Now that “Avatar” has amassed more riches than you or I will ever see in our insignificant, ant-sized lives, you can bet your precious Pandorian spear replicas that Hollywood is eager – nay, desperate – to replicate its success. Thus, it doesn’t require a Marty McFly-esque time-trip into the brave new world of the future to accurately forecast that we’re going to be seeing at least a couple expensive 3D space operas over the next couple years.
True to predictable form, Paradox Entertainment – the folks behind the new “Conan” reboot” – are, according to Variety, running with a renewed take on the classic property “Buck Rogers,” scripted by “Iron Man” co-writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, as the next prospective sci-fi blockbuster.
And who better to follow in James Cameron’s visionary directorial footsteps in tackling such an epic undertaking than Paul W.S. Anderson, the famously unspectacular auteur behind “Resident Evil,” “Death Race” and “AvP: Alien vs. Predator”? Hmm. Well, to look on the bright side, he is arguably a preferable choice to Frank Miller, who, prior to the release of “The Spirit,” was tapped to introduce the 25th century intergalactic champion to 21st century audiences.
But wait, you say, it’s written by the guys behind “Iron Man,” and that movie was Awesome with a capital A, so “Buck Rogers” has that going for it, right!? Well, that depends on who you ask. If you talk to the distinguished Mr. Jeff Bridges, as io9 did, you’ll hear that “Iron Man” basically had no script, only an outline, and that Favreau and the actors essentially navigated their way through the production via the improv process.
While there are two sides to every story, Bridges’ frank insights don’t exactly inspire a great deal of confidence in how large a part Marcum and Holloway played in the Marvel film’s success. It also doesn’t help their defence that the only other produced works to their names are “Punisher: Warzone” and a DTV James Spader vehicle called “Shadow of Fear”…
At any rate, “Buck Rogers” producer Fredrik Malmberg, refers to the project, which will possibly be shot using 3D cameras, as a “top priority,” one which will likely enter production not too long after “Conan” finishes up. How this news will affect Anderson’s current attachment to Summit’s planned “The Three Musketeers” reboot remains to be seen.
Personally, I couldn’t be more apathetic towards a new “Buck Rogers” film. While there’s always heap-loads of promise in any property with as long a life-span and this one, the creative team attached don’t exactly scream “guaranteed out-of-the-world smash!” to me. I will, however, be really curious to see whether the fast-tracking of this flick has any bearing on either director Breck Eisner’s “Flash Gordon” 3D revamp, which is currently in active development over at Universal, or Disney’s “John Carter of Mars,” shooting now under the supervision of “Wall-E” helmer Andrew Stanton. Who knows, we may just have a trio of duelling three-dimensional pulp space-hero pictures duking it out at the box-office in the coming years.
Gotta say, my money’s on “John Carter of Mars” to win this skirmish. How about you guys? Fire off your text-based blaster rays in our comments section!
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Follow Cam Smith on Twitter at http://twitter.com/camspcepisodes.