Let's just say you accidentally fell into some suspended animation in 1981 from an unexplained scientific phenomenon that induced hibernation, and you wake up 40 years later in 2021 because, let's face it, none of us will be around in the 25th century. You find out there is not one but two possible Buck Rogers adaptations in the works Hollywood is developing. While Legendary and George Clooney are working on one for television, Skydance is developing their own, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Buck Rogers in Pop Culture
Skydance's working with the estate of Philip Francis Nowlan, who created the character in 1928. Buck Rogers was an airman who found himself trapped in suspended animation only to be awoken 500 years later in a world he no longer recognized. Nowlan's work was adapted across several media from serials, radio, comics, film, and television. The most popular and recognizable version is the 1979 NBC series developed by Glen A. Larson (Battlestar Galactica) and starring Gil Gerard as the title character making Buck an astronaut in addition to an Air Force pilot. Anthony Rogers was the original incarnation before the show changed it to "William."
While THR reports some of Nowlan's work fell under the public domain, his estate filed a cease-and-desist letter to Legendary on their project. When asked for clarification, an attorney from Nowlan's estate wrote, "Buck is not in Armageddon (2419 A.D); Anthony is a different character." Armageddon 2419 A.D. is the character's first appearance. While THR claims there hasn't been dedicated origins to Buck and most assumed Anthony is Buck. Legendary provided their response to the letter. "We have secured the rights we need to proceed with our project, and the company will not comment any further on these baseless claims. This same party has been claiming for years that they have rights which they do not have and have been trying to inhibit projects based on rights they do not legally control. Regardless of what's happened, there's no one currently attached to the Skydance project, whereas Legendary and Clooney's project has Brian K. Vaughn attached to write.