Trying to cash in on the free publicity from upcoming releases “Tombstone” and “Wyatt Earp,” CST Entertainment Imaging will colorize and re-edit the TV series “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” into feature-length movies for TV.
New unit project
CST has formed a new division, Featurizations Inc., and pacted with the owner of the series, Wyatt Earp Enterprises, for the initial project, which calls for the creation of three to six “Earp” movies — each using 10-12 episodes from the series, which ran from 1955-62 on ABC.
Hugh O’Brian, who starred as Earp, will reprise that role in flashback wraparounds that will be shot in black-and-white, then colorized to more closely resemble the original episodes. About seven to 10 minutes of new footage will be incorporated into the features.
Syndication exec Rob Word will serve as creator/producer on the movies. The original series was produced by Louis F. Edelman, and his daughter, Kate Edelman , represents Earp Enterprises.
Heartened by the success of original episodes of “The Fugitive” when they were shown on NBC near the release of Warner Bros.’ feature last summer, CST president-chief operating officer Jody Shapiro said he’s seeking a network deal for at least the first movie, “Wyatt Earp: Shootout at the OK Corral.”
The project is targeted toward July 1, the release date for Warner Bros.’ Kevin Costner “Wyatt Earp” movie. Touchstone’s “Tombstone,” starring Kurt Russell, opens Dec. 25.
Shapiro added that CST is seeking additional partners on classic series through its Featurizations wing but declined to identify other properties. He added that “Wyatt Earp” seemed “the perfect one” to start the division with because Westerns travel well internationally. CST will handle distribution.