Buck Rogers to Visit ‘Sin City’
It’s pretty amazing what people accidentally will say on the red carpet at awards shows. The most recent example happened over the weekend when The Spirit producer Deborah Del Prete referred to her next project with director Frank Miller was an old sci-fi hero. This virtually confirmed the rumor that began over the summer that Miller would tackle the first SF comic strip character.
When the rumor first surfaced over at IGN, Nu Image/Millennium Films quickly told him “that no deal is set yet for the rights or Miller, and that they are still mulling over director contenders.”
IESB’s Robert Sanchez could not get Del Prete to confirm if she was referring to Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers, both of whom have been optioned for film this year. The site did some additional digging and report, “sources very close to the Miller camp…confirmed the sci-fi hero that Del Prete made a reference to was indeed Buck Rogers.”
Nu Image/Millennium Films has not confirmed the report for IESB but Del Prete insisted Miller will have an announcement shortly.
Buck Rogers was based on a 1928 novella, Armageddon 2419 AD by Philip Francis Nowlan which appeared in Amazing Stories. It quickly spawned a sequel and the stories caught the imagination of John F. Dille, president of the National Newspaper Service syndicate. He brought the feature to the newspapers as a comic strip in 1929, coming to own the property. America’s first SF comic strip, it was written by Nowlan with art by Dick Calkins. Through the years, the strip was graced with terrific art from the likes of Murphy Anderson and George Tuska, until it ended in 1967. The strip was revived in 1979 by artist Gray Morrow and writers Jim Lawrence and Cary Bates lasting until the strip’s ending in 1983.
Buck Rogers has appeared in comic books (with stunning Frank Frazetta art), serials (with Buster Crabbe), a four-times-a-week radio serial from 1932 through 1947; a 1950 half-hour television series and the 1979 NBC series (the horrible adaptation with Gil Gerard).
The Dille Trust under Flint Dille has repeatedly attempted to revive the character for modern audiences through Role Playing games, comics and media. All the attempts have yet to capture the fancy of today’s audiences.