Guess What, There's This Now: 'Greatest American Hero: The Movie'

September 9, 2008

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Work has started on a Greatest American Hero movie, because that's a timeless, relevant, still-popular franchise. From SciFi:

Stephen J. Cannell, creator of the cult '80s TV series The Greatest American Hero, confirmed to fans that a feature film is in the works.

"We've written a screenplay, and we've hired a director, and we're in the midst of putting this together for the future," Cannell told an audience in Hollywood on Sept. 7 at the Screen Actors Guild's 25th-anniversary reunion.

The Greatest American Hero ran for three seasons on ABC, 1981-'83, and centered on Ralph Hinkley (Katt), a teacher who comes into possession of a red alien suit that endows its wearer with superpowers--but not the instruction manual.

The show is enjoying a renaissance of sorts, with a new comic book produced by Katt and producing partner Chris Folino under their Catastrophic Comics banner.

Additionally, there are plans for a series of four-minute animated Web shorts, voiced by Katt, Culp and Sellecca.

What? OK, I know this show is a little before my time, but there are really enough people still concerned with Greatest American Hero to warrant a comic book, some web shorts, and a feature film? I haven't thought about that show since George Costanza modeled his answering machine message after the theme song. Who are these people?

I think the issue here is that they're treating comic convention reactions as the norm. As former star William Katt said, "In the public arena, at Comic-Con and other [conventions] out there, we've found that there is a tremendous warm welcome still left waiting for The Greatest American Hero." Sorry, Will, but comic convention crowds are not the norm. They're about as far from the norm as you can get. We can't go around judging audience interest by examining a crowd that still purchases autographed photos of Pam Dawber. Not unless we want half our movies to be focused on mint condition Micronauts vehicles.

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