'Pufnstuf,' 'Land of Lost' on fast track

Sony Pictures Family Entertainment has optioned the rights to develop the cult TV classics “H.R. Pufnstuf” and “The Land of the Lost” for the bigscreen.

Understood to have been optioned for high-six figures, both are being fast-tracked for development into full, live-action features.

Sander Schwartz, prexy of the start-up family division, brought the projects into the company. Both will be supervised by Bob Higgins, senior veepee of creative affairs at the studio.

For anyone not in pre-pubescence and in front of a TV in the late 60’s “Pufnstuf” is a humorous, friendly dragon and mayor of the remote Living Island. The old NBC Saturday morning series centered on his exploits with a young boy who has been kidnapped to this fantasy land by the nefarious Witchiepoo and her diabolical assistant, a mentally unstable vulture.

The “Land of the Lost” series, which was broadcast for three seasons starting in 1974, followed the Marshall family after plunging over a waterfall during an earthquake. Apparently passing through a time vortex, they end up in a small, closed jungle universe populated with creatures from many times and places and must struggle to survive in the hostile environment, work together, and understand new cultures — all the while searching for a way to return to their own time and world.

Both SPFE projects are open writing assignments, according to a source familiar with the deal.

Pics will be produced by Sid and Marty Krofft, the producers of the original series, with exec producing chores being handled by Randy Pope, a senior veepee of the Krofft Co.

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