Amazon has given the project a script-to-series commitment. The streaming service will co-produce with Sony Pictures TV, which announced last week that they were developing the project. Gunn is attached to executive produce with his brother Brian Gunn and their cousin Mark Gunn writing the script, based on an original idea by James. The other two Gunns will also executive produce along with Neal Moritz and Pavun Shetty. Moritz will produce through his Sony-based Original Film banner, at which Shetty is the head of TV.
“When I was a kid, ‘Starsky & Hutch’ was the first ‘adult’ show I ever saw, and I fell in love,” said James Gunn. “It instilled in me a lifelong love of gritty street shows, of killer 70’s threads, and muscle cars. So when Neal Mortiz asked me if I wanted to be a part of an all new ‘Starsky & Hutch’ on TV, I was instantly intrigued. I teamed up with the two writers I trusted most in the world to work with us, my brother Brian Gunn and my cousin Mark Gunn and together we came up with a show that I’m really proud of. At Amazon I believed we would have the most freedom to create something that is different, challenges the audience, and that strays outside the parameters of genre from time to time.”
The project marks the firs foray into television for James Gunn and his production company, Troll Court Entertainment. James Gunn, whose credits included mostly fan favorite indie films prior to writing and directing “Guardians of the Galaxy,” is responsible for turning the Marvel property into one of the most memorable franchises in the Marvel universe. The franchise has garnered over $1.6 billion at the worldwide box office.
“Chekhov said if you have a gun in the room, it’s going to go off. We can’t wait to see what three Gunns do with ‘Starsky & Hutch,’” said Joe Lewis, head of comedy, drama, and VR for Amazon Studios.
The original series starred David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser, running for four seasons and almost 100 episodes from 1975-1979 on ABC. It focused on Detectives David Starsky and Kenneth “Hutch” Hutchinson as they fight crime in the fictional Bay City. The show also featured Antonio Fargas as the street-wise informant Huggy Bear. It was created by William Blinn and produced by Spelling-Goldberg Productions. Sony TV owns the rights to the Spelling-Goldberg catalogue, including the TV rights to this series. Warner Bros. owns the film rights, with the series being previously adapted into a comedy film in 2004 starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. The film grossed over $170 million worldwide.
This is the latest in a long line of rebooted TV projects in recent years. This fall, CBS will debut a rebooted version of “SWAT,” which was also a Spelling-Goldberg show originally. Also this fall, The CW will launch a female-centric reboot of “Dynasty.” NBC also recently ordered a rebooted version of “The Munsters” and “Miami Vice,” while ABC has ordered a live-action “Jetsons” series.