Brace yourself, world, for we may get a Buckaroo Banzai television series. Yes, I’m with you: what’s Buckaroo Banzai?
Actually, time to fess up. Being one who likes digging up old and obscure movies that fall into the cult category, I have seen Buckaroo Banzai before. but I cannot remember what it was about. Something about Peter Weller being a dimension-hopping music superstar cum scientist who also fights the bad people of the multiverse. It was strange, confusing and not all that memorable.
Here’s the trailer, which manages to make slightly less sense than the movie:
Yeah, I have no idea why this film was popular… (and frankly, it wasn’t – it flopped).
Then again, maybe you had to be there. After all, this movie hails from 1984. Peter Weller was Buckaroo Banzai BEFORE he starred as Robocop, so that tells you how obscure the film actually is. If you decide to watch it, you’ll also see pre-fame versions of Jeff Goldblum and John Lithgow.
Anyway, in yet another strange moment of executive nostalgia, the CW has decided the world needs a television adaptation of this movie. It also decided that Kevin Smith may be the person for that job, apparently being well impressed by an episode of The Flash that he directed. Mind you, this is not all that strange: there was an attempt in 1998 to also create a TV series based on the movie.
Now it should be said that this latest adaptation has a big MAYBE slapped on its forehead. In fact, they probably released the rumour to see what buzz will be like. I suspect most of it is WTF with a few pockets of angry people who can’t let go of their childhoods. But let’s assume this is a go.
Buckaroo Banzai (The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, if you want to be specific) would make more sense as a TV show. It was far too big and ambitious to ever fit into a movie or the special effects 1984 could muster. I’m not sure if it ever will make sense, but a series of episodes is by far its best bet. Kevin Smith makes a good point that the first season could cover the movie and the second season the sequel (Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League) that never surfaced.
Though why CW has its sights on this is hard to guess. I’m guessing that the studio now has plenty of 40 to 50 year old execs who were in their twenties when Buckaroo Banzai was a thing. So they are peddling nostalgia, yet that will not sell the show. Instead it will have to find a new audience – and that’s not unlikely. Buckaroo Banzai was really off the rails and (again, my memory being pretty frail about this) incorporated action, sci-fi, music and a lot of other stuff. That may just work with today’s television landscape.
Will Kevin Smith make a good producer for such a project? I’m not sure – I don’t think Smith is bombastic enough to really make Buckaroo Banzai explode in the way it should. I’m afraid it might end up a little like The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., Bruce Campbell’s short-lived, under-rated and also a little undercooked cowboy show.
On the other hand, most of what appears on CW is utter garbage, and that includes cotton candy cranial stuffers like The Flash, the show in a city that appears to have five people, one coffee shop and way too much Dawson’s Creek. Maybe Buckaroo Banzai will be ruined just by virtue of appearing on that network.
What this does do is make me want to watch the movie again, so that’s my Sunday afternoon taken care of. Thank you CW and Kevin Smith!
Last Updated: May 19, 2016