Hollywood is once again trying to bring space opera hero Buck Rogers to the big screen. Legendary Pictures and producers Don Murphy and Susan Montford are developing a new Buck Rogers movie with hopes of launching a franchise – because these days you can’t adapt a character like this without promising it’ll spawn several sequels. The character originated in the pulp magazine Amazing Stories in 1928 and went on to appear in a comic strip, a radio program, a film serial, a television series, and more. In the stories, Buck Rogers is a man from the 20th century who is knocked out in an abandoned mine, only to wake up in the year 2429 A.D.
THR is reporting that a new Buck Rogers movie is in the works over at Legendary. But Legendary doesn’t want to just stop at a film – oh, no. Instead, they’re hoping that the big screen take will launch “a prestige television series as well as an anime series, giving audiences a 360-look at heroics sets in the 25th century.” Legendary is taking a similar approach with their upcoming sci-fi epic Dune, which is set to spin-off into a TV series (and probably more), as well as sequels – provided it ends up making enough money at the box office.
As a character, Buck Rogers has been around since 1928, and has appeared in all sorts of media, from comics, to radio dramas, to TV shows, and beyond. There was a 1979 film called Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, which was actually a pilot for a new TV series. Rather than release the pilot on TV, Universal opted to release it in theaters before the series, also called Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, premiered.
Over the years, several filmmakers have attempted to get a new Buck Rogers movie off the ground. At one point, comic book writer and artist, and sometimes director Frank Miller was hoping to make his own Buck Rogers flick. That never happened, probably because everyone watched Miller’s The Spirit movie and realized he should never, ever be allowed to make a film again.
After Miller, Paul WS Anderson, of Resident Evil fame, was attached to direct a 3D Buck Rogers film. This was in 2010, a year after Avatar, when Hollywood suddenly thought every big budget movie needed to be in 3D. Like the Miller movie, the Anderson Buck Rogers never got off the ground. There’s no filmmaker attached to this latest attempt just yet, but stay tuned.
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