The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

February 26, 2008

Exclusive – Screenwriter at work on possible ‘Slap Shot’ remake

Peter Steinfeld spent much of Tuesday taking in the sights in downtown Johnstown and the Cambria County War Memorial arena.

The Hollywood screenwriter was armed with a camera phone as he documented images such as the Inclined Plane and the Johnstown Chiefs sharing ice time with Special Olympians.

Steinfeld, 41, soaked up the atmosphere and talked to numerous people as he delved into a project almost certain to excite the region’s hockey fans and movie buffs.

He is writing a screenplay for a potential Universal Studios remake of the 1977 motion picture “Slap Shot,” which starred Paul Newman and was filmed in Johnstown.

“This is not a sequel,” said Steinfeld, the screenwriter of the soon-to-be released film “21” starring Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, Laurence Fishburne and Jim Sturgess.

“I am going to try to adhere to the original movie as best as I can,” Steinfeld said. “At the same time, it can’t be just a retread of the original. It would have to reflect how the world has changed and how the town has changed in the last 31 years. There have been huge changes to hockey in that time.”

Steinfeld said he has received support from Universal, which filmed the original “Slap Shot” here in spring 1976.

He cautioned that nothing is official.

Even if his script eventually is approved, that doesn’t guarantee that a remake would be filmed here.

But that doesn’t mean Steinfeld won’t push Johnstown as his ideal location.

“I think the reason why this area lends itself really well to making a movie here is that it’s a downtown that actually has a heart and it’s a downtown that actually has a central location and central meeting place,” Steinfeld said. “All I can do really is the best job I can to make it really Johnstown-specific, which is what my intention is.

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