Buck Rogers fans probably aren't having a very good week. Though the space-faring pulp icon arrived just a wee bit ahead of my time (by about 55 years), I certainly know the history of the Buck Rogers comic and radio/TV serials. So while I'm not much of an active fan myself, even I'm not enthralled at the news that Alien vs. Predator director/ruiner Paul WS Anderson is the man bringing the series back to the big screen, because, well, is anyone ever enthralled by Paul WS Anderson?

I don't even actively hate the guy, as I know many do, but it's hard getting excited about seeing his name on a project, even if only as a producer. As a director, the man consistently plays it safe and accessible, which just isn't very interesting. So the idea of him making a 3D Buck Rogers movie does absolutely nothing for me. Making matters even less interesting is the fact that Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, two of the writers behind Iron Man and the forthcoming Highlander remake, will be taking up scripting duties. I've got nothing against the pair, they're just too new to the screenwriting game to drum up anticipation one way or the other.

I'm sorry if I'm coming across as extra cynical toward this news, but one would think upstart film fanciers trying to make a name for themselves with reboots of classic franchises would try to appeal to the geek demographic instead of isolate them. With this announcement, Paradox, who are also producing Marcus Nispel's Conan remake, have effectively spurned the one fanbase who actually knows who Buck Rogers is. If you're going to do that, why even bother calling it Buck Rogers? I bet you ten Internet dollars Paradox renames it something generic but keeps a small-font Buck Rogers subtitle. I can see it now... Blast Off: a Buck Rogers Adventure!

And what does all of this mean for super fanboy and indie filmmaker James Cawley, who had recently locked down a licensing deal with Dille Syndicate for the rights to make twenty, forty-minute long episodes of a new Buck Rogers serial? According to Deadline, Paradox controls the rights. Does that mean the Cawley/Dille deal wasn't exactly legit? Not necessarily. It's not uncommon for one person to own the film rights while another owns the television rights, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Paradox tries to squash the more interesting project purely out of fears that it would dilute their new brand hopeful.

Like I said, this is probably a bad week for Buck Rogers fans...

CATEGORIES Movies, Sci-Fi