Buck Rogers is going back to the future. After months of negotiations, Legendary has closed a deal for the screen rights to the classic and influential sci-fi character. Legendary, the company behind the upcoming sci-fi epic Dune and movies such as Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island, is envisioning a big-screen take that would pave the way for a prestige television series as well as an anime series, giving audiences a 360-look at heroics set in the 25th century.
Don Murphy and Susan Montford will produce via their Angry Films banner, whose credits include Transformers and Real Steel. The deal is a coup for Legendary and Murphy, who spent years waging legal battles as a fight for rights ensued between the heirs and estates of the men who created him or published his stories. Legendary had no comment.
Buck Rogers is one of the earliest icons of the sci-fi genre, first appearing in a story titled Armageddon 2419 and published in a 1928 issue of pulp mainstay, Amazing Stories (incidentally, the same issue that featured E.E. “Doc” Smith’s “Skylark of Space”). Written by Philip Francis Nowlan, the story told of a a World War I veteran who finds himself trapped in a mine shaft and ends up in suspended animation because of *handwave* radioactive chemicals. Recovered five hundred years later, in the year 2419, he finds himself now the ultimate outsider, and has to figure out how to orient himself to this strange new world where he is enlisted to help fight a war between several gangs in what was once America. You can read the original story here (Page 40).
The character has also been the subject of multiple television series, comic books, and radio shows. No other details on the deal have been forthcoming.