After a bidding war, the year-in-development remake of ‘Lost In Space’ has landed at Netflix, who are planning a direct-to-series order. ‘Lost In Space’ is based on the classic science fiction series which aired on CBS from 1965-68, and focused on the space faring exploits of the Robinson Family in the distant future of… er 1997. Their mission to colonize a distant planet is foiled by the conniving Doctor Smith (played by Jonathan Harris) who sabotages their ship and they wind up– what else– ‘Lost In Space’. The show retained a level of popularity and recognition by airing in reruns for decades after its initial run and in 1998, a poorly-received film remake was released with an all-star cast which included Gary Oldman as Dr. Smith along with William Hurt, Mimi Rogers, Matt LeBlanc and Heather Graham. Despite these big names, the movie flopped.
The new series will be executive produced by writers Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless along with Kevin Burns of Synthesis Entertainment and Neil Marshall and Marc Helwig of Legendary TV’s Applebox. Marshall, who has directed episodes of ‘Game of Thrones’, ‘Constantine’, ‘Hannibal’ and ‘Black Sails’– and who is reportedly in the running to lens ‘Skull Island: Blood of the Kong’— is expected to direct the pilot episode. Writers Sazama and Sharpless penned the script for the upcoming ‘Gods of Egypt’ and (in what is probably not a great sign) box office flops ‘The Last Witch Hunter’ and ‘Dracula Untold’.
Burns founded his production company Synthesis with the express purpose of adapting Irwin Allen’s work which also includes another sci fi series ‘The Time Tunnel’ and 70s disaster flicks ‘The Towering Inferno’ and ‘The Poseidon Adventure’. In 2006, Burns co-executive produced a remake of the latter simply entitled ‘Poseidon’ which bombed.
As for ‘Lost In Space’, Burns attempted to develop a TV movie for NBC which never came to fruition. Then in 2003, following another bidding war, action ace John Woo directed a pilot for a new show for The WB, but the network did not order it to series.
The original version was a borderline sitcom with a sci fi edge reminiscent of the original ‘Star Trek’. Most episodes revolved around the youngest Robinson, son Will (played by Bill Mumy) getting in trouble along with Dr. Smith and the Robinsons’ nameless robot helper, often mistakenly called Robby the Robot, which was actually the similarly designed robot from the movie ‘Forbidden Planet’. But in one episode of ‘Lost In Space’, these two robots came face-to-face.
The movie version eschewed the lighter tone of the TV show in favor of traditional science fiction action and drama, with Oldman’s take on Dr. Smith providing the small bits of humor.
We’ll have to wait and see what direction Netflix takes with this new series, which has just been announced. More information should emerge as the show grows closer to actuality.
Are you excited to see a modern take on ‘Lost In Space’? What style should be taken– a lighter tone like the original or something more serious and edgy?