EXCLUSIVE: A 1980s pop culture mainstay is plotting a comeback. AMC Networks is developing a Max Headroom drama series reboot, with Matt Frewer set to reprise his role as the world’s first artificial intelligence TV personality. Halt and Catch Fire co-creator Christopher Cantwell is writing the adaptation and is attached as showrunner for the project, which is produced by Elijah Wood and Daniel Noah’s SpectreVision and All3Media.
Known for biting commentary, quick wit and manic glitching, the supposedly computer-generated TV host played by Frewer was first introduced in the 1985 British cyberpunk TV movie Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future. He became an instant pop culture phenom and went on to host a music-video show, star in ads for New Coke, appear on the cover of Newsweek and headline his own primetime series. Max Headroom aired on ABC for two seasons from 1987-88. At that point, the character’s massive popularity started to wane, but he has remained a cult favorite with frequent pop culture references, on shows including BoJack Horseman and Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and in Selena Gomez’s music video for “Love You Like a Love Song,” among many others.
Cantwell, Frewer and Lisa Whalen executive produce the reboot with SpectreVision’s Wood and Noah.
This marks a return to the 1980s and AMC for Cantwell, who co-created, executive produced and co-showran the network’s PC revolution drama series Halt and Catch Fire with Christopher C. Rogers. He most recently executive produced sci-fi drama series Paper Girls ,which debuts today on Prime video.
Run by partners Wood and Noah, SpectreVision, which focuses on genre-bending content, is behind such films as Mandy, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and The Greasy Strangler.
Frewer is managed by Gilbertson Entertainment.
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