Tag Archives: Buckaroo Banzai

‘Buckaroo Banzai’ TV Series May Face Rights Issues

Back in May, news spread that Kevin Smith was trying to develop a TV series based on the cult film Buckaroo Banzai: Across the Eighth Dimension. Not a lot of news has come out since though, beyond the news that Amazon Studios may be interested in the project. Well, the show may have hit a snag — and it’s one most of us probably weren’t expecting. Although MGM owns the rights to the original film, they may not in fact own the rights to the title character.

Talking with Film Buff Online, the director of the original film W.D. Richter said that the wording of Buckaroo Banzai writer Earl Mac Rauch’s contract may put the rights of the character in Rauch’s hands and not the studio’s. Richter stated:

[The] Agreement’s simple, blunt language acknowledges the existence of two entirely separate intellectual properties – one they called ‘The Property’ and one they called ‘The Work.’ Crucially, ‘The Work’ is a technical term in the Writers Guild Basic Agreement with all the studios, is defined as only “what the writer is engaged to write,” and a screenplay is all that Mac was engaged to write in the MGM contract. David Begelman basically commissioned a screenplay based on a piece of literary material that MGM didn’t own and then David Begelman went off and made and released a movie based on it. It’s the equivalent of releasing a movie based on a Stephen King book but forgetting to buy the book from Stephen. And a highly regarded property lawyer agrees with us.

Now, I am in no way a lawyer, so I can’t speak to the legality of any of this — but regardless it sounds like some sort of legal matter will pop up here, whether the rights really lie with Rauch or MGM.

Hopefully this can get sorted out though, because halting the development of this project would just be the opposite of fun.

Via Film Buff Online

‘Buckaroo Banzai’ TV Series Being Developed By Kevin Smith

1984’s The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension is a hard movie to describe. I mean, your protagonist is a physicist, neurosurgeon, test pilot, and (importantly) a rock musician. He drives a jet car, and fights inter-dimensional aliens.

You know, like you do.

While the filmmakers had always hoped for a sequel (announcing Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League in the credits), the lack of commercial success meant that this one film would be the only Buckaroo Banzai we’d probably ever get.

Well, that might not be the case anymore.

Kevin Smith has stated that he’s in early talks with MGM to develop Buckaroo Banzai into a television series. If the show goes forward, the first season would retell the plot of the movie, with any subsequent seasons continuing the character’s adventures.

This is interesting to me on a lot of levels. While the film is a cult classic to geeks of a certain age (i.e. people like me and older), most younger nerds may not have ever actually seen the film. Frankly, I’m thirty-five, and while I’ve watched it, I barely remember anything from it because I last watched it on a Sunday afternoon when I was ten.

But I remembered the name.

And maybe that’s the biggest strength for any Buckaroo Banzai adaptation. For a generation, people have not shut up about how you “have to see this film,” but a lot of people just haven’t. The name recognition is huge, but most people aren’t actually familiar with the source material. This could bring in a lot of potential viewers to a show where they still won’t see the story coming.

I legitimately hope this project moves forward.

Via Hollywood Babble-On, Screenrant