The Champions Will Star Ben Stiller And Cate Blanchett As Old School Superheroes

Do you remember the 30 episode run of the 1960s British espionage thriller/science fiction/occult detective fiction adventure television series known as "The Champions?" Don't worry, most don't, but that's what makes the announcement of the new film adaptation of the series starring Ben Stiller and Cate Blanchett so exciting.

Based on the Dennis Spooner television show of the same name, "The Champions" centers on three United Nations agents whose plane crashes somewhere in the Himalayas. The group is rescued by an advanced civilization secretly living in Tibet, and the three are gifted supernatural intellectual and physical abilities. Now, with the agents returning to the outside world, they are able to utilize their new super powers to become "champions of law, order and justice."

Stiller will also be directing the film and producing through his Red Hour Productions Label with Blanchett producing through her company, Dirty Films. ITV Studios America and New Republic Pictures will also be producing. According to a news release from Variety, Blanchett had the following to say about the project:

"Champions" is a long-forgotten gem that will excite a new generation in the same strange and magnificent way that the original series spoke to us. I've long wanted to work with Ben — the director and the actor. He is one of the most engaged and versatile directors working today. Anyone who can make both "Zoolander" and "Escape at Dannemora" is a creative force to be reckoned with.

A New Type of Superhero

"The Champions" originally starred Stuart Damon, Alexandra Bastedo, William Gaunt, and Anthony Nicholls, playing on NBC in the United States in the summer of 1968, the time when the biggest superhero fare was Adam West's "Batman," Fearless Frank, and a number of international super films like the Italian/Spanish "Superargo" film series. However, the world was steeped in "James Bond" fever, making spy and espionage programs all the rage. "The Champions" is the perfect candidate for a remake.

The film marks the most recent collaboration between New Republic and Blanchett's Dirty Films though a first-look deal. Andrew Upton and Coco Francini of Dirty Films will also produce the film. From New Republic president Bradley Fischer, who is serving as a producer with Brian Oliver:

New Republic Pictures is thrilled to be teaming up with Ben Stiller and Cate Blanchett — an irresistible cinematic spy duo if ever there were one — along with our friends at ITV and Dirty Films, as we reimagine ITV's fun and iconic 1960's espionage franchise, "The Champions." Literally can't wait.

Blanchett can next be seen in Guillermo del Toro's "Nightmare Alley" and Adam McKay's "Don't Look Up" for Netflix. She also recently wrapped filming on Eli Roth's film adaptation of the "Borderlands" video game. Stiller continues to direct the drama series "Severance" for Apple TV+ and is scheduled to direct "Bag Man," based on Rachel Maddow's podcast, "London" with Oscar Isaac, and "High Desert" with "Severance" star Patricia Arquette.