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George Clooney to lead one of two new Buck Rogers projects?

February 8th, 2021 by Marc Comments

It looks like we could have an Armaggedon/Deep Impact or Bug’s Life/Ants or maybe even Volcano/Dante’s Peak situation on our hands.

It seems that George Clooney has jumped on as executive producer for Legendary’s new Buck Rogers series with the star also potentially looking at starring as the titular hero himself.

The series will be showrun by Lost writer Brian. K. Vaughan.

Rogers is of course a long-time sci-fi hero, debuting in 1928 in Amazing Stories, before become a comicbook star and movie hero too… but it arguably became a cultural phenomenon in 1979 when Gil Gerard stepped up to play the character in the Buck Rogers TV series with the beautiful Erin Gray as Wilma Deering.

So it’s hardly a wonder that the hero, in the age of reboots, sequel and reimaginings, in set to return in not one, but tow projects.

Yes, Skydance is working on its own Rogers project only this one is in tandem with the estate of creator Philip Francis Nowlan and, while it’s still in early development and nowhere near as far on as the Clooney version, this is the version that has the estate’s blessing.

Anthony Rogers first appeared in the 1929 novella, Armageddon 2419 AD which did not have its copyright renewed in the 1950s, meaning the story is available for anyone to adapt – which is what Legendary seem to be going: “The copyright on that particular work wasn’t renewed in the 1950s. As a result, anyone is free to adapt that story. The Nowlans, engaged in protracted litigation over the years, claim to hold rights to later comic book stories — the character soon became known as “Buck Rogers” — as well as trademarks. It’s those rights which were recently conveyed for adaptation to Skydance.”

However, the plot thickens as the Nowlans sent a cease-and-desist letter to Legendary, warning moving forward with the project would be a “slander of title of the rights”.

Their attorney clarified that “Buck is not in Armageddon, Anthony is a different character”. Interestingly, Buck was actually William Rogers in the TV series.

This is technically true as the character didn’t become known as Buck until later adventures, though the accepted lore is that they are the same character and obviously Legendary feel the same way, saying: “We have secured the rights we need to proceed with our project and the company will not comment any further on these baseless claims. This same party has been claiming for years that they have rights which they do not have and have been trying to inhibit projects based on rights they do not legally control.”

Whatever happens we will probably have some Buck Rogers content in the near future. Probably.

Sources: THR and THR

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….