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UPDATED NOW WITH VIDEO OF THE ENTIRE PANEL!! WBeast Has A Detailed Look At Comic Con’s KNIGHT RIDER Event!!

Published at: July 25, 2008, 3:20 p.m. CST

I am – Hercules!!
UPDATE!! You can now watch the entire panel for yourself: ORIGINAL POST: A Comic Con correspondent tells us the footage from the new “Knight Rider” series looks “very different” from what we saw in that awful TV-movie last February. Can the man who brought us “The Fast and The Furious” and “Las Vegas” save KITT? First, some new video: Here’s “WBeast”:
Hercules: Love Coaxial!! -- I've sent you stuff before as The WBeast so use that and not my real name. I'm down at Comicon and wanted to give you some TV-related scoop. Here's some news from the Panel and a of course there's few SPOILERS below too re: the new Knight Rider sequel/reboot. ----- Went to the KNIGHT RIDER panel Thursday morning, expecting the place to be a graveyard, since the TV movie last February got pretty big ratings but was slaughtered critically by most people who watched it, even though producer Doug Liman (B. IDENTITY, SWINGERS, MR & MRS. SMITH) seemed confident enough to put his name on this sequel/re-boot. What was shocking was that the auditorium -- one of the bigger halls at the Con -- was PACKED. Who knew there were so many Knight Rider nerds out there (myself included, sadly). Because a truck overturned between LA and San Diego, none of the cast made it to the panel initially (they all showed up later), so new showrunner Gary Scott Thompson -- best known for his writing work on "Las Vegas" and the first "Fast and the Furious" fielded questions and showed some footage that was VERY different from the Liman M.O.W./backdoor. Obvious from the outset was that the NBC ongoing series has made a TON of changes from the TV movie version. The footage: --Shows KITT transforming from a pickup truck to his Mustang mode. KITT now transforms in a "mechanical" way instead of the nano-bot "morphing" thing the car did in the TV movie. This was neat. Looks a LOT better this way, like "Transformers" on a slightly lower budget, and this actually brought the crowd to CHEERS (it was a nifty overhead getaway shot). --Despite rumors to the contrary, Val Kilmer is staying onboard as the voice of KITT and was heard extensively in the footage. --The rumored "KITTcave" was seen for the first time in the footage. It's cool looking, to a point. Best way to describe it is it looks like a Dave and Busters meets Tony Stark's garage/workshop from Iron Man. Neatest thing is that when KITT is in his "cave" he's on a gyroscope that looks like it can spin him all around in three dimensions for modifications. --KITT's cockpit has been redesigned from the TV movie. It's way more "spaceship" looking with all kinds of touchscreens and read-outs/displays. Doesn't quite have the "holy shit" factor of the old series cockpit but it looks like at least they're TRYING for that, which is a good thing. --The crowd seemed to dig how much eye candy/love interest Deanna Russo was part of the action/fighting footage they showed. It looks like she's as big a part of the weekly missions as the new Michael Knight/Traceur (soap dude Justin Bruening) is. There was a glimpse of her beating the living shit out of someone in a bar fight. --The cast has been expanded from the TV movie. Bruce Davison is still around for tech support but the big addition is a stock badass Nick Fury type played by Yancy Arias (who was on the awesome and short-lived NBC show KINGPIN a few years back). His character Alex Torres seems to be calling the shots in the KITTcave. --The action and special efffects are quite ramped up from the pilot. Choppers fire misiles at KITT and at one point the car turns into afull blown assault vehicle before being engulfed by flames. The shooting style is very reminiscent of the "Fast and the Furious movies" -The biggest surprise was that the footage was actually GOOD! The bog problem with the movie was all those boring shots of KITT driving down the highway, this stuff was much more kinetic and cut to the chase a lot faster and, uh, furiouser. Much more stuff actually shot at night and a lot more fighting with the bad guys. I went in skeptical but this could actually WORK -- because they;'ve changed the whole visual approach to the new Mustang-KItt The audience even asked to see the footage twice and the panelists obliged, so a few details may be escaping me but the point I'm getting at is that even though it's giot several of the same cast memebers this looks and feels nothing like the TV movie. The cutting is a lot fast, intense shots and the emphasis seems to be very heavily on the ACTION, which is not a bad thing at all. After the footage. the traffic-delayed cast finally arrived, including Russo (hot!) Bruening, who seems to have really buiffed-out since the TV movie and looks Hugh Jackman huge, Davison, Arias and a couple other random no-namers (KITT apparantly needs lots of techies in this series who tap away at screens at the KITTcave.). Absent were Kilmer and original Michael Knight David Hasselhoff, but Thompson assured the audience that Hoff appearances have not been ruled out for future episodes (aka sweeps). Q/A confirmed some other stuff: -KITT's transformations are much more elaborate and key to the actionthan they were in the TV movie. -Post production takes a long time on this show, which is why there was no full episode ready in time for the con. -The new cast is really getting along great (was this a dig at Hasselhoff, who has yet to film an episode with them) and they are all Knight Rider aficionados when it comes to the original show. -Turbo Boost has been revived for the series, and will thankfully include KITT actually launching into the air. -Stories will be a mix of serialized elements and mission-of-the-week stuff. -KITT will "evolve" as a sentient piece of A.I. and that's the big thrust of season one -- KITT's dawning awareness. Not sure about all that but the proof is really in the pudding, and the footage did look incredibly solid -- like they took people's complaints to heart. Sounds like they'll be showing more footage during the olympics but they really need to put this Comicon reel onYoutube or NBC.com now so everyone can check it out. -WBeast

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Readers Talkback

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  • July 25, 2008, 12:08 p.m. CST

    bored now

    by Kneprock

    Didn't like Nightrider the first time

  • July 25, 2008, 12:09 p.m. CST

    aaaaaand canceled.

    by Gatsbys West Egg Omlet

    i get the "springtime for Hitler" vibe from this.

  • July 25, 2008, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Plant! fuck you NBC! RIP JOURNEYMAN

    by Mr_X

    that is all.

  • July 25, 2008, 12:17 p.m. CST

    So...

    by CloseLight

    We are ripping off Transformers, Batman, Ironman, and just about every other summer movie franchise. Hmm, I wonder if KITT and company will fight mummies and the Joker. God, what a way to rape the childhood memories.

  • July 25, 2008, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Vastly different my ass

    by Mr_X

    the show is about a talking car. cheese is a huge factor. http://tinyurl.com/6lx2tg

  • July 25, 2008, 12:20 p.m. CST

    by McDee

    nbc.com has a flash site up that says "return here July 25th for a special announcement from Knight Industries", with presumably K.I.T.T. under a sheet. There is also a link for Comic-Con footage that will revela "Attack KITT", but that isn't up yet

  • July 25, 2008, 12:20 p.m. CST

    Looks Good

    by knightrider

    http://www.nbc.com/Knight_Rider/video/#mea=278575

  • July 25, 2008, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Traceur transforms from Mullet to Bedhead

    by Valar1

    That was the major improvement I saw in the footage. Seriously though, all the improvements sound good- Turboboost, mechanical transformation, token ethnic type, kinetic cinematography- all of it sounds great. Remember to keep the threesomes and the hot lesbian FBI agents from the pilot movie.

  • July 25, 2008, 12:33 p.m. CST

    cool

    by Bouncy X

    the transformation looked pretty good...you can bet that with the success of transformers and the sequel, they will find a way to make KITT become a robot, even if its just a one time/fantasy sequence type of thing.

  • July 25, 2008, 1:07 p.m. CST

    WBeast? More like WPlant.

    by Squashua

    Yeah, I said what you were thinking. That Made-for-TV movie thing was shoe-horned AWFUL.

  • July 25, 2008, 2:41 p.m. CST

    How can it NOT suck?

    by DennisMM

    Mike Binkley: The truth, Steve, is that "Knight Rider" is actually a children's program. <br> <br> Steve Dallas: Can't be! Can't *@#!* BE!! <br> <br> I rest my case.

  • July 25, 2008, 3:31 p.m. CST

    NBC Widgets

    by gingy

    Harry, any chance you can get your winged IT monkeys to make the videos work in Firefox?

  • July 25, 2008, 3:56 p.m. CST

    The Knight Rider Death Watch Begins

    by TVguy4566

    No matter what the NBC plant says in his/her report, this show will be DOA. I am sure he/she was telling the truth that the crowd digged the "eye candy" Deanna Russo was part of the action considering the three people actually in the crowd for the panel were Russo's parents and boyfriend.

  • July 25, 2008, 5:36 p.m. CST

    Hahaha..

    by Spyhunter

    Oh my GOD that was painful to watch.

  • July 26, 2008, 12:05 a.m. CST

    Do You Know What I Find Really Odd?

    by Real Deal

    If you guys didn't like a show about a talking car well...that's what the original was all about! That's what they're comparing this to. The success of the original. So if you didn't like that why are you here even watching the video? I mean there are people who liked the original and wanted this show to come back. Don't tell me anything different. The only thing that's different is that Hasselhoff is too old to be the lead. So if you guys didn't like the original why the hell do you care? Sure it's cheesy and corny but have you seen the original lately? But cheesy and imposible is what the original did best. I don't expect it to be anything more than the original.

  • July 26, 2008, 1:38 a.m. CST

    Wow... a trailer that manages to show bad acting

    by The Grug

    When a guy's performance is laughable in fraction of seconds clips - That's saying something

  • July 26, 2008, 3:40 a.m. CST

    gingy

    by Lemming

    I use firefox and it works fine.

  • July 26, 2008, 4:32 a.m. CST

    when in doubt, add lazers

    by Obscura

    pyow pyow pyow! very scifi my likes. shame about the humans.

  • July 26, 2008, 9:47 a.m. CST

    This show NEEDS RCIII

    by DarfurOnTheRocks

    ...Or at least some other stereotype...

  • July 27, 2008, 8:13 a.m. CST

    popular mechanics does a story on the new kitt changes

    by palewook

    http://tinyurl.com/55wnfq

  • July 27, 2008, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Still looks moronic....

    by allykatD

    The lead has no charisma and the footage is retarded. I had huge hopes for this show since I heard they were changing it from the long boring Ford Mustang commercial that aired in place of what we thought was a knew KR movie. But, because I believe in an informed opinion, unlike most Talk Backers, I will give it a chance and watch the first few eps before I make a decision to shit can it or not.

  • July 27, 2008, 10:08 p.m. CST

    Dear Real Deal...

    by Sleeperkid

    ...I don't recall Kitt sounding like a Lifetime Movie of the Week narrator. I don't recall the car's driver having the charisma of a 60 year-old pedophile. I also don't recall Kitt asking Michael if he was homo...and I definitely don't recall the fucking car turning into other FUCKING CARS. Oh...as for it talking? That was cool with me.