Revolution Studios has a struck a deal to the turn 1960s CBS sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes” into a feature film.
The now-defunct Destination Films last held the project’s rights, which at one time were owned by Paramount Pictures and, prior to that, by Rysher Entertainment and Warner Bros.
Revolution will produce the pic along with rights holders Jim Burke and Keith Samples via their Burke/Samples Prods. banner. Revolution partner Tom Sherak, who had been tracking the project and brought it into the shingle, will exec produce.
Revolution has begun negotiating with scribes Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais (“The Prisoner of Zenda”) to pen the script. Company plans to cast a major male lead as Hogan.
Peter Doyle, Ross LaManna and Samples had at one point penned versions of the feature script, but Revolution plans a fresh take.
“You try to think of movies that you grew up with and loved,” said Sherak. “Things like ‘Stalag 17’ or ‘The Great Escape.’ We want ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ to be a smart movie for everyone.”
In 1998, Paramount optioned the rights to the sitcom from Rysher for producers Samples, Burke and Barry London. The three were in talks with Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey’s Paramount-based Icon Prods., which planned the project as a vehicle for Gibson. But those talks never advanced, and London and partners were left developing the project on their own.
Not long after his move to Destination Films, London brought the project into the shingle in September 1999 (Daily Variety, Sept. 16, 1999) and had hoped to make it there.
The original “Hogan’s Heroes” series, which ran from 1965 to 71, starred Bob Crane as Col. Robert Hogan, an American imprisoned in a Nazi POW camp.
Twist was that Hogan and his odd-ball prisoners used the camp, overseen by Werner Klemperer’s incompetent Col. Klink, as an underground Allied base of operations.