Fox has given a pilot production commitment to Greatest American Hero as a single-camera comedy inspired by Steven J. Cannell’s 1981 cult classic. The project teams up Dope writer-director Rick Famuyiwa, co-directors Phil Lord & Chris Miller, best known to the geeking world as the directors of the wildly popular Lego Movie, and Steven J. Cannell’s daughter, television director Tawnia McKiernan.
The three of them will be working together with Lord Miller’s President of Television, Seth Cohen. Fox had originally announced plans for the reboot back in August of 2014, but the addition of the new writer means the stalled production is finally moving forward. A casting director has been hired, and they’re now working on filling that lead role.
Written and to be directed by Famuyiwa, Greatest American Hero carries on the familiar theme of what happens when great power is not met with great responsibility. An ordinary man, completely content with being average, wakes up with a superpower suit he never asked for and has to deal with the complications it brings his life. The original sci-fi dramedy series, created by TV legend Cannell and starring William Katt and Robert Culp, aired for three seasons on ABC. The new show will be a satire as well, having a little gentle fun with the superhero film genre.
For The Last Man On Earth executive producers Lord and Miller, Greatest American Hero joins In Time, a time-travel comedy written by Julius Sharpe, which has a put pilot commitment at Fox, according to Deadline – but buried in their writeup was this:
“Additionally, they recently optioned the rights to podcast phenomenon Serial to develop as a TV series through 20th TV’s cable division Fox 21 TV Studios.”
That’s right. They optioned a podcast, i.e.,they paid the creators of the podcast Serial for the rights to make a TV show for Fox Cable. Launched in October 2014, Serial became an overnight pop culture sensation, topping the iTunes charts and earning a Peabody Award – it’s not science fiction or fantasy, but the fact that a podcast has been optioned for television is noteworthy. We are living in an age where anything can happen, and that’s the proof.
Lord and Miller, who have 3 movie franchises on their resume, The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, are also directing the Han Solo Star Wars movie. We don’t have to remind you that a pilot isn’t a guarantee that Fox will buy the series, but these days it’s a strong indicator that it will happen.