Johnny Knoxville might have spent most of his time in the public eye racing shopping carts and causing general debauchery, but he’s about to make a possibly career-changing move. No, he’s not going to be making a spinoff of Bad Grandpa, he’s stepping into a new role as an executive producer. While Knoxville has exec produced before this is an exciting change- it’s scripted, and it’s network television. Quite the far cry from MTV’s Jackass.
Knoxville is reportedly working with NBC to bring comic book character Hawaiian Dick to the small screen. As reported by the Hollywood Reporter, Knoxville is planning on making the series an hour-long comedy/action series.
So, what exactly is Hawaiian Dick? First published in 2002, the comic series follows a police officer, Byrd, who is sent to Hawaii and quickly becomes involved in the supernatural occurrences on the island. The comics take place in a 1950’s noir version of The Aloha State, which is full of anomalies that only the title character can vanquish. Seem like there is a lot going on here, huh? Luckily, Knoxville is no stranger to the comic series, or the main character himself. The Jackass star has been attempting to bring Hawaiian Dick to life on film for years. Originally owned by New Line Cinema as a feature film starring Knoxville in 2004. It went so far as to tap a director (The Wedding Singer’s Frank Coraci), and screenwriters but the development stopped there.
This new attempt at adapting Hawaiian Dick for film certainly seems to be the most hopeful. Aside from Knoxville, the rest of the executive producers attached to the project boast credible resumes and will help bring some credibility to the project. Most notably, it includes a Six Feet Under producer, David Janollari. Janollari seems like a ying to Knoxville’s yang- as working on arguably the best written scripted series ever (with the best series finale) will undoubtedly assist Knoxville as he starts this new venture into scripted television.
So, what are the challenges this series faces as its development continues? For one, NBC hasn’t been the most comic-book heavy network when compared to its competition. While Heroes Reborn gives hope to die hard fans and nerds alike, their last venture into the world of comic book adaptation was the ill-fated Constantine. While Fox and the CW continue to flourish and add comic based television programming to their lineup, NBC seems to be immune to the fad.
Additionally, the subject material may prove challenging in a TV climate which has so many comic book shows already running. Hawaiian Dick is hardly as beloved as Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne, so the comic crowd may be less eager to explore this new series, if development continues and it eventually airs. It will also be interesting to see if Knoxville plans on starring in the project- especially since his star power has diminished quite a bit since the original 2004 film plan.
Regardless, the nerd in me is eager to see another comic book come to life on the small screen. Perhaps having less expectations and knowledge going into a new series will make it all the more enjoyable. As long as the character of Byrd isn’t too much of a jackass.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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