In 1984, ‘The Last Starfighter’ soared at the box office by tapping into the latest craze arcade video games and incorporating then-cutting edge computer graphics. The movie told the story of a video game ace played by Lance Guest who is stunned to discover that the game he becomes a high scorer on (named appropriately ‘Starfighter’) is actually a test concocted by aliens to find a human champion to help them win an intergalactic war.
And since it was made in the 80s, Hollywood has to try remaking it. Original writer Jonathan Betuel is teaming with Andy Vick and Rick Rey, co-founders of Surreal.tv, a company whose goal is to combine virtual reality with linear storytelling. They are hoping to use ‘The Last Starfighter’ as a foundation on which to build ‘The Starfighter Chronicles’ a new TV series that will incorporate this interactive technology.
As proposed, viewers can watch ‘The Starfighter Chronicles’ on a regular TV or other device, but those with the right VR equipment can, during certain scenes, explore the alien locales, e.g. inside a spaceship or on a strange planet. Betuel explains, “It’s a very interesting blend. The otherworldiness of it lends itself to VR.”
Over the years, many parties, including Seth Rogan and even Steven Spielberg have expressed interest in remaking ‘The Last Starfighter’ for a new generation, using modern technology. Obviously, none of those attempts came to fruition.
This show will not be an adaptation of the original movie or even a sequel. The focus of ‘Starfighter Chronicles’ will be on alien law enforcement. As Betuel says, “It’s about instilling a moral code.”
Betuel’s collaborators, Vick and Rey were eager to sign on, as both are fans of the original film. “It’s a dream come true, basically,” Vick expressed.
It’s not all about the technology, which could be seen as gimmicky without substantial content. “By focusing on technology, you are not solving the problem of adoption,” said Rey. To that end, Surreal has enlisted United Talent Agency in hopes of finding an interested outlet for this project.
“It is important to be aware of both sides,” said Betuel noting the importance of both innovative tech and quality storytelling.
Are you ready to immerse yourself in the galactic setting of ‘The Starfighter Chronicles’? Is this the future of entertainment?