It’s no secret that we live in a world of remakes, re-imaginings, reboots, revivals, and whatever other “re-” words you can think of that indicate Hollywood loves to take old properties and bring them back with a fresh spin – some, admittedly, fresher than others.
As first reported by The Wrap, Legendary Entertainment is planning a multi-format revival of the Buck Rogers franchise, with reported plans starting with TV series that will hopefully branch into a companion film franchise and even an accompanying anime-style animated series. The TV series will be up first, and will be produced by long-time Hollywood stalwart George Clooney. The Wrap reports that Legendary also intends Clooney to star in the series – likely not as Buck Rogers – but a following report from Variety refutes the notion that Clooney will appear on-camera in any significant way in the franchise.
A bit of back-story on the character of Buck Rogers and the franchise, from the original report:
“The project is based on the characters and concepts introduced in the 1928 novella ‘Armageddon 2419 A.D.’ by Philip Francis Nowlan. The story followed ‘Anthony Rogers,’ a mining engineer from the 20th century who awakens from suspended animation after 500 years to find himself in the middle of a planetary war.
Nowlan and Chicago newspaperman John F. Dille developed the concept into a serialized comic strip in 1929, with the character’s named changed from Anthony to ‘Buck.’ With the name changed to ‘Buck Rogers in the 25th Century,’ the concept was essentially Rip Van Winkle in the future, with a modern-day man learning to cope 500 years in the future to a world that is no longer recognizable to him.”
Buck Rogers has existed in several entertainment formats throughout the decades since its first introduction. Comic book series, radio dramas, and serial films all predated the likely most well-known incarnation, the 1979 TV series that ran on NBC for two seasons and starred Gil Gerard and Erin Gray.
The series will be co-executive-produced by Clooney and Grant Heslov under the banner of their production company, Smokehouse. Also mentioned as a producer is Flint Dille, the grandson of the above-mentioned John F. Dille, who is credited as a creator of the Buck Rogers character. Brian K. Vaughan, well-known to the entertainment community for his work on TV shows like ‘Lost’ and ‘Under the Dome’ along with his writing work on comic book series like ‘Y: The Last Man’ and ‘Saga,’ among many others, will handle the lead writing duties for the series.
No timetable or release dates have yet been released for the new Buck Rogers TV series.