Brian Helgeland To Write Updated Buck Rogers TV Adaptation

Brian Helgeland

by James White |
Updated on

While word on Skydance's plan to create a new Buck Rogers movie has been pretty quiet, there's movement on Legendary's aim to bring an updated TV series based on the character to screens. LA Confidential writer Brian Helgeland is now on board to craft at least the pilot for the show.

This is a change from last year's announcement thatY: The Last Mancomic creator and Lost veteran Brian K. Vaughan had the job. According to The Wrap, executive producer George Clooney (whose Smokehouse company is also involved) personally called Helgeland to ask if he'd be interested, to which the latter offered up a compelling take right away.

Lest you think he's only been seen in the 1970s/1980s series that starred Gil Gerard, Buck's history stretches further back. Originally created by writer Philip Francis Nowlan for his novella Armageddon 2419 AD, the character was developed by Chicago newspaperman John F. Dille in the 1930s, it immediately became one of the world’s most popular comic strips, read by millions daily in the newspapers all over the world. The strip was essentially Rip Van Winkle in the future in which a modern-day man wakes up 500 years in the future to a world that is no longer recognizable to him. In this future world, so many of the staples of today’s science fiction films made first appearances: ray guns, rocket ships, jet packs, laser beams. The strip’s vision of the future influenced the World’s Fair and Tomorrowland in Disneyland. It became so popular that in 1939 it led to a wildly successful 12-part serial starring Buster Crabbe. Between the strips, serial and later comic books Buck Rogers became as known to every American as Tarzan and Mickey Mouse.

Legendary is hoping that this will jump between a prestige series and a set of movies, the way that Sony had hoped to do with The Dark Tower. Based on how that turned out, all we can say is, good luck, Buck!

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