‘Dukes of Hazzard’: John Schneider, Tom Wopat Battled Writer Over Post-Show Movie Scene

by Matthew Wilson

“Dukes of Hazzard” stars John Schneider and Tom Wopat had it out with a writer after he tried to reduce the Duke boys to a couple of small-town stereotypes.

Both Schneider and Wopat and the rest of the cast reunited for two “Dukes of Hazzard” reunion specials after the show ended. The first came in 1997, and the second followed in 2000. “The Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood” sent the Duke boys to California. The writer for the film tried to portray the film as a fish out of water tale. But Schneider and Wopat insisted the Duke boys wouldn’t be confused by the big city.

“The writer had this Beverly Hillbillies idea in his head,” Schneider said in a 2018 interview. “That’s not what the Dukes were about.”

‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ Go to Hollywood

Schneider and Wopat rejected one scene in particular. The writer wrote that the Duke boys start a campfire under the Hollywood sign. Their friend Enoch arrives to explain the Duke boys can’t start fires where they want in the city.

“We went to the writer and director. And told them there were a few things wrong with the way it was written,” Schneider said. “First, we’re not stupid. Second, we’re not stupid. Third, that’s not how the Dukes would handle that situation.”

The film followed the Duke boys traveling to Hollywood to visit their friend Enoch. The Duke boys would be in a new environment. But the show, when it aired, featured the Duke boys using their “country smarts” to outwit people. The scene felt like a betrayal of the Duke boys as characters. And the actors voiced their opinions about the exchange.

Eventually, the director allowed the actors to refilm the scene. The writer created new dialogue that better reflected the Duke boys as they were on the show. Instead, Enos arrives at the scene, and the Duke boys greet him. They say, “What took you so long? We thought you’d never show up.”

“That’s the way the Dukes would have played that,” he said. “Since they didn’t have cell phones to call Enos, they decided they’d build a fire — under the Hollywood sign — and let HIM find THEM.”

Ultimately, the actors got their way about the scene. It’s probably a good thing for Schneider and Wopat too. This was the last of the reunion movies and the final time they appeared as their characters. The Duke boys would later reappear in a non-related movie reboot.