Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Wild Wild West Returns to Television!

This news is a little old, but I wanted to post about it anyway because I have a feeling it's going to be big. Deadline.com is reporting that former CSI executive producer/co-showrunner Naren Shankar and Battlestar Galactica developer/executive producer Ron Moore are planning on rebooting the Wild Wild West for CBS. This is very good news, if you have seen Moore's new version of Battlestar Galactica you know that he can reinvision a property in a very new and interesting way! I hope he brings this much love to The Wild Wild West.

Long time readers of the Emporium know that I have a love/hate relationship with the film version of Wild Wild West. It should have been an amazing film. It had the chance to not only redefine Western Steampunk, but to be the pioneering film for new generation of Weird Western films. In many ways its gorgeous look at and the amazing machines might have saved it from being totally forgotten. The humor, for the most part, fell flat on its face and making the main villain, Arliss Loveless, a racist just made him incredibly uninteresting. He had plenty of motivation for destroying the United States without being a cartoon stereotype also...but one thing the film did do right is lay the groundwork for what a great Wild Wild West TV show could look like!

I hope Moore and Shankar take their cue from the film in terms of design and fantastic Steampunk machines, and put the humor and story into the capable hands of good writers.

Until then however, HERE is the original story at Deadline.com. I will be following it very closely, so expect to hear more when I do!


Cory Gross said...

*fingers crossed*

I'm perhaps a bit easier on Wild Wild West the movie. I used to hate it back in the day, but I've lightened up and accept that it's gorgeous and braindead summer entertainment. I have it in a two-pack DVD with Maverick, which is also enjoyable for the same reasons. I kind of felt the same way about Tombstone (which only started to annoy me with the fifth riding-and-shooting montage in the denoument, and the lolworthy "NNNOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!1!").

Otherwise, the only Westerns I have on my DVD shelf are Roy Rogers films and The Phantom Empire. in light of this, I think I'm more concerned with Westerns, weird or otherwise, being enjoyable than in being good ^_^

I hope that, if the new Wild Wild West show is not good, at least it is enjoyable.

Paul Green said...

The fact the lead character worked for the President ruined the original series for me. The West is about the independent spirit - not a D.C. government agent.
I liked the sci-fi and steampunk elements but it was often too campy for my taste.
I agree with Cory to an extent in that Weird Westerns should be fun to watch. But it depends on what we define as fun. My main criteria for enjoying any Weird Western is that is has an authentic Western feel to it. The Wild Wild West often felt nearer to Batman than a Western.
I wish the new Wild Wild West well. The progress in special effects since the 1960s can only help it. The chemistry between the actors may be the defining factor in its success or failure.

Ashe said...

I'm going to reserve judgment on this til it's out. I never saw the original and the movie only looks good. Will Smith was basically playing himself and there was a severe lack of wild west. The movie makes for a good intro to steampunk though.

This could be good. It could also suck and pull a Jonah Hex. (And thank god for the dc showcase Hex short making up for that.)