“Knight Rider” — starring sentient talking car KITT and his crime-fighting human companion — is coming back for another reboot.
Producer-director Justin Lin is on board for a digital remake of the 1980s TV series, which starred David Hasselhoff. Digital network Machinima has partnered with Lin and his YOMYOMF production shingle, along with NBCUniversal Brand Development, to develop the “Knight Rider” series with an eye to a potential 2017 launch.
Lin (“Star Trek Beyond,” “Fast & Furious” films) and YOMYOMF will produce the new digital series. There’s no casting info yet on the project, and Machinima has not set distribution for “Knight Rider.”
“‘Knight Rider’ is an iconic franchise whose concepts of AI and autonomous vehicles were science-fiction in the 1980s and are now science fact,” said Machinima CEO Chad Gutstein. “Justin is one of the leading storytellers of his generation and we couldn’t be more excited to work with him on reinvigorating ‘Knight Rider’ for a new generation of fans.”
The original “Knight Rider” with Hasselhoff, created by Glen A. Larson, ran on NBC for four seasons from 1982-86. NBC also wheeled out a “Knight Rider” remake for one season in 2008-09, which starred Justin Bruening as Michael Knight and Val Kilmer as KITT. Other spinoffs based on the original franchise over the years have included “Knight Rider 2000,” “Knight Rider 2010” and “Team Knight Rider.”
Machinima’s “Knight Rider” joins the Warner Bros.-backed digital studio and network’s other original live-action series based on popular entertainment franchises. Those include “Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome,” “Mortal Kombat: Legacy” and “Mortal Kombat: Legacy 2,” “Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist” and “Street Fighter: Resurrection,” and “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn.” All together, the six series have generated more than 300 million views for Machinima across multiple platforms, according to the company.
Warner Bros., one of Machinima’s lead investors, has been in negotiations to acquire full control of the company. Other owners include Google, MK Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Coffin Capital and Machinima founder Allen DeBevoise. Machinima was one of the first YouTube multichannel networks, specializing in sci-fi and gaming fandom culture, but has taken steps to diversify content distribution to other platforms the last few years.