Just over one week after it was revealed that filmmaker James Gunn will be writing and producing a Starsky and Hutch reboot, the project has finally found itself a home. Amazon Studios has won the rights to this project in a competitive bidding situation, issuing a script-to-series commitment for the show. This means that if the script, written by James Gunn, his brother Brian Gunn and his cousin Mark Gunn, meets Amazon Studios' standards, they will issue a straight to series order, completely bypassing the pilot phase. Here's what Joe Lewis, Amazon head of comedy, drama and VR, had to say in a brief statement about the series.
"Chekhov said if you have a gun in the room, it's going to go off. We can't wait to see what three Gunns do with Starsky and Hutch."
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that this show will be a co-production between Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television, and will mark the first foray into television for James Gunn's Troll Court Productions. Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn will write the pilot script, based on an idea that James Gunn developed between writing Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and starting pre-production on the new movie. The Gunn brothers will all executive produce alongside Neal Moritz, whose production company Original Film has an overall deal with Sony Pictures Television. The writer/director/producer issued a statement on his James Gunn Facebook after the news broke. Here's what he had to say below about his connection to the series in the first half of his statement, revealing it will be a continuation of the original series.
"You may have just read the news that I'm doing a version of Starsky & Hutch over at Amazon, producing alongside Neal Moritz with Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn writing. Well... When I was a kid, Starsky & Hutch was the first "adult" show I ever saw, and I fell in love. It instilled in me a lifelong love of gritty street shows, of killer 70's threads, and muscle cars. So when Neal, the producer of the Fast and Furious franchise, asked me if I wanted to be a part of an all new Starsky and Hutch on TV, I was instantly intrigued. So I considered it. For me, as so many of you know, I can't become involved with something unless I really love and am committed to the project. So I started writing down some outlandish ideas for how we would handle Starsky and Hutch today - ideas that would be exciting and different and not at all what people expect. This would NOT be a reboot or a remake, but a continuation of the original series that would deconstruct the buddy cop show in a fun way. Like Guardians of the Galaxy did with the space opera, it would honor the genre while turning it inside-out. And it would definitely not be a spoof like the 2004 Starsky & Hutch movie, it would be gritty and driven by both characters and high stakes. I came up with a lot of wild ideas, things I can't go into quite yet, but stuff that got me excited about the prospect of creating a TV show."
The Hollywood Reporter's update also reveals that James Gunn may direct the pilot episode of this new series, if his schedule will allow it. Sony Pictures Television controls the rights to the original TV series and will produce the series along with the writers and Neal Moritz's Original Film, which is also producing The Boys for Seth Rogen and Cinemax. While Warner Bros holds the film rights after producing the 2004 reboot, Sony Pictures Television was the worldwide distributor for the original series and retains the TV rights. Here's what James Gunn had to say in the rest of his statement.
"So I sent my ideas off to Neal and the guys and, instead of balking at the twists of it all, they fully embraced my vision and were excited by it. So Neal and I got the two writers I trusted most in the world to work with us, my brother Brian Gunn (co-creator of our PG-Porn web series) and my cousin Mark Gunn. They took my nascent ideas and ran with them, creating a complex storyline we're all crazy about. Out of all the places that wanted to finance the pilot script, we chose Amazon. At Amazon I believed we would have the most freedom to create something that is different, challenges the audience, and that strays outside the parameters of genre from time to time. I also have quite a few filmmaker friends who have been working with Amazon lately, and what sets them apart from most of the other friends I have working in TV is that they love them. So, yes, I AM working on Starsky & Hutch for Amazon: I couldn't be more excited, and I can't wait for you guys to see what we come up with. Striped Tomato forever! Stay tuned! The details: This is the first foray into television for my production company, Troll Court Entertainment. Sony Pictures TV is behind the show, and Brian, Mark, and I will executive produce alongside Neal Moritz, whose Original Films has an overall deal with Sony TV. The company's head of TV, Pavun Shetty, is also executive producing. The original series was created by William Blinn and produced by Spelling-Goldberg, airing on ABC from 1975 to 1979. It starred Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul as Starsky & Hutch as they protected the streets of the fictional and awesome Bay City."
If this new series is a continuation of the original, then it's possible that original stars Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul will return as the original title characters. While no official story details have been revealed, it's possible that this Starsky and Hutch Reboot will follow the sons of the original Starsky and Hutch, who become cop partners in their own right, but that's only speculation, based on James Gunn's statement that this will be a continuation of the original series. Neal Moritz's Original Film is also working with Amazon Studios on a Galaxy Quest reboot, although it isn't clear how far along that project is. Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn have previously created the PG Porn web series and they have also written the screenplays for Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Bring It On Again and the upcoming Jupiter's Legacy and Journey 3: From the Earth to the Moon.