Ain't It Cool News (

"Starship Troopers" CGI reel seen / "Buckaroo Banzai" series FX test images ((aka Foundation-o-Rama)) !!!

Glen here...

...with a report from the recent Shore Leave convention in Baltimore.

This report comes from Chief O'Brien, who was kind enough to take a few moments from repairing the subcutaneous Drosophila melanogaster to file this report:


Chief O'Brien wrote:

"Over this past weekend I was at Shore Leave, a fan-run convention near Baltimore. Mojo, the supervising animator for Foundation Imaging, was there. He showed a piece of Starship Troopers which had been Fed-Exed that morning.

The animation was clean and quite fluid and looked a lot like Transformers: Beast Wars. The entire sequence played out to a heavy metal soundtrack (which I really liked).

Fans of Heinlein's novel will be glad to know that the power suits are in the show - as well as dropping the troops from orbit. Even the "Join Now" recruiting posters are there.

The piece was only a couple of minutes long, but it was enough to make you want more. Mojo says 40 episodes have been ordered, and the show will have no network attached to it.

((Glen Note: CLICK HERE to jump to Coaxial's image gallery of Starship Troopers CGI pics. You can also see more images from Starship Troopers by accessing the Foundation Imaging web site linked below...))

If you haven't seen it already, Foundation has produced a short trailer for Buckaroo Banzai: Ancient Secrets and New Mysteries.

The "Banzai March" was re-mixed with a kind of techno edge to it (I really wanted a copy).

The sequence opens with lightning hitting the ground and charging up some batteries in a potato field - which are all connected to a giant transmitter. The transmitter fires its visible signal into space.

Fade to an icy landscape (the exact same one used in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Timeless"), where the Jet Car is scooting along, and then is chased by a pair of flying craft. The Jet Car escapes by activating its overthruster beam and driving through a mountain!

((Glen Note: the Overthruster portal closes immediately behind the jet car; the flying craft smash into the mountain as they try race through the portal before it closes...))

The last sequence has the jet car driving along a road - only to find out that it's a runway, and the space shuttle Atlantis is landing behind the Jet Car!

Apparently, the front landing gear on the shuttle is in need of repair - because the Jet Car positions itself so that the shuttle can land right on top of it, thus our hero saves the day once again!

((Glen Note: this last sequence is amazing: there is a lot of detail on the shuttle, and small things like the Jet Car's suspension lowering under the wheight of the shuttle's nose give many shots a close to photo-realistic feel. Well, here - see for yourself!))

Images from Foundation Imaging's visual effects test reel for the proposed Buckaroo Banzai television series. These images are swiped directly from Foundation Imaging's web site, which you can access by CLICKING HERE!
All hail Foundation! And, "Supersize Those Fries!" ((which is the title of the Banzai pilot episode, by the way...))


Questions? Comments? Praise? Ridicule ?

CLICK HERE to e-mail Glen

If you send a message to the above address & bounces back to you, send mail to a back-up address!

Or call:

(512) 347-1992

Mail can be sent to:

Glen Oliver

P.O. BOX 160812

Austin, TX 78716-0812


Readers Talkback
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  • July 21, 1999, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Development Problems?

    by Toby O. Notobe

    I read that there have been some fights with Fox who are trying to dumb the script down. Anyone have any news on this?

  • July 21, 1999, 8:06 p.m. CST


    by Toby O. Notobe

    I forgot to say I was talking about BB, not ST.

  • July 21, 1999, 8:31 p.m. CST

    Who for Buckaroo?

    by Astra

    I'm sure Peter Weller is available, but is too old for the role now sadly. So who do we get to play our favorite musical brain surgeon? And while we are at it, who would make a good Hong Kong Cavalier?

  • July 21, 1999, 11:29 p.m. CST

    Yes, there are problems with FOX

    by BackstagePass

    I broke that story earlier this week after speaking to to someone working on the show. There are currently problems with FOX trying to dumb down the script. Basicly, the FOX suits don't "get" the show and think it's too "Dense" for the general public to understand. The rumblings within FOX are that this series, if it sees air, won't get beyond a 13 episode pickup. More as it happens. KJB

  • July 21, 1999, 11:41 p.m. CST

    I hope there are no BB problems

    by Barrymore

    Buckaroo Banzai was way ahead of it's time for 1983. Now is the right time for Buckaroo--it's the perfect blend of sci-fi, action, characters, and comedy. And these test reel pictures are absolutely incredible! Showing the scene with the Jet Car as the Space shuttle's landing gear would get people excited and watching the show in no time! If the X-Files goes off the air after the next season...what better replacement than Buckaroo?!!!

  • July 22, 1999, 12:16 a.m. CST

    replacing X-Files

    by VarietyWriter

    What show is going to replace X-Files for FOX's Sunday 9/8 Central timeslot after this upcoming season? That's a good question, actually. The network presently doesn't have anything high profile and appropriate enough to follow NFL football, the Simpsons and Futurama. However, there's speculation going around that Buffy could replace X-Files -- Yes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The series is owned and produced by FOX. (It was originally greenlit for the FOX network, in fact.) And the contract for the series airing on the WB expires at the end of the coming season.

  • July 22, 1999, 12:26 a.m. CST

    Im'a goin' home.

    by Simon Grim

    Cool homage to the pilot episode of the "Thunderbirds". Fox better not fuck this up.

  • July 22, 1999, 6:59 a.m. CST

    But Mojo said he did the Bonzai clip for fun.

    by Drath

    I was there at Shore Leave, and Mojo never said the Bonzai show was anything close to a go, and that Foundation was not signed as the FX comp for it. They made their Bonzai video for fun. The alien ships chasing the truck in the snow were from right out of their Vortex clips. I hope no one thinks this is proof of a show actually in production or close to it, because it isn't according to Mojo. Just prayer and hope.

  • July 22, 1999, 7:14 a.m. CST

    FOX **not** giving BANZAI trouble ((from COAXIAL))

    by coaxial

    Glen here...regarding this rumor that FOX is giving the BANZAI series some trouble. This is not the case. It *appears* that the people at Polygram Entertainment, who apparently hold the rights to BANZAI at the moment, initially felt the Earl MacRauch pilot script might have been "too dense" and needed to be streamlined somewhat before they took the project around to studios (the pilot script is VERY dense - even after the revision - so this concern is well founded). The requested streamling was done, and the project was presented to FOX - who said they'd keep it around wirth their eyes set on making BB a Mid Season Replacement for 2000. All indications suggest the project is indeed moving rather slowly, but *not* because of any internal conflicts at Fox. Sometimes, these things take time - attention gets distracted, etc. Whether or not BANZAI will make it to the air at all has never been a certainty, although it is looking increasingly unlikely they will meet their proposed MidSeason Replacement 2000 deadline. Other than "slow going", it seems to be business as usual for BANZAI - there is no cause for alarm. When there is, you will know...**Glen**

  • July 22, 1999, 7:18 a.m. CST

    Re: But Mojo said... ((from COAXIAL))

    by coaxial

    Someone wrote: "They made their Banzai video for fun". I'm sure it was fun, and I'm sure there was a "just ofr the hell of it" feeling somewhere in there, but as I understand it this clip WAS sent to Fox along withn various other goodies 'round the time of pilot script submission. Foundation made it in the hopes they'd get the real gig if the project came to furition...**Glen**

  • July 22, 1999, 7:51 a.m. CST

    OK, yeah, that sounds about right...

    by Drath

    Still, Foundation is not actually working on anything for BB--much as they want to. Coaxial/Glen, when did you get this anyway? Shore Leave was a week ago, and I thought Mojo was just showing stuff that you'd mentioned before. Or maybe not...I can't remember, those CGI clips were just great to watch. Although, the STARSHIP TROOPERS stuff wasn't as cool as Beast Wars. There looked to be a lot of motion capture, and the facial expressions were hidden mostly by the helmets. Its still better than Voltron, though. And Beast Wars's graphics were worse in their first year. STroopers looks like a dark show though, so if you get it on a lousy channel, it may not show up real good.

  • July 22, 1999, 8:11 a.m. CST

    No matter where you go...there you are

    by DudeNYC

    Although a Buckaroo Banzai TV series would be cool, it just won't be the same as the movie. Replacing Peter Weller and Jeff Goldblum's characters on a TV show will be impossible. I'd rather see Buckaroo Part 2.

  • July 22, 1999, 10:27 a.m. CST

    There are problems between FOX & BB

    by BackstagePass

    I hate to disagree with Glen but I've been getting reports from some of the highest sources on the BB project for quite a while now (Glen knows what I'm talking about). I can confirm that there have been a number of VERY intense conversations with FOX about the direction and content of the series. It's not so much that the series is "in trouble" as that it may not even get off the drawing board. Will something happen someday with Buckaroo Banzai? Definitely. As I said before, there are some real heavy hitters who are wanting more BB to get produced. BB is not a dead project by any means. The only doubts are about this particular project. KJB

  • July 22, 1999, 4:05 p.m. CST

    To hold us over...

    by Fred4sure

    Any word on when the Buckaroo Banzai novels are going to ship, Glen? Any details on them would be appreciated. --Fred4Sure

  • July 25, 1999, 10:19 a.m. CST

    very very, but impossible

    by bigmclarge

    I've been a BB fan since i could remember seeing the film in the theaters when i was younger. i've read the proposed fanscript on the net of the BB2 film that won't get made. I have the same feeling about the tv show. those kind of cult favorites that are so cool and intelligent will never get on tv, not enough mass appeal even though they would do well. cult tv still exists, and thrives, x-files, xena, hercules, are perfect examples, but i'm afraid buckaroo might be to vague to put on tv. its too cool, so we probably won't see it. I truly hope i'm dead wrong. Big McLargehuge blue blaze irregular #48

  • July 26, 1999, 3:02 p.m. CST

    is it just me?

    by VAIO-san

    Or in the first picture of the jetcar.... has the Bodywork for HB88 been dropped down to sub-compact from Truck? -Briguy "I made it Chip!"

  • July 27, 1999, 2:37 a.m. CST


    by Pseudo

    O.K. I actually can remember seeing the origional movie in the theater and waiting with great anticipation for "Buckaroo Banzaii Vs. The World Crime League" and am overjoyed beyond belief by the fact that ANYTHING is being tossed around right now. I hope if anything comes of this the studio does the right thing and lets the show find its own groove and fan base before prematurly pulling the plug on it. I sincerely hope this is the real deal and I haven't dusted off my 20th Century press kit for nothing. Thanks for the pics. Cheers, ??Pseudo??

  • July 30, 1999, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Statement from W.D. Richter

    by ArcLight

    Received by World Watch OnLine via secured network on 7/29/99 7:57:18 PM Eastern Daylight Time: >>Begin Transmission To: All Fans of B. Banzai From: W.D. Richter Subject: The Way Things Are A few years ago, I overheard Dr. Banzai remark to a concerned unit of Tibetan commandos as the clock struck midnight in a particularly dark hollow of the Universe: "We

  • Aug. 9, 1999, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Starship Tropers was a piece of shit movie that ripped off of th

    by Private_Hudson

    Hudson here. I watched Starship Troopers last night on HBO and lemme tell you something.....I have never seen a bigger load of horse shit in MY ENTIRE LIFE! The acting was horriffic, the plot was gayass, I didn't care about the charecters and oh yeah, did I mention that the acting sucked? The only thing about Starship troopers that was A LITTLE better then aliens was the special effects. But to tell you the truth I like the robotics and pyrotechnics used in Aliens then the CGI used in Starship Troopers. So if they DO somehow release this show. Don't watch it. It sucks. I would put an axe through my TV before I watched the show. Oh yeah. Lemme give you a view reasons why Starship Troopers ripped off of aliens: The ships in aliens:Dropships The ships in Starship troopers:Dropships Nicknames for aliens in aliens:Bugs Nicknames for aliens in starship troopers:Bugs Plot in aliens: Send squad of marines to planet to wipe out aliens. Plot in starship troopers: Send squad of marines to planet to wipe out aliens. Oh yeah. Isn't it quite a coincidence that the guns in Starship troopers look a lot like Pulse Rifles used in aliens? The marines in starship troopers are pansies and they deserved to die. If you put Hicks, Hudson, Vasquez, Drake and Ripley against the top 5 marines in Starship troopers, the Aliens marines would whip their ass good. It pisses me off when Hollywood recycles ideas used from good movies of the past and reivents them into pieces of shit. Thats my opinion anyways. Hudson out.

  • Feb. 28, 2000, 7:12 p.m. CST

    aliens vs starship troopers

    by Brikar99

    I hate to break it to you, but Starship Troopers was based on a novel that was written a LONG time before the Aliens movies were.

  • Aug. 15, 2006, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Whoah, big ol' jet airLINER, don't carry me to far AWAY

    by Wolfpack