'Knight Rider' Movie Speeds Back Into Development With James Wan

Knight Rider is one of those properties Hollywood can’t seem to ever fully shake. The notion of a crime fighter using an artificially intelligent, technologically advanced car is evidently just too enticing to let comfortably settle into the ether of ’80s nostalgia, and for the past decade, studios have been trying to make a Knight Rider movie.

But after several false starts, a new version is now in the works. Aquaman and Saw director James Wan‘s Atomic Monster production company has teamed up with Spyglass Media Group to jump-start a feature film adaptation of the popular TV series.

Deadline reports that a new Knight Rider movie is in the works, based on the series which ran on NBC from 1982 through 1986 and launched actor David Hasselhoff to stardom. Glen A. Larson created the original series, which followed a police detective named Michael Knight who fought crime with the aid of KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand), a high-powered Pontiac Firebird that was basically indestructible. The car could talk – it had the voice of William Daniels, who you might best know as the guy who played Mr. Feeny on Boy Meets World – which, decades before cell phones and GPS tech became commonplace, was still a concept that belonged in science fiction.

Deadline says this new movie version will be set in the present day and “will maintain the anti-establishment tone of the original.”

T.J. Fixman is writing the screenplay. He’s written six Ratchet and Clank video games and helped write the script for the 2016 movie adaptation, and also has credits on games like Resistance 2 and Overstrike. Deadline says he’s written several movie scripts that have been sold but not produced yet, including Brotherhood of Magic to MGM, One Night On the Hudson to Universal Pictures, and Men Who Kill to Fox with The CW superhero guru Greg Berlanti producing and Michael B. Jordan set to star.

Last we heard, a comedic Knight Rider movie was being crafted with John Cena and Kevin Hart in mind, much to the chagrin of Hasselhoff himself, who wanted Robert Rodriguez to direct him in a serious, Logan-style drama. In 2008, a made-for-TV Knight Rider movie served as a backdoor pilot for a relaunched version of the show, but it was so poorly received that it only lasted for one season.

My big question: does anyone aside from middle-aged studio executives who grew up with the show actually still care about Knight Rider? The younger generation almost certainly doesn’t know what it is, and if you tell them, “It’s about a guy who fights crime with his car,” they’ll probably roll their eyes and says it’s just a ripoff of Batman. Here’s hoping James Wan can get people to give a shit about this property again.

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