Legendary developing film adaptation of Buck Rogers
It’s been 40 years since the space hero Buck Rogers last graced audiences’ screens and now Legendary Entertainment is entering final negotiations to acquire the screen rights to the Phillip Francis Nowlan character for a big-screen adaptation, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The film is set to be produced by Don Murphy and Susan Montford via their Angry Films production banner, with Murphy being attached to a new adaptation since 2015 before hitting a wall as the Dille Family Trust attempted to claim copyright ownership of Rogers and led to a long lawsuit battle between the two, with the case eventually being dismissed as the judge found that the Trust handled intellectual property improperly, ignored court directives and abused legal procedures while filing for bankruptcy.
Sources report that Legendary is looking to develop the Buck Rogers property into a big-screen franchise that will expand into a “prestige television series, as well as an anime series” to help expand the world of the 25th century for audiences.
Created by Nowlan, Rogers made his debut in the 1928 issue of Amazing Stories in a tale entitled “Armageddon 2419” and followed the central hero, a man who became trapped in a coal mine during a cave-in and is suspended in time, waking up nearly 500 years into the future, where he’s enlisted to help fight a war between several gangs in what used to be America.
John F. Dille Co. eventually brought the character to the comics world with the strip Buck Rogers in 1929, which launched him to best-selling popularity and saw him expand to toys, radio plays, comic books, a Buster Crabbe-starring movie serial and the cult favorite 1979 NBC TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century starring Gil Gerard in the titular role. The wheels for a new adaptation began turning in 2008 when Frank Miller was set to write and direct a film, though it was cancelled after the critical and commercial failure of his adaptation of The Spirit.