Remember last May when a rumor began to circulate that Frank Miller would direct Buck Rogers, only to be denied days later? Well turns out it was true after all. Odd Lot Entertainment, the production company behind The Spirit, wants to reteam with Frank Miller to helm the sci-fi adventure flick. Odd Lot is in talks with Nu Image/Millennium for the rights to the property. THR reports that Miller’s take is expected to be “darker” and will likely include “Miller’s signature visual elements and themes, such as corruption and redemption.” No, duh.
I’m surprised that any production company is willing to put their trust in Miller at this point. The early buzz has only begun to leak and the consensus is that Miller’s directorial debut The Spirit is beyond disastrous. Early tracking numbers for the film are spread all over the map. It seems like it would be smarter to do this deal after The Spirit’s Box Office debut.
Nu Image/Millennium Films originally planned to develop a $40 million film with genre veteran Flint Dille, who penned a Buck Rogers graphic novel in the 1990s, attached to write and produce. The plan was to turn “the cheapness of the low-budget effects will be a running joke in the movie, which will retain the campiness of the 1980s TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century starring Gil Gerard.” My hope is that Miller’s approach doesn’t result in a slapstick tone, which judging by The Spirit, I have reason to worry.
For those of you who were born post-Back to the Future (I find a lot of generational entertainment is lost in people born of the internet generation), Buck Rogers was created in 1928 by Philip Nowlan. The basic premise is as follows: Rogers, a pilot/astronaut who falls into a coma, only to awaken in the twenty-fifth century. Best known from the long-running syndicated newspaper comic strip, Rogers also appeared in a 12-part 1939 movie serial, a 1979 television series, and in many other incarnations. The development of space technology in the twentieth century launched Buck Rogers into American pop culture.
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