The Robinsons are heading back to outer space. I’ve learned that Legendary TV has put in development Lost In Space, a remake of sci-fi master Irwin Allen’s 1965 cult TV classic. Feature writers Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, who penned Dracula Untold, which opens tonight, have signed on to write the adaptation. The two will executive produce with Kevin Burns of Synthesis Entertainment, who holds the rights to the original series though Space Prods. Inc, which he exclusively manages and represents. At Legendary TV, the project is being overseen by EVP Peter Johnson.
The 1960s series, set 30 years into the future (1997), revolved around an attempt by the U.S. to colonize deep space by sending a single family, the Robinsons, on a 5 1/2-year journey to another planet. But a foreign secret agent, Dr. Zachary Smith, sabotages the mission, causing the ship to veer off course and become lost in space. Above, watch the show’s opening credits to the theme music by John Williams, who would go on to score the biggest space opera of all time, the Star Wars movie franchise.
The original series aired on CBS for three seasons and ended its run after 83 episodes over a combination of softening ratings and rising costs. It was produced by 20th Century Fox, which continues to syndicate the existing episodes but does not hold rights or have any underlying ownership in the franchise.
I hear Lost In Space has been a passion project for the Legendary Entertainment leadership. It reportedly was one of the titles that the first incarnation of Legendary TV as a pod at Warner Bros TV tackled, and speculation was that the frustration over not being able to get the redo off the ground contributed to Legendary’s decision to shut down the TV division and relaunch it in a bigger way last year as an independent company with Bruce Rosenblum at the helm.
Burns, along with Jon Jashni, formed Synthesis 15 years ago to bring new life to Allen’s creations. The company first tried reviving Lost In Space at NBC as a telefilm, but that project went away following the death of original co-star Jonathan Harris, who played Smith. During the 2003-04 season, a reboot of the series landed at the WB in a bidding war, where it went to pilot written by Doug Petrie and directed by John Woo but did not move to series. The series previously had a movie adaptation with the 1998 film written by Akiva Goldsman and directed by Stephen Hopkins.
Sazama and Sharpless are coming off rebooting another famous property for Legendary on the film side, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with Dracula Untold, which is being released by Universal Pictures. The writers, repped by ICM Partners, manager Sophy Holodnik and attorney Mitch Smelkinson, are currently working on another tentpole movie, the 2016 Gods Of Egypt.