This past summer, Stranger Things leveraged 1980s nostalgia into a perfect love letter to the movies and films many of us grew up on. Of course, some relics of the Reagan Era would be better left to languish there. Apparently, Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin thinks cult hit series Knight Rider is one worth salvaging, however. He’s producing a new digital reboot of the classic tale of a man and an artificially intelligent car who team up to fight crime.
Created by Glen A. Larson, the original Knight Rider ran for four season on NBC, between 1982-1986. It starred David Hasselhoff as a former cop who takes on a new identity — and a new face — as Michael Knight. He teams with a talking, souped-up supercar named KITT to fight crime and troublemakers with mullets. Variety reports that Lin will be partnering with the digital network Machinima and NBCUniversal Brand Development to bring viewers a new take on Knight Rider.
Machinima CEO Chad Gutstein told Variety:
Knight Rider is an iconic franchise whose concepts of AI and autonomous vehicles were science-fiction in the 1980s and are now science fact. Justin is one of the leading storytellers of his generation and we couldn’t be more excited to work with him on reinvigorating Knight Rider for a new generation of fans.
This isn’t the first time time Hollywood has returned to the Knight Rider well. There have been several sequel TV movies, spinoffs, and reboots since the original, including a 2008 NBC TV series with Val Kilmer as the voice of KITT. None, however, have made as lasting a pop-culture impression as the original. It will be interesting to see what new spins Lin and Machinima can put on a concept that’s already got quite a few miles on it. If nothing else, Lin knows a thing or two about stories involving fast cars: he directed four of the Fast & Furious films.
Knight Rider will be the latest of several ambitious live-action digital series distributed by Machinima, including Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, Mortal Kombat: Legacy, and Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn. They likely won’t be working with the same budget they might have gotten from a traditional network, but having somebody attached who is well suited to the material — like Lin — is definitely a promising sign.
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