Kevin Smith gets the Buck off Banzai series


Sounds like the recently-mooted “Buckaroo Banzai” TV series is as dead as the eat-in Pizza restaurant.

Those behind the original film version are apparently battling with MGM over the rights to the ’80s flick. As such, the TV series the studio was planning to do with Amazon, and filmmaker Kevin Smith, looks like it’s going to quietly go away.

Deal is, MGM filed a lawsuit against the original film’s writer Earl Mac Rauch and director W.D. Richter – who claim they have dibs – so they could officially go through with the series. Smith, never one for a punch-up, decided he’d rather jump ship than get into some big legal brouhaha.

Upon learning of THR‘s report, Smith posted the following on Facebook :

“My point is that I’m not going to court. I love the people at MGM. They’ve treated me insanely well all across this project with real credibility and stuff like that, like they thought I could do this show, even when I didn’t think I could. And the folks at Amazon have been lovely as well, but you gotta remember, there’s no production yet, no script has been turned in, I haven’t been paid a dime, no money has been really spent.

So, it’s not like we’re going to upend a lot of things, like this legal thing came out of nowhere. I did not know about this. I called up my agent and was like, ‘What the f–k is this?’…. I’m no longer involved. I don’t wish anybody harm; I wish all parties well. I hope these dudes come to an agreement, and if they do and they still want me involved down the road, I’ll be here. But why would they?”

While Smith says no money had been spent, he had put in a lot of time on putting the show together – he’s already mapped out the first two seasons of it.

Sounds to me like the studio didn’t do much snooping to see if anyone else, besides the lion, had to be legally contacted about any series. As such, the film’s original writer and director teamed up to piss flames on the show’s bonfire before it could really flare. It’s all about money, basically. Usually is.

Smith doesn’t need the work – he was simply a fan of the original 1984 flick and wanted to do something with it for television. Instead, he’ll probably just continue filling his calendar with directing gigs on shows like “The Flash”.

For the unversed, “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!”, is a 1984 American science fiction romantic adventure comedy about Dr. Buckaroo Banzai (Peter Weller_, a physicist, neurosurgeon, test pilot, and rock musician, to save the world by defeating a band of inter-dimensional aliens called Red Lectroids from Planet 10. It’s an odd beast, and did nothing financially-speaking, but has become somewhat of a cult hit. Apparently Smith was planning to use original co-star Clancy Brown in it somehow. But I guess all that’s been put on pause like a Facebook Mannequin challenge for the moment.