A New BUCK ROGERS Movie in the Works

     May 8, 2008

Written by Nicole Pedersen

IGN has reportedly heard from a “longtime reliable source” that America‘s original sci-fi hero is finally being developed into a major motion picture. The deal has Nu Image/Millenium Films adapting “Buck Rogers” for the big screen with Frank Miller as the film’s likely director.

Miller is friends with a man named Flint Dillie – and with a name like that, you just know that he is a comic book writer, right? Dillie is the grandson of the man who printed the first “Buck Rogers” comic strip and is a member of the Dillie Family Trust that held the rights to the “Buck Rogers” license. Oh! And he’s writing the screenplay for the new “Buck Rogers” movie too. So if friendship equals contract then I’d say that Frank Miller is in (Nu Image/Millenium disputes this, but who wants to hear what they have to say about so-called ‘other directors.’)

The new “Buck Rogers” will be budgeted at around 40 million and will feature conspicuously low-tech special effects. These cheap FX will be a running gag through the film, borrowing from the campy feel of the 1979 TV show.

Originally featured in the Amazing Stories comics in 1928, the Buck Rogers character was created by Phillip Francis Nolan who later translated his character into a serialized daily comic for newspaperman John F Dillie. Universal Studios produced “Buck Rogers” movie shorts starring Buster Crabbe in 1939 after years of successful radio ratings for the “Buck Rogers Show.” A short lived 1950’s television show was the last people saw of Buck until NBC revived him for 1979’s “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.” Through all of its incarnations, the basic plot of “Buck Rogers” remained fairly constant: an astronaut knocked out by toxic gas wakes to find himself in the future – the 25th Century to be exact.

So, about time for a “Buck Rogers” redux, wouldn’t you say? I mean, studios are hungrily searching for every character that is even vaguely related to the comic book world – how did they miss “Buck Rogers” for this long? Apparently the film rights for Buck Rogers were held for years by Jerry Bruckheimer who tried to get his film made for years. When the Bruck failed to realize his “Rogers” revision, the rights reverted back to the Dillie Family Trust who, in turn, sold them to Nu Image/Millenium – the people who have brought us the “Rambo” and “Conan” revivals.

I admit that my knowledge of Buck Rogers is limited. I have never seen the comic strip or the movie serials and I’m just a bit too young to remember the TV series. And yet “Buck Rogers” is familiar to me. Why? Because shows like “Robot Chicken” and “South Park” love to satirize the character – remember “Go God Go?” The theme music and opening credits were lifted straight from “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.” I like what Matt and Trey tell me to like – so I’m all for a new “Buck Rogers” movie. And, hey, if Frank Miller should sign on to direct – gravy.

Read the IGN story here.

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