United Artists revives ‘Champions’

Guillermo del Toro takes on sci-fi redo

Guillermo del Toro will write, direct and produce the sci-fi actioner “Champions” for United Artists.

Based on the 1968-69 British TV series, “Champions” will follow the adventures of a team of secret government agents who are rescued from a plane crash by an advanced civilization and given superhuman abilities.

Created by Monty Berman and Dennis Spooner, the original series starred Stuart Damon, Alexandra Bastedo and William Gaunt and mixed adventure, humor and glamour into its plotlines.

The show was produced by ITC, which also spawned such series as “The Saint,” “The Baron” and “Danger Man.” UA optioned the rights to the original TV series from Granada Intl., which owns the ITC library.

C/W Prods. will produce, with Granada’s Robert Green exec producing.

UA, which relaunched last year as a partnership between MGM and C/W’s Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner, has two upcoming films: the war-themed drama “Lions for Lambs” and the Bryan Singer-helmed Cruise starrer “Valkyrie.” In development at the label are Oliver Stone’s “Pinkville” and the Jessica Biel vehicle “Die a Little.”

Sci-fier “Champions” marks a departure for del Toro, whose credits include the comicbook adaptations “Hellboy” and “Blade II,” horror film “The Devil’s Backbone” and fantasies such as “Pan’s Labyrinth.”

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