Legendary TV’s Lost In Space, a remake of sci-fi master Irwin Allen’s 1965 cult TV classic, is headed to Netflix. I’ve learned that in a competitive situation, with multiple bidders, the streaming network has landed the project, which is being written with an eye toward a straight-to-series order.
The new Lost In Space is described as an epic but grounded science fiction saga focusing on a young explorer family from earth lost in an alien universe and the challenges they face in staying together against seemingly insurmountable odds. It hails from feature writers Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless (Dracula Untold) who executive produce with Kevin Burns of Synthesis Entertainment, as well as Neil Marshall and Marc Helwig of Legendary TV-based Applebox. Marshall is expected to direct.
Lost In Space has been a long-time passion project for Burns, founder and president of unscripted production company Prometheus (Kendra, The Curse of Oak Island). In 1999, Burns, along with Jon Jashni, formed Synthesis Entertainment, aimed at bringing new life to Allen’s creations with remakes and sequel projects. 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. Meanwhile, a feature adaptation was released in 1998 film written by Akiva Goldsman and directed by Stephen Hopkins. Burns had been working closely with Irwin’s widow, Sheila Matthews Allen. Since her death in 2013, he has been solely spearheading Synthesis’ efforts.
With Jashni as president and chief creative officer at Legendary, he and Burns reunited as the independent financing and production company . Sazama and Sharpless were attached as writers, with Neil Marshall and Marc Helwig coming on board as part of their first-look deal with Legendary TV. The four worked on the pitch that was taken out, landing at Netflix. Marshall and Helwig also exec produce and Marshall is directing Legendary TV’s USA Network drama pilot Poor Richard’s Almanack.
At Netflix, Lost In Space is said to be part of a push in the arena of big scale, four-quadrant family entertainment.
The 1965 series, set three decades 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 an enemy 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.
Lost In Space marked its 50th anniversary in September with release of Irwin Allen’s Lost In Space: The Complete Adventures on Blu-ray Disc, featuring all 83 episodes digitally remastered.