SyFy is hoping to break into the feature film business, and because this is SyFy, they're looking to do it in the batshit craziest, easiest-to-ridicule, most SyFy way possible: with a remake of the 1995 post-apocalyptic film Waterworld.
In an interview with Forbes, SyFy president Dave Howe explained that while making an endless string of laughable TV movies about large, unconvincing animal hybrids pays the bills and all, what his network really needs is a way to get some of this cheap crap in theaters. "It's also a gap in the marketplace," Howe continued--a gap that could apparently be filled with a gilled man who is not Kevin Costner this time.
Waterworld was, from its release right up until John Carter, the go-to example of why high-concept sci-fi probably shouldn't be given an unlimited budget for its long-haired hero to blow through. The film was made for a then-ridiculous, still sort-of-ridiculous $175 million, and only made back $88 million domestically. But in Howe's plan, a Waterworld remake--or any other film sailing under the banner of SyFy F[y]lms--would cost a fraction of that, following in the frugal path of his network's current original movie lineup. They're reportedly looking to make "a different kind of science fiction film, one driven less by expensive stars and special effects than by storytelling," be that story the tale of a heroic fish-man or of a huge shark that is also an octopus.
Needless to say, SyFy parent company and Waterworld rights owner Universal has been less than enthusiastic about this plan. It took years to convince the studio to allow the 2009 creation of SyFy F[y]lms, and already Howe speaks of his vision of a thriftier Waterworld in sorrowful tones, saying it was "never really on the cards."
Yet still he's not quite ready to set adrift his cut-rate raft into the poorly-modeled CGI sea. While a Waterworld remake isn't likely to hit theaters, a Waterworld SERIES, Howe says, remains a possibility and something he has "talked about endlessly," cornering people at parties to explain how maybe there could be one episode where, like, Aqua-Costner thinks he's found Dryland, but then it turns out to be an active volcano, so he has to get off while it's exploding--kaBOOSH--but then there's this final shot where he looks back at the glowing lava and thinks how he at least got to stand on the volcano and feel the earth beneath his webbed feet, so there is still hope. Fade to black. That's probably the season finale.