Posted on Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 by Peter Sciretta
It seems like almost every movie from the 1980’s is getting remade these days., but not The Last Starfighter. Several filmmakers and writers, among them Star Wars anthology writer Gary Whitta and actor/writer/director Seth Rogen, and word has it that Steven Spielberg himself couldn’t get the Last Starfighter remake rights. But it appears a reboot of The Last Straighter will happen, but it won’t be on the big screen, it will be on television. Hit the jump to read about The Last Straighter tv reboot.
The reason why a remake of The Last Starfighter had not happened sooner is because the original screenwriter Jonathan Betuel wasn’t actually aware that rights to the franchise had reverted to him. In the past few years he had some talks with producers about making a new movie, but not of them took off the ground.
Betuel is the one developing the new Starfighter-themed TV show called The Starfighter Chronicles. The title sounds like a bad ScreenGems movie.
Variety reports that Betuel has teamed up with Los Angeles-based virtual-reality entertainment company Surreal.tv for this new series which is not a direct sequel to the original film. And the big gimmick is that this show will not only be a television show but would also expand into a virtual reality experience.
And while most of it is meant to be viewable on plain old TVs, it would also feature special scenes that break the frame, allowing viewers equipped with virtual reality (VR) headsets to look around and explore the inside of a spaceship or immerse themselves in an alien firefight.
The show is still in early development, but Surreal has already had some initial conversations with potential television networks, but the show could end up on a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu.
Rey and Vick also believe that their experience with online video will help them to succeed with the “Starfighter Chronicles,” and VR in general. The duo was there when online video grew up, and hopes to use that knowledge as this new type of media emerges. “We are doing it again, and it’s just as exciting,” said Vick. Except, this time, they hope it’s going to happen a little faster. Said Vick: “I don’t want to wait five years again.”
As for what the show will be about, Betuel only reveals that “It’s about instilling a moral code,” whatever that means. As much as I’d love to see a remake of The Last Starfighter, I’m not sure I’m buying into the idea that virtual reality is the platform.
I’ve experienced a ton of different VR experiences, and none of the narrative story-based non-video game experiences are interesting enough to demand a 360 degree environment. Usually the action is happening in one area and while the ability for you to look around is cool, it adds nothing to the experience and by the end of these short films you’re usually just looking forward at where the director framed the main action.
I do think Virtual Reality experiences could greatly enhance interactive stories like video games, but I consider those to be a totally different medium than narrative film-based stories. And if anyone is going to make an interesting mainstream film about virtual reality it will most likely be Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ready Player One. Speaking of which, Ernie Cline’s follow-up novel Armada, which is essentially a remake of The Last Straighter, hit book store shelves this week.
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