should play McGarrett?

BURBANK, Calif. - If there is a movie derived from "Hawaii Five-0," who do fans want to play Steve McGarrett and should the character stay true to the original? A few opinions:

Scott Walton, West Los Angeles, student: "Roger Moore or Lee Majors. Moore can carry it off with younger audiences because of his visibility as being James Bond. Lee's got the look and can be mean. Moore's accent could be a problem. Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, or Michael Douglas would attract a younger crowd, but whatever you do you must build on the character on the television series."

Gregory Jackson Jr., Los Angeles, real estate sales: "McGarrett must not have a sense of humor. As soon as you make him light, being funny, or making wise cracks it's not McGarrett. I don't want to see him smiling that much either because these characters were serious that they really wanted to catch the bad people and I loved that."

Jerry Pickard, Vancouver, B.C., air cargo claims adjustor and a University of Hawaii graduate: "He can't be funny. He must be professional, dedicated and knowledgeable about Hawaii. In this day and age, he must respect the Hawaiian culture, too. No, lots of humor just won't do."

Ken MacKenzie, New Jersey: "Whoever it is has to have that cool mystique, that distance between himself and the other characters. Hey, you have to have that to be a leader. It's going to be tough finding an actor who can do that."

James MacArthur, Danno on "Five-0": "Impossible to say. So many good choices. But I hope they let Kam Fong and me be sitting in wheelchairs on the beach looking at all the girls in bikinis."

Kam Fong, portrayed Chin Ho: "Me! It's about time a Chinaman got the starring role! Hell, no one ever even asked me once to say 'Book 'em.' "

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