With the flood of remakes tainting most of our pallets, I hesitate to announce two others, but I have to say that the news of these particular two being released come with a rather large cult following, and I am totally excited for both.
Fox, who now owns the rights to Stephen Cannell’s cache of personal greatness, has announced that they will be remaking the 80’s hit, The Greatest American Hero. This strange story of a high school teacher who is given a super suit by aliens only to lose the instruction book and get hooked up with a nutcase government agent, flew through three seasons back in the early eighties and left us wanting more for decades.
The Greatest American Hero will be brought to audiences by the creative team that brought us 22 Jump Street and The Lego Movie: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Lord and Miller have a contract with 20th Century Fox to “develop, write and direct comedy projects.” Also from the 22 Jump Street group is Rodney Rothman, who will be writing this project and executive producing with Cannell’s daughter Tawnia McKiernan and Seth Cohen.
This is no doubt the culmination of a life-long campaign by actor William Katt, who played the lead in the original series. There have been rumors for years that the show would return or a major motion picture would be made, but Katt’s efforts could only muster a comic book homage brought to us by Arcadia Studio.
Also, Patrick Warburton may have one of his dreams come true. He has been very vocal about the fact that, if given the chance, he would gladly reprise his role as the mental super hero The Tick. Amazon, in a bid to rise to the independent television greatness of AMC, HBO and USA, and cash in on the ‘shows on demand’ trend like Netflix, has expressed interest in reviving the show with Patrick Warburton. Only getting nine episodes in its first run, Tick fans everywhere look forward to seeing more of this off-center crime fighter. It will be interesting if they go after David Burke to play the Tick’s sidekick, simply named Arthur but dressed up like a big white moth ALL THE TIME.
Warburton, as well as a legion of fan, have spoken disparagingly about Fox’s handling of the show. The time slot put it up against the popular NBC Must See TV and Survivor. Fox didn’t own the show and didn’t own the rights to many of the villains from the comic and the animated show (Disney had them), so they backed off the action scenes and the crazy bad guys. In the end, they just weren’t motivated to continue with the live action show.
So, one of Fox’s failures gets new life through Amazon, and Fox looks to breath new life into another old school superhero property. Hopefully this is the beginning of a flood of comebacks; shows that didn’t get to run their course. I really don’t see how this could be a bad thing. With Netflix and now Amazon rushing to bring the old shows back along with an army of new shows, it really can only be a win-win. Will there be bad shows? Sure. But, at least, they get a chance at giving the fans what they have wanted for a long time. Now….where’s that Firefly comeback? I, and the cult following, will be waiting.