MILWAUKEE — Hollywood director David Zucker and one of the stars of his "Airplane!" movie plan to work together again after 32 years — on a Wisconsin tourism commercial.
Zucker, who also produced a winter tourism commercial for the state, asked Robert Hays, who played Ted Striker in the 1980 movie "Airplane!," to take part in the summer ad.
"Obviously, I said, 'Surely you can't be serious?' Hays said Monday during a news conference. "And he said, 'I am serious and let's go see a gladiator movie,' something like that."
He was referring to two famous lines from the movie, including one when Leslie Nielsen asks him if he can fly a plane.
"Surely you can't be serious," Hays' character answers.
"I am serious, and don't call me Shirley," Nielsen's character, Dr. Rumack, answers.
Zucker, who graduated from Shorewood High School and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is directing the commercial — in which Hays' is fishing and encounters some problems with his fishing rod — in the Eagle River area starting Tuesday. It will air next summer in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan and Iowa.
Asked if it will have any "Airlplane!" homages, Deputy Tourism Secretary Dave Fantle said Hays' name in the script is "Ted," though the commercial has no dialogue.
Zucker directed a tourism spot in December, with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra breaking into a snowball fight. He said he'll also direct a fall tourism commercial at some point, depending on the schedule for "Scary Movie 5," which he's helping write. It's now set to film after Labor Day.
Zucker joked about Gov. Scott Walker, who was in attendance, becoming the first governor to survive a recall attempt.
"I have many fond memories of working with the governor last time when I was in town. Mostly I recall, oh I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I shouldn't say that," he said to laughs, including from the governor. "I couldn't resist."
Fantle said the commercial's budget is $250,000. Zucker said he plans to donate his reduced fee toward a tree planting organization in Los Angeles, which he did for the winter commercial as well.
Hays said he had a cameo in "Superhero Movie," which Zucker produced, but they haven't really worked together since "Airplane!" — his first feature film.
Hays said jumped at the chance to work with Zucker again because they laughed so much together the first time.
"It was like winning the lottery for me, they were so wonderful to work with. I just love them and we are all still good friends," he said.