At this point, we could probably start up a TV Blend spinoff website devoted solely to small screen remakes. The latest will surely send you into orbit, as Legendary TV is going forward with development on a new Lost in Space series, based on the classic 1960s sci-fi drama created by genre king Irwin Allen. Who’s going to write it? The guys behind this weekend’s horror drama Dracula Untold. I can’t tell if I’m hearing someone say “Danger, Will Robinson,” or if it’s just the wind.
Screenwriters Matt Sazama and Buck Sharpless will write what we’ll assume is the pilot for Lost in Space, though it’s supposedly a passion project (according to Deadline) for Legendary Entertainment heads, which means they might be trying to sell this as an entire series. They don’t need no stinking pilots. It’s a strange thing indeed, then, that the relatively untested Sazama and Sharpless are the most directly involved creative minds at this point. Beyond their loose adaptation of Bram Stoker’s vampire novel for Gary Shore, the only other project the duo have going is Alex Proyas’ epic adventure Gods of Egypt, which won’t be coming out until 2016. Are these the right guys to bring the Robinsons deeper into the future?
For those who might not remember, Lost in Space centered on the Robinsons, an astronaut family – not a phrase that comes up much in daily conversation – who blast off into space aboard the Jupiter 2 in 1997 with a goal of colonizing deep space. But the evil (and later arch) Dr. Zachary Smith (Jonathan Harris) sabotages the trip and Jupiter 2 is sent off-course. The name of the show should tell you the rest, though they eventually found different planets to have adventures on over the course of the series' three seasons.
Dr. John Robinson (Guy Williams) was the wise patriarch, while his wife Dr. Maureen (June Lockhart) and the three Robinson kids were pretty stereotypical 1960s TV characters. The youngest, Will (Billy Mumy), is a robotics whiz and closest pal to the family’s human-in-spirit Robot, voiced by Dick Tufeld and performed by Bob May. And then there’s Major Don West (Mark Goddard), the military-minded pilot.
Legendary Entertainment is known for its huge tentpole films, like Christopher Nolan’s upcoming Interstellar, and for heaping budgets onto their projects, and Deadline says part of Legendary TV’s incarnation was based on giving this project a home at some point. So if it sucks, it wouldn't be for a lack of trying, as everyone seems invested.
There are a lot of ways this could go smoothly without crapping all over the campy and fun original, as the concept of a family zipping around space can be taken a bunch of different directions. And technically, it was already taken in a different, dumber direction in 1998 for Stephen Hopkins’ feature version, which you can watch the trailer for below.
So long as it’s funnier than that, I think we’re in the clear. If nothing else, I bet it looks amazing.