On January 1st 1989, while the New Year Eve’s hoopla was dying down and the drunks were sleeping it off in the alleys, thousands of teenage boys across the country were sitting in front of their TVs anxiously waiting for the best show ever to make its debut. I was one of those boys, and I was waiting to watch American Gladiators, a show that would forever change the face of reality television.
Now I know what you are thinking: “I always wished I could see that show on the big screen.” Well the Hollywood mind readers have invaded your thoughts and will be doing just that!
I still remember the first time I watched American Gladiators: Lights began to strobe, muscles were flexed and leotards stretched passed their breaking points as the Gladiators were introduced: Zap, Nitro, Malibu, Lace, Gemini, Sunny! It was a steroid laced, skimpy leotard dream come true. And that dream would continue the next Sunday and every Sunday after for the next 8 years. Sure, the day of the week changed a couple of times and the gladiators would change often, but nothing could change that feeling of euphoria that was felt across America on that very first Sunday.
The creator of American Gladiators, Johnny Ferraro, is the one giving the show its first big screen treatment. Sunset Pictures is funding the development and Scott Mednick, former Legendary Pictures chief marketing officer, will co-produce the picture with Ferraro, Martin Guigui and Joe Allegro.
Mednick is no stranger to producing high profile movies. He has producing credits on 300, Superman Returns and the buzz-worthy Where the Wild Things Are. Mednick is also currently working on the next Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles project.
Mednick says “I look forward to creating a compelling story that launches a whole new set of characters.”
Originally, American Gladiators was supposed to be a movie but somewhere along the way it “took a detour and became a TV phenomenon,” says Ferraro. Currently, there is no writer attached to the project but it’s likely that Ferraro will contribute. The movie is tentatively slated for a 2010 release date but that most likely will be pushed back.
There is definitely a market for this film because the show has been on air for almost 20 years and was relaunched in 2008 with Hulk Hogan as the host. As long as it doesn’t turn out like Rollerball, I think this may actually have a shot at being fun to watch.