Ain't It Cool News (

Follow-up to BUCKAROO BANZAI series article (script development confirmed)!!!

Glen here…

…happier than I’ve been in a very, very long time. I have been able to CONFIRM yesterday’s report that Fox Television has ordered a pilot script for a proposed series based on THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI.

Concept creators W.D. Richter and Earl MacRauch are currently hard at work on said script. There are several important factors to note here:

1) That Fox has ordered a script for a BUCKAROO BANZAI series pilot *does not* mean Fox is obligated to proceed with the filming of said pilot once the script is delivered to Fox. Scripts are written and subsequently left un-filmed all the time. THIS IS NOT MEANT TO IMPLY NEGATIVITY ABOUT THE PROJECT. IT IS NOT MEANT TO IMPLY MY BELIEF FOX WILL REJECT TO PILOT SCRIPT. I’m simply trying to say…statistically…we’re not out of the woods *yet*.

2) Even if a pilot for a BUCKAROO BANZAI series is filmed, this does not obligate Fox to follow it up with a series. Pilots are filmed all the time which don’t even get aired, some pilots are aired but never get followed-up with a series. AGAIN, I AM NOT TRYING TO BE NEGATIVE HERE. JUST REALISTIC.

In short, BUCKAROO BANZAI is going through a step-by-step process which is very ordinary in the development of a potential series - the same process most other series / projects in development must go through. BB does have the distinct advantage of having a pre-existing (and strong) fan base, but when all is said and done, it’s right in there with the rest of the shows - having to jump through all the same hoops on its way to our television screens. But it is *really* happening, and there is a *serious* possibility this could all work out well!

Now, I am delighted to present an official statement from BANZAI creator W.D. Richter:


The Banzai Institute for Biomedical Research and Strategic Information


"After all these years, one of course, expects the inevitable and amazed reaction, 'We thought it would never happen!' Let me simply share with you B. Banzai's own reminder when delivered the glad news by Earl Mac Rauch:

'The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once. That said, now on to the business at hand.'"

-Rick Richter

November 3, 1998

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  • Nov. 4, 1998, 1:12 p.m. CST


    by MoViE JuNkIe

    About DAMN TIME!!! I thought I'd never see a Buckero Banzai anything in my life time!! This is great and i was just whistleing the theme song from themovie the other day... I was saddened when they never followed up on the movie i waited with baited breath but to no avail now that time has past does anyone care? I mean they should have done something with this potential francise and it just sat on the back burner. NOW everyone says "buckero who?" I more than anyone would love to see a series based on these characters but like i said before I believe the fan base has moved on... someone prove me wrong!! and lets give this series the support it needs. Comon Fox get your rear in gear. ssorry for this incoherant ranting i just get to excited... i ll be checking these posts

  • Nov. 4, 1998, 1:49 p.m. CST


    by TJL5714

    If this does get picked up as a pilot/series, how many of the original cast would/could return to their roles? I don't know what Peter Weller's up to right now; I doubt Jeff Goldblum would commit to a series; and John Lithgow could probably be a recurring villain, schedule permitting. I would think bringing Weller aboard (if he's interested) would be key to pushing the project forward.

  • Nov. 4, 1998, 5:31 p.m. CST

    What _is_ that watermelon doing there?

    by Robogeek

    Greetings, citizens! This is a historic day for geekdom, one I am particularly proud to see dawn. Why? Well, when I'm not spying for AICN or consulting for the BPRD, I do some research for the Banzai Institute. (In fact, my pneumatics are powered by a prototype oscillation overthruster!) For too long the extraordinary exploits of Dr. Banzai and the Hong Kong Cavaliers have gone ignored by the mainstream media. (Hell, I'm still waiting for the band to release a new album, and get back from their Asian tour.) But I must implore the producers of this possible series to secure as many members of the original cast as possible (_especially_ Peter Weller), use the same theme music, etc. This show could rock SO HARD, it isn't even funny. PRAISE BE TO FOX, for having the vision, brains and balls to see the potential and go for it. Just imagine it -- Buckaroo, Perfect Tommy, Reno, Professor Hikita and the rest of the gang, on your TV EVERY WEEK!!! And then, jeez, we might even get new _merchandising_! And a digitally remastered special edition DVD of the movie! (I may go into spasms, this is so cool.) And maybe -- just maybe -- the world will finally know what that watermelon is doing there. I'm telling you, _if_ this show happens, _if_ it's done right... Just imagine, next fall, sitting in front of your TV, and the music starts playing, as Peter Weller marches out, and then is joined one by one by the rest of the cast (a la the end of the movie -- how more perfect an opening title sequence can you think of?), and after each of their names comes up the title "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai" fill the screen. Oh, my God, I'm getting all choked up and teary-eyed just thinking about it! Say it with me, everybody -- WHERE ARE WE GOING? FOX!!! WHEN? REAL SOON!!!

  • Nov. 4, 1998, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Re: Cast?

    by 0007

    Mr. Weller has of late been appearing in Hal Hartley and Woody Allen films (Mighty Aphrodite).

  • Nov. 4, 1998, 6:58 p.m. CST

    Wherever you go...

    by Toby O. Notobe

    This is indeed very cool news. Of course, living in Hong Kong I doubt if I

  • Nov. 4, 1998, 7:15 p.m. CST

    Re:Wherever you go...(from COAXIAL)

    by coaxial

    Glen here...Re: contacting Fox. This *may* be useful a bit further down the road, but I'd advise a holding pattern until further notice. If it's needed, I will post the whys and the whats and the hows. Re: a BUCKAROO BANZAI soundtrack. No, Sonic Images does not have the BB soundtrack, but I appreciate the thought of supporting my cause by supporting Sonic. Feel free to explore their site anyway - they have many interesting products past B5. There was never an officially released BB score soundtrack, the soundtrack I alluded to having in a previous article was an *extremely* limited edition pressing which came out of England a few years back.**Glen**

  • Nov. 5, 1998, 7:30 a.m. CST


    by droog

    I think Peter Weller is concentrating on being a director and would be unlikely to return to the role given the opportunity. So how about "Six String Samurai"'s Jeff Falcon as Buckaroo? He kinda looks like he'd fit in the role, and he can kick ass...

  • Nov. 5, 1998, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Home is where your hat is...

    by biggles

    Wow, it's been a LONG time. It's strange to see the words "Buckaroo Banzai" as a planned TV series. I'm even more surprised since I'd heard that Earl Mac Rauch had died! Apparently, information you read on the web can be WRONG...who knew? I've seen this movie entirely too many times. I've really enjoyed the "implied" history of it, and would look forward to a TV series that examined BB's life in depth. However, I recently broke down and read the fanscript of BB2 on the web. Gack, what a piece of junk! A total rehash of every idea with absolutely no originality. I would hope that Rauch and Richter have the sense to do "their own thing" and not listen to the wacky fans. We all want different things and you can't please everyone. Finally, I would like to second the idea that Jeffrey Falcon be used in the lead. I think he would add a new dynamic to the show that Peter Weller couldn't, providing he can act (something that "Six String Samurai" didn't really give him a chance to do). And I wouldn't mind a Wide-screen version of the original movie on laserdisc before they're dropped entirely from the market.

  • Nov. 5, 1998, 2:57 p.m. CST

    What's in the big pink box?

    by Dr Lizardo

  • Nov. 5, 1998, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Uh, whoops

    by Dr Lizardo

    Let me try that again, without submitting an empty message. This is great news! Now I'll be humming that silly little synthesizer song from the end credits for the next year until the pilot actually airs (if it airs). Lines from the movie that are stuck in my head: "Pure evil from the eighth dimension!" "That's a big no-can-do" "Home is where you hang you're hat" "Where are we going?" "Planet Ten!" When are we going?" "Real soon!" "Hey man, nice jacket...What's in the big pink box?" "Don't pull that, you never know what it's attached to" "It's not my goddamned planet, understand, Monkey Boy?" "There are Monkey Boys in the facility..." "What's that watermelon for?" "I'll tell you later" "Bigbootay! BIGBOOTAY!!"

  • Nov. 6, 1998, 12:23 a.m. CST

    no no no no, Don't tug on that...

    by Severen

    ...You never know what it might be attattched to. Sorry, couldn't resist...anyway now that I've gotten that out of my system there's just one point I'd like to raise. Now while I personally hope that BB gets it's long awaited shot at the limelight I can't help but wonder if it will really work as a late nineties concept. I mean one of the great things about the original movie (to me at least) is that it is so wonderfully 80's in style and approach, and if it stays true to it's big screen origins will it be in the exact same boat that the film landed in? Will it be just too weird, too quirky, too out there for the mass tv viewers? I mean sure there's the hard core fans that will tune in, but for this, or any show to work it needs to be able to capture a decent sized audience, and to be honest in a tv world full of bad soap operas, 'gritty' (tm.) cop shows and fran drescher comedies that live on season after season while quality original &/or different shows like American Gothic get canned after only one season does this mean that BB's days are almost numbered from the outset? Hell, I sure hope not, and at the very least BB deserves to be given the chance to make good, but the chances of BB's success after all these years still seems mighty slim to me...still the equally quirky, offbeat Fifth Element was a hit at the box office so maybe BB's time is now afterall. Oh, and as for who should play Buckaroo Banzai I say try and get Peter Weller back, but if he's not interested how about Bruce Campbell? And if Fox was smart they would launch BB with a two hour telemovie pilot (as opposed to most shows these days which seem to get just a one hour kickoff)...maybe that way they could get Jeff Goldblum, John Lithgow, Christopher LLoyd, Clancy Brown, Vincent Schiavelli, Ellen Barkin (face it, it's a job and she's not exactly being bowled down with acting offers), Lewis Smith, Pepe Serna, Robert Ito and Dan Hedaya to make appearances...even if it was just for the pilot, it'd be a hell of a ratings friendly beginning and prime way to launch the show with maximum exposure.

  • Nov. 6, 1998, 11:40 a.m. CST

    Calling all Blue Blaze Irregulars!!!!

    by John Ya-Ya

    This is the best news ever. I have long imagined that someday providence would smile on us all and BB vs. The World Crime League would come to pass. This is the next best (or even better) thing. It's great to see how many of us there are out there. Let's all rejoice. And remember: "Don't tug on that. You don't know what it might be attatched to." "Nice night, huh?" "So what? Big deal."

  • Nov. 6, 1998, 11:56 a.m. CST


    by Phoenix

    Uh, I don't mean to burst anyone's bubble, BUT... the chances of them ACTUALLY casting the A-list players (Weller, Goldblum, Barkin, Lithgow, et al.) in this is pretty friggin' slim. Don't get your hopes up, they'll only be dashed! If Fox does actually have the balls to do this, I give it 6 weeks, max, before they screw it up by "revamping the concept" or they outright cancel it. Anyone remember Briscoe County Jr? Poor Buckaroo is destined for the same fate if he ends up on Fox. The only way to survive on TV is start as mainstream as possible, the get quirky, dragging the audience, the advertisers, and the network honchos with you. Witness The X-Files. Pretty out there now, often downright ODD. Look at the early episodes on FX -- pretty tame, straight-laced stuff the first season. With success comes the freedom to push the envelope. This is the only way Chris Carter has gotten away with Millenium at all. Now take a look at Fantasy Island! A totally cool and quirky revamp of a dusty old nostalgia item. Just watch as ABC ruins it, rips the guts out of it, and then cancels it before the season is out!

  • Nov. 6, 1998, 10:08 p.m. CST

    VHS re-release/DVD release?

    by Eric

    The VHS version of Buckaroo has been out of print for a few years now. I've been making do with a copy recorded off of Cinemax in the late eighties (which has held up surprisingly well, although I'm almost afraid to watch it now for fear of my treasure being eaten by the VCR.) Anyone know if we will ever see the original released to the public in some format?

  • Nov. 7, 1998, 11:16 p.m. CST

    BBanzai Releases

    by evie

    Yes...the state of availabilty of this film is a quite sad. I orginally had an Australian ex rental copy which annoyingly had a "stay tuned for more previews" voiceover ruining literally all over the end credit theme. Then about 2 years ago it was released as an expensive sell through in the U.K. I was delighted and ordred one.....only do find the same dang Aussi voiceover at the end! They got the damn rental master from us!! Finally i managed to get the Laser disc as well as a "work in progress" tape from a convention. The tape, though rough in qaulity has lots of extra footage including a segment of super8 home movies of young Buckeroo. The laser on the otherhand is great quality but you tend to loose around 90% of the visual gags as well as the flight scenes due to terrible "Lock Down" 4:3 transfer So i am Drrrrrooooollling over the possible release of a W/S DVD. Personaly i find remakes, sequals and Tv shows after such a long time never live up to expectations. I would be happier with a meticulous re-release treatement of the original by someone like Criterion. Now hat would be awsome! Dennys Australia

  • Nov. 10, 1998, 7:51 p.m. CST

    Bigbootay, tay, Tay, TAY!!!

    by djdood

    I'm stoked!! The TV climate in this era of Xena and company is MUCH more ripe for a "quirky" project like BB.