Kevin Smith Drops Out Of Buckaroo Banzai Revival
Director & podcaster Kevin Smith has dropped out of Amazon’s Buckaroo Banzai revival he has announced in a Facebook video.
For those of you not old enough to remember the original, The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension is a 1984 scifi cult classic movie which starred Peter Weller, Ellen Barkin, John Lithgow, Jeff Goldblum, and Christopher Lloyd. It was directed by W.D. Richter and written by Earl Mac Rauch. The film tells the story of the multi-talented Dr. Buckaroo Banzai (Weller), a physicist, neurosurgeon, test pilot, & rock musician, who saves the world from the evil alien reptilian ‘Red Lectroids’.
Smith had been working with MGM on bringing a tv adaptation of the film to Amazon, but due to a lawsuit which MGM’s legal department has filed against Richter and Rauch, he has decided to step away from the project. Whilst visiting his mother in Florida, Smith stumbled across the news online (whilst googling article on Bedknobs and Broomsticks… but that’s a whole other story!) stating that MGM was suing Banzai’s creators so that he could make the show. “It was surprising, as it was the first I’d heard about it,” he comments in the video.
“I love the people at MGM, they’ve treated me insanely well all across this project… and the people at Amazon have been lovely, but there’s no production yet. No scripts have been turned in. I haven’t been paid a dime. No money has been really spent, so it’s not like we’re going to upend a lot of things. This legal thing came out of nowhere. I did not know about it. I called my agent and was like, ‘WTF is this?’.” He continues “The only reason I love Buckaroo Banzai is because of those two guys… That’s why I fell in love with that movie when I saw it back in 1984. When I got the job, I said I wanted to involve Earl Mac Rauch and W.D. Richter. I gave interviews where I said I wanted to get Earl to write the script, and W.D. to direct an episode. Without those two dudes, I don’t fall in love with that property… I don’t want to make anything unless those dudes are involved. They had the vision. All we were doing is taking their amazing vision and making a tv show of it.”
He goes on to compare it to how he would feel if the studio that made Clerks said they wanted to remake it, and he didn’t want them to, and then they sued him to make sure they could do it without his blessing. “What goes around comes around in this life, and I’m not saying anyone is wrong in this situation, but what I’m saying, respectfully, to all parties involved, I’m out.” He finishes by saying “I don’t wish anybody harm, I wish all parties well. I hope that those dudes come to an agreement, and if they do and they still want me involved down the road, I’ll be here.”
Whatever you may think of Kevin Smith’s movies, this is a really classy move. Some people would have just let it happen, but Smith decided to walk away out of respect for the original creators, and you have to respect that.
Along with his True North Trilogy – Tusk, Yoga Hosers and the upcoming Moose Jaws (that’s Jaws… with a moose) – Smith has directed episodes of The Flash and Supergirl this season. His Flash episode “Killer Frost” is due to arrive in the UK on Tues 6th of Dec, and his Supergirl episode “Supergirl Lives” will air on Mon 19th Dec on Sky 1.