David Ellender’s Slingshot Global Media is developing a reboot of the 1960s action drama series Route 66, which the company will produce and distribute. Search is underway for a writer to write the project, which is executive produced by Kirk Hallam (Finding Rin Tin Tin).
The remake will build on the original concept, chronicling the journey of two young adventurers traveling through the Heartland of America in their cool sports car, encountering people from all walks of life and exploring the social problems and changing mores of the time. The premise lands itself to product placement for a sports car manufacturer — the original series featured the main characters, played by starred Martin Milner and George Maharis, driving the Chevy Corvette and helped establish the car as an American classic.
“The original series was hugely popular not only in the U.S., but also internationally, and we thought this could be a great concept to reformulate for the modern era,” said Slingshot Global Media CEO David Ellender. “The premise is the same, but the United States is a different landscape than it was 50 years ago and we can’t wait to explore the multitude of diverse social issues confronting the nation today.”
Co-created by producer Herbert B. Leonard (Rin Tin Tin) and Oscar-winning screenwriter Stirling Silliphant (In The Heat Of The Night) as an offshoot from Naked City, Route 66 aired on CBS from 1960 to 1964, producing 116 episodes. Notable guest stars included Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, James Caan, Ron Howard, Burt Reynolds, and Martin Sheen. Here is some footage from the show set to its popular instrumental theme music composed by Nelson Riddle.
“In our remake of Route 66, we hope to recapture the classic American storytelling that characterized the original series, but infuse it with more high octane action and contemporary social and political conflicts,” Hallam said.
LA-based Slingshot, which has financial backing from private investment firm TPG Growth, was launched in February by former FremantleMedia topper Ellender. It has since teamed with Keanu Reeves on its first series, Rain, based on the best-selling book series by Barry Eisler, which Reeves is set to star in and executive produce. It also has paired with Reeves on New Angeles, the virtual reality drama series that Roland Emmerich will direct and exec produce.
Slingshot also recently inked a non-exclusive venture with EuropaCorp to co-develop and co-finance two “globally appealing” projects a year.