Frank Miller to bring us Buck Rogers

Well remaking TV hasn’t hit the bottom yet, but we can see it from here. From the “Why haven’t they done that yet” fishbowl of ideas we find out that Buck Rogers is getting the silver screen treatment. And just announced, Sin City scribe Frank Miller is on board to direct!

According to IGN Movies, it’s Avi Lerner’s Millennium Films that will resurrect the Buck Rogers character for a whole new generation of sci-fi nerdlings. (I guess Millennium is using their Rambo money on this project.)

But it gets even geekier! Apparently author / artist / filmmaker Frank Miller will be the one in the director’s chair! IGN says that the $40 million Buck Rogers project will be Miller’s next gig once he’s all finished with The Spirit. The screenplay comes from genre veteran Flint Dille, but there’s one thing that gives me a little pause, and it’s this quote specifically: “The cheapness of the low-budget effects will be a running joke in the movie, which will retain the campiness of the 1980s TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century starring Gil Gerard.”

Ouch. The reaction that the fans have had to such tributes has been less than popular. In Thunderbirds, the old 60s camp and marionette styling had been the greatest criticism of the film (which was just the top of the list) and much of the Speed Racer hate has been coming from people who just don’t like the tribute to the original stylings.

I would love to see Buck Rogers get the full movie treatment, but honestly I would rather see an updated sci-fi epic that pays due respects to the franchise than a throwback so we can spend 90 minutes reminding ourselves why we wouldnt watch Buck Rogers reruns.

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9 thoughts on “Frank Miller to bring us Buck Rogers

  1. I’ve been playing around with a film treatment for Buck Rogers for a few years, so I receive this news with mixed feelings. I hope the producers go back to the roots, with no more than a knowning nod to the 80s version.

    I’d trust that Frank’s take on the story will owe more to his superb ‘Ronin’ comic story, which features a 17th century Samurai finding himself in late 21st Century New York. I’m surprised that this story hasn’t made it to the screen yet. Darren Aronofsky made a stab at it back in 1998..

  2. (Type your comment here. Make sure you’ve read the commenting rules before doing so)
    Hi! Buck Rogers was my favorite comic as a youngster and looked forward to the next edition to see what Buck and Wilma were up to in fighting the Martians zipping around in space. Love the silver suits, etc and now at age 77, would love to see the movie…if I’m still around.

  3. Frank & Buck?! i’m in just for curiousity’s sake to see what Miller would do with the property. if he leaves the project, so would my interest in it.
    i’m sure this’ll be better than Speed Racer which i saw today. that waste of cinematic space was aimed squarely at The Shallow,The Druckf*cked & those with ADD who have yet to grow any peachfuzz.

  4. I forgot, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow took a stab at the retro thing. The only reason they failed was because the movie was all CG. If Buck Rogers steers clear of the all CG design and goes for realism, I’m pretty sure it will fly.

  5. They’re missing a golden opportunity here. This movie could be retro 40’s sci-fi kind of deal, but taken seriously. We haven’t seen anything like that yet (short of the Golden Compass or Gattica). I really hope the producers re-think this one, because they could be sitting on a gold mine.

  6. Well, I do agree that FX should be up at least too a modest level. But other than that, Rodney, I could have never disagreed with you more.
    As a kid, to me, the 70’s/80s TV show was really cool.

    I give pause to the word “campiness” Good lord! The show had Buck fighting an outer space vampire at one time!!! Gil also played it straight, never over the top. In fact, Gil Gerard actually had a hand in getting rid of some of the “camp” in the series second (and last) season.

    The only thing I suspect regarding the announcement is simply a way to keep Twiki in there somewhere. I’ll bet on it.

    However, getting someone like Miller…look, I made it clear that I dug the TV show as a kid. But, I wouldn’t mind if Miller took more out of the origins of Buck as he was in the ’50s.

    And make iddy biddy biddy Twiki a toaster.

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