The Greatest American Hero Update

Greatest-American-HeroWe have some news today about The Greatest American Hero film adaptation; the saucy scoop has been made available thanks to our friends at moviehole:

Was speaking to a casting director friend today, and we got onto the topic of Owen Wilson – that led to a discussion about “The Greatest American Hero” movie, which Wilson’s name has been linked to several times over the years. “Not anymore”, she said when asked whether the sad clown was still the frontrunner to play Ralph Hinkley in the upcoming film version. “They’re casting it for now – they’re open to an unknown”.

According to my friend-who-should-know, the film is quite different to the original series – not in tone, just in details. It’s still very much a comedy. She explained that the Ralph Hinkley of the film is “the most popular teacher at school, and has a real way with the kids – notably Josh, who is revealed to be Pam’s (the love interest from the original TV show) son”.

Adversary-wise, there’s your typical superhero villain (though nobody has seen the whole script, so nobody knows who or what it is), but also “Harve Lundy, a fat 35-year-old teacher at the same school as Ralph. His classroom has all the desks and seats at the back of the room and his desk is on a high platform overlooking them.”

When I hear that the film is quite different than the original series, flags star to fly and alarms star to buzz. If you are going to bring the series to the big screen, shouldn’t you tell the same story? If the only commonalities the two have with each other are a costume and a name – I am not interested. The story goes on to say that TGAH can burst into flames? Why would you add superpowers to the character in the first film?

What a super hero can do, what powers they possess is a very distinct fingerprint that sets them apart. Adding a power just to add more bothers me. It changes the dynamic of a character and really messes with their feel. Wikipedia lists the powers of TGAH as follows: super strength, resistance to injury, invisibility, precognition, telekinesis, remote viewing, super speed, X-ray vision, and psychometry. He also showed signs of being able to control minds when he was exposed to high doses of plutonium radiation. If they want to do a movie about a combustible super hero go ahead, write a film from scratch and ditch everything from The Greatest American Hero. He has enough powers – don’t turn him into the Human Torch.

I am highly skeptical of this project and by the sounds of it Owen Wilson should be glad he is out of the running.

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7 thoughts on “The Greatest American Hero Update

  1. THE IDEA OF A GREATEST AMERICAN HERO I THINK IS A FANTASTIC IDEA,HOWEVER SHOULD HAVE THE SAME AS THE SEREIES BUT OF COURSE UP TO DATE EFFECTS HALF AND THE OTHER THE OLD FASHION WAY,MINITURES,SAME CONSEPT,THE GOOD NATURED CHARACTURES AND ALL THAT GOES WITH IT,I STILL WATCH THE SERIES TO THIS DAY BELIEVE IT OR NOT,IF IT IS TO BE MADE,MAY IT NOT BE OVERKILL OR DRY,NEEDS ALL THE ELEMENTS OF AWONDERFUL,FUN AND FANTASTIC FILM,IVE WRITTEN 14 STORIES ABOUT A GAH FILM AND WHO BETTER THAN TO DIRECT IT BUT THE MAN HIMSELF STEVEN SPIELBRG,LOVE ROBERT,WILLIAM AND CONNIE,THEY COULDNT HAVE PICKED A BETTER TEAM LIVE ON GREATEST AMERICAN HERO AND TAKE ME BACK TO ALOT OF FAUND MEMORIES IN THE 80S,TAKE CARE AND GOD BLESS,YOURS TRULY MIKE A. TABOR.

  2. I agree with you, this idea has a lot of alarms and red flags.

    Now, I’ve said this before and I’ll say this again: where this casting rumor came from is not, not NOT an official source about the project. This is the same hearsay that we’ve gotten for “The A-Team,” which BTW is the only SJC endeavor that I know of that’s proceeding as planned. Take it with a huge grain of salt.

    An official source is from SJC productions, not “(I) Was speaking to a casting director friend today… According to my friend-who-should-know.” I sent an E-mail to Cannell Productions and they said that they’re doing something in house, but it’s a WIP and nothing else.

    Plus, why spoil the new story with comments such as “Pam’s son” and an evil teacher with names. Right now, I read this a lot as someone using “Sky High” ideas and theming it with “GAH” – meaning highly suspicious about the story. I mean, evil teacher when they had at worst mafia men and ninjas in the TV series?

    Also, why give Ralph a Fantastic Four power when DC comics sued SJC in the ’80s for thinking Ralph was Superman? (I know, “Four” is Marvel, but same cause and reason).

    I feel a lot of this is currently because of the fanfilm production called “TGAH 2008,” and people confusing it as a legit movie being produced. It isn’t – never has been, and personally, I truly believe is now defunct as they’ve said nothing to try and attract fans and this is a way to draw attention to it. Until SJC’s company says anything or it comes from an official cited source, not “Talking to a friend,” don’t believe this story.

  3. My friend who wrote the Owen script was keeping it closer the original and it would have been great. That was approved and it was a go, but specualtion started that Owen didn’t want to pigeon hole himself as the 70’s movie guy. Owen wasn’t supposed to play Hinkley but another costume owner. Like a Green Lantern thing. Then Adam Sandler was going to pick it up. I think from there is where it went to Disney who was going to make the hero and fbi agent love story slant.

  4. I agree Meli — this article doesn’t really inspire me to have much hope in this project. I loved the series growing up, it was one of my faves. I suppose it’s a bit too early to write it off completely, but given Hollywood’s track record of transitioning TV shows to film, the odds are stacked against old Ralphie.

    I do also agree it’s at least good news that Owen Wilson isn’t in the running — that’d have been horrible.

    I do also cringe at the notion that they’re going to, in all liklihood, take the greatest theme television theme song and produce a horrible hip hop version of it. Believe it or not.

  5. Damn, I’m feeling very skeptical as well after this article. I should have known better than to feel excited. I know some things might need changing up, but from the sound of this they’re changing a lot. I wonder if Ralph Hinkley will still be geeky. And what is up with the mention of that other teacher with his desk on a platform?? How is that funny? It sounds like a character you’d find in a hokey kids cartoon. I hope none of this is truth.

    I’m also glad that Owen Wilson isn’t in the running for this any longer. I like the guy, but I don’t exactly see him as TGAH. I’d like to see an unknown though I’m sure the producers are going to want a name to promote the film.

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