Oh. Yeah, you have heard this before. About a year ago, when Fox gave the green light to Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who wrote and directed THE LEGO MOVIE and also directed a big screen version of Stephen Cannell’s 21 JUMP STREET, to film a pilot for a new take on THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO. We’ve heard nothing more since then about a script, or actors or anything.
It’s been a year and apparently a change in writers, but a casting director has now been hired to scout out some talent. Nathan Fillion expressed some interest in playing the lead during a Q&A session at Chicago’s Wizard World Comic Con back in August, 2015.
It’s also unclear if the concept has changed. Originally, it sounded like Ralph, Pam and Bill were NOT going to be rebooted, that it would be all new original characters; an inner city teacher named Issac would be the recipient of the suit. Now, based on the recent Deadline Hollywood article, the script written by Rick Famuyiwa (DOPE), “is the story of what happens when great power is not met with great responsibility. An ordinary man, completely content with being average, wakes up with a superpower suit he never asked for and has to deal with the complications it brings his life.”
Given Hollywood’s penchant for lampooning and doing parody’s of original shows, it really doesn’t sound encouraging.
It’s been talked about for years, as either a feature film or a new TV series, but FOX appears to be the latest player in the attempt to bring back Stephen Cannell’s GREATEST AMERICAN HERO. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who wrote and directed THE LEGO MOVIE and also directed a big screen version of Cannell’s 21 JUMP STREET, have apparently been given the green light to film a pilot for a new series. Based on the brief description provided by Deadline.com, it sounds like the characters will be all new and will not be reboots of Ralph, Pam and Bill respectively.
Despite the rather dismal track record for TV reboots, Hollywood keeps trying. We’ll reserve judgment on this one until the pilot episode actually sees the light of a TV screen.
Oh no, this was no April Fool’s joke. A military plane with a top secret gun sight is stolen in broad day light and the government is scrambling to find it and get it back before it ends up in enemy hands. But FBI Agent Bill Maxwell knows how to find it. All he needs is Ralph and the suit.
Except Ralph isn’t so willing to drop everything to go after some military hardware that, big deal, “can hit a beer can from five miles out.” After all, he’s got other plans. Pam’s parents are coming in for a visit, he’s supposed to meet Pam to pick them up at the airport, they’re going to dinner… We’re on the third episode of the show and this suit is damn inconvenient, Bill…
…for The Greatest American Hero episode “Saturday Night on Sunset Boulevard” which aired this date, April 8, 1981. When Bill fails his lie detector test he has to bargain his way back into the good graces of the bureau, with a little help from Ralph, Pam, the suit and Ralph’s students.
This episode establishes the highly entertaining and classic animosity between Bill and Carlisle. It can be assumed that William Bogart’s subsequent appearances on the show, with Carlisle’s promotion to Agent in Charge of the LA bureau and becoming Maxwell’s suffering boss, was due basically to this one scene.
Bill’s six month lie detector debriefing, however, does not go well…
To bargain his way back into the good graces of the bureau (and bury the failed lie detector test) Bill figures to find one of two missing people that the FBI are anxious to find. To do so, he’ll need some foot soldiers. Enter, Ralph’s students…
The Greatest American Hero episode “A Chicken in Every Plot” aired this date, February 17, 1982. Filmed on location in the Virgin Islands, a friend of Maxwell’s invites Bill down to a small island country in the Caribbean to help raise up a shipwreck. Only nobody wants the boat raised and Bill, along with Ralph, Pam and Ralph’s students find themselves mixed up in nasty local politics and deadly voodoo.
I can’t think of a better reminder that warmer weather is coming!
Maxwell’s assertiveness is legendary and the following scene is no exception. But when he learns of his friend fate, it literally stops him in tracks…
Ralph Hinkley (William Katt) is a young high school teacher who has been assigned to a remedial class made up of a group of misfits, Los Angeles’s answer to the Sweat Hogs. Ralph’s positive he can make a difference with the kids, but his first day proves that won’t be easy. In addition to that, Ralph has a personal issue to deal with – his ex-wife has filed for custody of their young son, Kevin.
When Ralph decides to take his students on a field trip, his life becomes even more complicated. In a diner somewhere near Palmdale, one of his students – Tony – mouths off to a patron who apparently looked at him cross-eyed. This particular patron, despite being “dressed like Archie Bunker going to church,” packs a .38 pistol and has no qualms about pulling the gun on Tony when Tony pulls a knife.
“If you’re looking for trouble, you’ve just come upon the West Coast distributor…”
Thus, we’re introduced for the first time to Bill Maxwell. He doesn’t think much of Ralph’s apology, rebuffs any further attempt by Ralph to smooth things over and they part ways, not knowing that their fates were soon to become intertwined.