The Buck Rogers estate is protesting Legendary’s recently announced TV reboot and is moving forward with its own film adaptation with Skydance.
The Buck Rogers estate, which is overseen by the Nowlan Family Trust, is protesting Legendary Entertainment’s recently announced TV reboot of the classic comic character and is moving forward with its own film adaptation with Skydance Productions.
According to Deadline, the estate sent a cease-and-desist letter to Legendary about the TV series, contending that property has already been sighed over to Skydance. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Skydance is developing a film based on the character, but it is still in the early stages of production.
“Be advised that the Buck Rogers Interests have signed an agreement with Skydance Productions LLC to produce Buck Rogers content,” said estate attorney Neville Johnson in the letter. “Your conduct is a slander of title of the rights the Buck Rogers Interests own. Demand is made that you correct the record publicly as Legendary/Murphy have no chain of title. You are directed to advise all third parties, including any insurers, distributors, and financiers that there is no chain of title held by Legendary/Murphy.”
Legally, a cease-and-desist letter does not mean much, and it must be followed up with an actual lawsuit. These can be long and tedious, requiring both parties to put up lots of cash.
“We have secured the rights we need to proceed with our project and the company will not comment any further on these baseless claims.” a spokesperson for Legendary said. “This same party has been claiming for years that they have rights which they do not have and have been trying to inhibit projects based on rights they do not legally control.”
Unlike the Skydance project, Legendary’s TV series already has a team attached, including producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov, and writer Brian K. Vaughan. There is also a possibility that Clooney will star in the series. Legendary’s plan is to develop a host of projects based on the character, including a movie and an anime series.
Created by Philip Francis Nowlan, Anthony “Buck” Rogers debuted in the 1928 novella Armageddon 2419 A.D., which was published in Amazing Stories magazine. The sci-fi/space opera character was well-received by fans, leading to the launch of a comic strip, radio and film serials and a 1979-1981 TV series. The popularity of the character led to other science fiction comic strips, including Flash Gordon and John Carter of Mars.
Written by Brian K. Vaughan, the Buck Rogers TV series is being developed by Legendary Entertainment.
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