We’ve known that studios have wanted to bring back ‘Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai‘ for years and earlier this year it seemed like Kevin Smith was working with MGM to bring this dream to a reality at Amazon Studios. Only, this new series was never officially announced but the problem might not just be what stage of pre-production that the series is in but who actually owns the rights. Recently, director W.D. Richter who handled the original film believes that the rights belong to the original screenwriter and creator of the character, Earl Mac Raunch.
Raunch also later wrote ‘Buckaroo Banzai’ comics for Moonstone Books from 2006-2009. The way the contract had originally been written actually makes it quite feasible that Raunch owns the rights to the character and not MGM Studios.
“[The] Agreement’s simple, blunt language acknowledges the existence of two entirely separate intellectual properties – one they called ‘The Property’ and one they called ‘The Work.’ Crucially, ’The Work’ is a technical term in the Writers Guild Basic Agreement with all the studios, is defined as only “what the writer is engaged to write”, and a screenplay is all that Mac was engaged to write in the MGM contract. [Then-MGM studio chief] David Begelman basically commissioned a screenplay based on a piece of literary material that MGM didn’t own and then David Begelman went off and made and released a movie based on it. It’s the equivalent of releasing a movie based on a Stephen King book but forgetting to buy the book from Stephen. And a highly regarded property lawyer agrees with us.”
Sounds like unless a financial sum is agreed upon this is going to be a lot of work for lawyers to figure out who exactly owns ‘Buckaroo Banzai’ and what can be done with the character.
All of that being said, Smith has previously stated that “I talk about things until they are true” when it comes to projects that he wants to work on and with how many films and shows he currently has in development we can’t even honestly say that MGM and Amazon had shown much interest in this.
Are you disappointed to hear that we might not be getting a new ongoing series of ‘Buckaroo Banzai’ or have you been less than thrilled at Smith’s work as of late? Share your thoughts below!
Source: Screen Rant
Stuart Conover is an author, blogger, and all around geek. When not busy being a father and husband he tries to spend as much time as possible immersed in comic books, science fiction, and horror! Would you like to know more? Follow him on Twitter!