Foxstar taps pic library for TV slate

Foxstar Prods., the in-house Fox TV production unit headed by former Twentieth TV prexy Steve Bell, is in full swing on a development slate reliant in part on mining the studio’s library togenerate remakes or sequels to Fox features.

The first “go” project, announced last week, is a TV movie, “Alien Nation: Dark Horizon,” picking up loosely from where the Fox Broadcasting series ended in July 1991 after a two-year run. Andrew Schneider and Diane Frolov, who worked on the series and currently exec produce “Northern Exposure,” will write and produce. Ken Johnson alsoreprises his role as exec producer.

Foxstar is developing several other projects gleaned from the Fox archives, including “Big Trouble in Little China 2,””Valley of the Dolls” and “Best of Everything”– the last two contemporized remakes of features based on bestsellers released in 1967 and ’59, respectively.

Among the original projects in the works is “Black Ice,” an urban drama from Lee Stanley, a documentary filmmaker whose credits include the acclaimed KTLA special “Desperate Passage.” Bell was general manager at the local Tribune-owned station when it aired that program, before his yearlong stint at Twentieth.

Other movies include “Child Star Murders,” a comedy-thriller being written by Stanley Ralph Ross, based on a story by Foxstar VP of production Kevin Burns about a detective hunting down the murderer of child stars of vintage sitcoms.

Elvis in the plan

The company has also acquired “Are You Lonesome Tonight?,” a book about a woman’s love affair with Elvis Presley, and is developing a contemporary Frankenstein tale, “Manmaker,” written by Burns.

Bell said his first priority was to go through the Fox library looking for promotable titles that might be ripe for a sequel or remake — employing some of the strategy he used in acquiring movies at KTLA. That access, he noted, “is an advantage to an in-house Fox company that no outside company could have.”

Fox has already punched up several features in that vein during the short history of its on-again, off-again movie slot, among them “Bonnie and Clyde: The True Story,””Revenge of the Nerds III” and upcoming movie projects “Bachelor Party 2” and “The Munsters” (Daily Variety, Jan. 17).

While principally a supplier to Fox Broadcasting’s “Fox Night at the Movies,” Foxstar will also develop for other outlets — including the studio’s basic cable service FX, with a four-hour special in discussions there.

“Big Trouble 2,” a continuation of the 1986 feature spoof, is being written by Peter David. Deborah Dean Davis is penning “Best of Everything,” with Josh Evans & Uri Zighelboim scripting “Valley of the Dolls.”

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