Thursday, April 12, 2007

It's Stress Release Reboot Time!

We've had a very stressful past couple of weeks here at the Mad Pulp Pad without much time for some mindless internet fun...

And Warren Ellis is holding a remake/reboot thread over at The Engine, and Flash Gordon is being made into a television series. So as this is the six month anniversary of one of the more popular posts here at DISContent, I thought:

What the hell, let's do it.

So here are the Reboot Rules of Conduct:

1. This time you can reboot any comic, book, radio & tv show or movie ever made.
2. You have to think through your reboot - what is the unique quality of the original show and what makes your reboot different ?
3. Who would star, write, direct or draw your reboot?
4. Two completely different takes on the same idea are okay, but they must both be really thought out and not just tossed out there onto the fire for comment.
5. Links to outside reference material is encouraged. Especially for obscure stuff some people won't remember.

(When posting, you may want to number your responses as above to avoid confusion)

I will post my reboot in the comments section tomorrow as everyone else is invited to do. I want to hear from all the tv people out there, the comic people, the pulpsters and the feature film freaks. Let's remake the pop culture universe to our individual visions...but more importantly let's have fun doing it...


Roger Alford said...

1. Reboot?
Planet of the Apes

2. Unique quality/what makes reboot different?
People want to see Apes fighting Humans, Apes on horseback carrying M-16s, and major landmarks in ruins. That's what jazzed me as a kid, and part of what was missing from the Tim Burton redo. Another thing missing was a link to the original series. My reboot would build on established events and continue the story. There's about 1000 years of uncovered territory in the Apes film saga, spanning from the events in Battle to the arrival of the astronauts in the future. The big question not yet addressed (except in the Adventure Comics' series) from these years: How did humans regress to mute beasts? There's plenty of room here to do a whole new series.
I'd also introduce genders and species not seen in any of the previous incarnations: female Orangs and Gorillas, plus Mandrills and Baboons who are less intelligent than their Ape counterparts.
Finally, my reboot would also feature the ruins of Las Vegas and Disneyland.

The Pitch: 100 years after the events of Battle, the Apes and Humans and have separated into two walled cities: Romm and Remm, respectively. Contact between the two largely exists between nomadic Traders who transport goods. On the eve of their annual Freedom Day celebration (Caesar's defeat of the Mutants in Battle) and an upcoming election, Ape Leader Claudius and the Council are struggling to pass a Disarmament Treaty with the Humans. The deciding faction is the Gorilla vote. But the bigger problem is rumors of an illegals arms trade. This comes to a head when the albino General Xerxes arrests a Human Trader, Markus, for smuggling guns into Romm and promises to execute him (opening scenes). Claudius gets his attorney son, Phaethon, to defend Markus. Turns out Phaethon knows Markus and still bears the scars from having saved his life once before. Phaethon has to break Markus out of prison and hide with the Traders, eventually going to the Remm, the Human city. There he learns the Humans' plan to bring down the Apes once and for all. That's right, this means WAR!!!

3. Who would star, write, direct or draw your reboot?
Like the original, I'd use Brit actors as the Apes, and scruffy American actors as the Humans (start with the casts of BSG and Lost). I've already written the first script (started as a fan project, then I got serious about it). If I didn't direct it myself, I'd find a good TV director like Michael Rymer or an up-and-coming talent like Jonny Gillette (The Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell). And I'd get ApeMania to do the make-up.

The first thing I did when starting it was ask: What do I want to see? Always a great place to begin.

Roger Alford said...

1. Reboot?

2. Unique quality/what makes reboot different?
For once, I'd make it a faithful adaptation of the Burroughs novels. Hugh Hudson got off to a good start with Greystoke, but when he left the book it got BORING. The Burroughs novels are terrific -- I don't know filmmakers always feel the need to ignore them. I'd keep the whole thing set in 1914. Any time you try to do Tarzan in a modern setting, it doesn't work. I'd also take the first two books and split them into a trilogy, and shoot it as one project like Lord of the Rings (but not as long, of course). Part I would cover the first two thirds of Tarzan of the Apes, and end with Jane leaving the jungle. Part II would cover the end of Tarzan of the Apes, and the first part of Return of Tarzan, with Tarzan discovering civilization and trying to win Jane back. Part III would cover Tarzan's return to the jungle and Opar, the city of gold.

3. Who would star, write, direct or draw your reboot?
For Tarzan, you've got to get an unknown. I'd do just what Hugh Hudson did with Greystoke and find someone with feral eyes and, hopefully, athletic ability. Casting Jane is where you'll need established talent. Emilie de Ravin could be interesting. Or Natalie Dormer (The Tudors). Naturally, I'd want to write it. Not sure about the director. Maybe someone from Hong Kong. I'd want to do a lot of wire work for the vine swinging shots.

Cunningham said...

And Roger comes out swinging!


Cunningham said...


A TV series reboot by Bill Cunningham

A master thief is drafted into service by a top secret organization in exchange for his freedom.

A simple, cool concept from start to finish allowing for many different types of stories in many locations. It was a star-making TV vehicle for Robert Wagner. My take would be to plunge this type of character into the mire that is today’s intelligence community. Things used to be so much simpler during the cold war, but today enemies come from everywhere including your own back yard. This show should mix elements of THE SHIELD with SPOOKS / MI-5 and 24. My take would be a mixture of serial and standalone stories with the show having a six-episode arc as its first “story.”

Because the stories are international in scope it opens up the door for stars from other countries to be involved (I.E. John Simm from LIFE ON MARS or Eva Habermann from LEXX and DER KLOWN) thus making sales to the international market much easier. It would also lend a distinct air of “authenticity.”


“He” is a thief and a criminal mastermind - the baddest of the bad. The fact he is in jail in the first place is because he confessed to an international robbery the authorities had no clue about until he told them. He is now wasting away in a high security secret CIA prison. He doesn’t talk to his interrogators nor his fellow prisoners. He is alone and finds some measure of peace that way.

All that changes when a DHS raid on a suspect terrorist cell reveals that terrorists are working with big business and criminal interests to smuggle a package into the country. DHS fears it’s a nuclear or biological threat and there is no way they can get the intelligence it needs soon enough without getting an operative inside the organization. The problem is they have sniffed out every agent they’ve sent in.

That’s when ambitious DHS analyst Jessica Adams comes up with the idea of using him to quickly infiltrate the organization and find out when and where the package is going to be delivered. He is offered the opportunity to get a whole new identity and life if he does this job for the government.

He will have no backup, no authority whatsoever. Whatever he does will be completely off the books. If he is caught by the authorities he will be left to the system. If he is caught by the terrorists he‘ll be dead or worse. He is assigned the name Alexander Mundy (he‘s used to having aliases).

His only contact is a cell phone number - Adam’s - in order to drop information. Mundy agreed to do the job only if she were his handler, his lifeline. In order for that to happen she needed to be promoted within the company which causes its own set of headaches - especially since there is a mole hidden within its walls.

Armed with only a number in his head, Mundy is turned loose on the underworld to use their tactics to fight a terrorist cell who will strike in the near future. He will steal, swindle, fight and if necessary kill his way to the top to find the answers in time. Meanwhile, Adams finds herself fighting a different war as she works to find the mole within the company while making sure her operative, to whom she’s growing closer and closer to, gets out alive.


Mundy - David Morse, Josh Duhamel (who looks like a young Robert Wagner), Taye Diggs, other.

Adams - Annabeth Gish, Lucy Brown, Juliette Marguilies, other

Plenty of guest stars from international television.

Roger Alford said...

Bill, okay, I want to see this show. I especially like how you've added the extra layer of suspense to the Adams character, rather than just having someone in the office who appears only for witty chit-chat and exposition. The international guest stars is a great touch, too. Nice way to find new talent outside the US.

Emily Blake said...

Every time I read The Good Earth with my students and have to watch that abysmal film that won all those awards back when the world was black and white I cringe. They use white people with squinty eyes and lots of eyeliner to portray the Chinese characters in the novel. So...

The Good Earth, from the novel by Pearl Buck

Yes, yes. It's not so pulpy, but it's my dream.

My version would star Chinese actors and would focus on the juxtaposition of the ancient culture and the invasion of modern society. The book focuses largely on the disintegration of Chinese culture at large and uses the microcosm of the family to do it. So I would use land contantly in the backround and have the actors play more sympathetic and less meloramatic.

I would direct this biatch because by then I'll have lots of experience, but if I couldn't, Clint Eastwood would do it justice.

English teachers everywhere would sing my praises.

Piers said...

All righty.

I can reboot a book series, so that's what I'm gonna do.

Let's hear it for Bulldog Drummond.

It's post the Iraq War, and Hugh Drummond has returned home to the UK. He was in the special forces, secret missions behind enemy lines.

But the war's over now. And he doesn't know what to do.

A killer? If he has to. But not otherwise. Something happened out there in Iraq that turned him against killing.

Except for himself.

We meet him as he's about to hang himself. Chair just so. Noose on the beam.

But as he's hoisting himself up onto the chair, ready for the drop, he sees an angle through into the house next door. Which is being robbed.

And he puts off dying for just a little longer. A knock-down drag-out fight, and suddenly he feels alive again.

He unties the noose and takes out an ad in the paper:

"Demobilised officer finding peace incredibly tedious would welcome diversion. Legitimate, if possible; but crime, if of an apparently humorous description, no objection. Excitement essential."

The Drummond series is essential action adventure, with a proper arch-enemy in the man known as Carl Peterson. In the new version, he's sometimes in the background, sometimes to the fore, but his presence is always felt.

Whether sparring verbally over cocktails, engaged in a fistfight, or proving his marksmanship, Drummond is bluff and friendly, hail-fellow-well-met and my-round-isn't-it? Perhaps too much so - there's a darkness in there that he's concealing.

There's a reason that the original books are difficult to find, and that's because they're layered through with racism like Brighton in a stick of Brighton Rock. Can't and mustn't happen any more.

The Unique Quality is a sense that it's all a game to Hugh - but lying under in the remake that is the very real sense that he's using the game to stave off despair. That he has nothing to live for any more other than the game.

Peterson too, likes the game. He's never had an equal before. But he's prepared to give Drummond his wish if Drummond should lose a round.

In the original novels, Drummond's wife is very good at getting kidnapped. Not so good at adventure. So let's make her his equal. A thief, perhaps. Mostly reformed. Mostly.

Drummond's got a gang of friends in the original, also up for adventure. We'll have them along too.

Until Peterson kills one. And suddenly it's not a game any more.