Since everything old is new again in modern Hollywood, it’s almost shocking that no one’s had this idea. I mean lately. After butchering the Granddaddy of vampires in Dracula Untold, at least that’s the consensus of Rotten Tomatoes, writers Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless are taking on a reboot of Lost in Space for Legendary TV. The space age take on Johann David Wyss’ Swiss Family Robinson was a hit for three seasons in the 60s and has remained active in the pop culture memory in the nearly 50 years since. Despite numerous attempts to revisit the story, the magic of the original has never been re-captured, but like the old saying goes, “If at first you don’t succeed…”
If you don’t know about Lost in Space, it’s about the family Robinson – father John, his wife Maureen and kids Judy, Penny and Will – who are sent on a mission to start colonizing an Earth-like world onboard their ship the Jupiter II. Major Don West is also there as the ship’s pilot, along with Dr Smith, a stowaway trying to sabotage the mission for a foreign government. Because of Dr. Smith’s machinations, the ship is sent off course resulting the Robinson’s being… you guess it! Lost in space. Although the series was fairly dramatic in the outset, the series is best known for the bumbling misadventures of Smith, Will and the Robot, who always get into trouble and have to be saved by Dr. Robinson and Maj. West, while the women wait back at the ship.
Sazama and Sharpless will executive produce the reboot along with Legendary’s Peter Johnson and Kevin Burns of Synthesis Entertainment, a company established to shepherd Irwin Allen properties like Lost in Space. According to Deadline, Lost in Space has some powerful friends at Legendary who really want to make this show a reality. There’s no word on where the show might end up, on network or on cable, but the brand name of Lost in Space may not be as bankable as you may think.
The original Lost in Space was cancelled by CBS in 1968, but it was resurrected for one season as a Hanna-Barbara cartoon in 1972 and shown on ABC. A feature film based on Lost in Space was made in 1998 starring John Hurt, Matt LeBlanc, Heather Graham and Gary Oldman, it was directed by Stephen Hopkins (Predator 2) and written by Akiva Goldsman who was then best known for penning Batman and Robin. It featured numerous cameos by the original cast, and is notable for knocking Titanic out of the number one spot at the box office after 16 weeks, but it was a box office bomb.
That same year, there was a TV special called Lost in Space Forever, which reunited original series stars Jonathan Harris and Bill Mumy, oddly enough the only two surviving original cast members to not cameo in the feature film. The next attempt to bring Lost in Space to TV was for the WB in 2003, a pilot written by Doug Petrie (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and directed by John Woo (that John Woo) was filmed, and it was notable for ditching the Smith character. The series was never ordered, but the sets however, survived as the Battlestar Pegasus in the Sci-Fi series Battlestar Galactica.
It should be interesting to see if this is the time that Lost in Space makes a TV comeback, or if the concept once again gets, um, lost. We’ll have more details as they become available.
Source: Coming Soon