George Clooney could be heading to outer space once more after it was announced he had joined the team putting together a reboot of the classic sci-fi series Buck Rogers.
The character Buck Rogers is a war veteran who falls into a coma and wakes up in the 25th century. After the success of a late 70s film a TV series followed, starring Erin Gray and Gil Gerard as the US army air corps officer.
Rogers first appeared in the 1920s before becoming a comic book mainstay in the 1930s, with early radio, TV and film adaptations, all before 1950..
Clooney is in the awards race for another post-apocalyptic sci-fi project in the guise of Netflix’s The Midnight Sky. He has joined the project as executive producer, alongside his Smokehouse Pictures partner Grant Heslov, while Flint Dille – the grandson of the original Buck Rogers publisher, John F. Dille – will produce.
There have been aborted attempts to revive the Rogers franchise, with Frank Miller, the Sin City comic book writer turned film-maker, announcing in 2008 he was working on a film adaptation of the story, but it has never seen the light of day.
Earlier reports said that the reboot would go back to the character’s first appearance in the 1928 story, Armageddon 2419 AD, where Rogers is introduced as a first world war soldier trapped by a cave-in while investigating strange phenomena in an abandoned Pennsylvania coalmine.
In the story, Rogers is exposed to radioactive gas and wakes up nearly 500 years later in the 25th century and helps a resistance force attempt to retake America, which has been taken over by a conquering force.
The original 1970s TV show has been part of a boom in nostalgia-fuelled streaming during the pandemic. It forms part of the lineup on Forces TV, the commercial arm of the British Forces Broadcasting Service, a charity that provides TV and radio for members of the armed forces.
Alongside classics such as The Equalizer, Rogers is catering for an audience who want “fringe shows that haunt the memories of a certain generation”.