Paul W.S. Anderson directing feature based on classic 1950s hero
Buck Rogers is taking flight again, this time with Paul W.S. Anderson directing from a script by “Iron Man” co-writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway.Character is the latest classic hero — including Conan, the Green Hornet, Doc Savage, Dan Dare, even Popeye — that bowed in the 1920s through 1950s and are being reintroduced on the bigscreen. Paradox Entertainment, which is in the midst of lensing a reboot of “Conan,” with Marcus Nispel helming, will produce the “Buck Rogers” adventure. Pic could be lensed in 3D to take advantage of the latest theatrical craze. The shingle paired up with Incognito Entertainment and Randall Emmett/George Furla Prods. last year to acquire the movie rights from the Dille Family Trust to Buck Rogers. Lawrence Abramson, Jeremy Bolt and Fredrik Malmberg will produce the pic, with Furla, Anderson and Flint Dille exec producing. Buck Rogers, about a fighter pilot who awakens in the 25th century, is credited with helping turn outer space into a setting for exploration and action-adventure stories, and getting the public used to space-age technologies during the Space Race. Details of the plot are being kept under wraps, but it will essentially revolve around a relatable present-day hero flung into the future. The character would be the latest pop culture icon that Anderson has transitioned to film after launching franchises based on videogames or comicbooks, including “Resident Evil,” “Mortal Kombat” and “Alien vs. Predator.” He also was attached to a “Spy Hunter” pic. Anderson recently directed the 3D installment of Screen Gems’ “Resident Evil” franchise that unspools in September, and is planning to reboot “The Three Musketeers” at Summit Entertainment. “Buck has already been such a huge influence on action-adventure franchises like ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Indiana Jones,’ so for me it is a thrilling opportunity to be allowed to return to the source, and relaunch such an epic character,” Anderson said. In addition to penning the script for the first “Iron Man,” scribes Marcum and Holloway are retooling the “Highlander” franchise. Malmberg said “Buck Rogers” is “among our top priorities after we’ve wrapped ‘Conan.” The company also has the rights to exploit across various entertainment platforms Robert E. Howard’s characters, which include Conan, Kull and Solomon Kane. Buck Rogers was introduced in 1928 as Anthony Rogers in Philip Francis Nowlan’s novella “Armageddon 2419 A.D.” in the pulp magazine “Amazing Stories.” The character was renamed Buck Rogers when John F. Dille, president of the National Newspaper Syndicate of America, relaunched the hero as his own comicstrip, “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.” It was published from 1929 to 1967. Radio shows, films and TV shows on ABC and NBC followed. Anderson, Marcum and Holloway are repped ICM.