Comic-Con ’08: NBC Knight Rider Panel

Published 7 years ago by , Updated July 28th, 2008 at 10:23 pm,

knight rider industries Comic Con 08: NBC Knight Rider Panel

This morning I attended the Knight Rider Panel at Comic-Con 2008 in San Diego. The members of the panel showed up slowly throughout the scheduled hour, by no fault of their own. They had left L.A, with time to get here, but a big rig crashed in Oceanside, flipping over and bursting into flames.  The traffic backup was measured at 13 miles of bumper to bumper patience testing, so I was amazed anyone got there at all, and by the end of the panel everyonehad arrived.

The panel kicked off with Gary Scott Thompson and Paul Campbell (Billy from Battlestar Galactica) sitting in for everyone and they played a preview trailer for Knight Rider that had a strong cinematic feel to it and the audience reacted well to it.

If the trailer is any clue to how much Gary Scott Thompson has stepped up the show, we aren’t going to be disappointed.  As we’ve noted before, this reboot has nothing to do with the first 2-hour Knight Rider reboot that NBC aired last season so delete that from your memory reference banks all together.

gary scott thompson and paul campbell p Comic Con 08: NBC Knight Rider PanelItems of note:  Val Kilmer is back as the voice of KITT, the AI controlled super car, and it’s a good match.  It sounds good coming from the car.

The first clue to the nature of the re-reboot of the franchise is a scene where we watch Justin Bruening introducing himself as Michael Knight.

The fight choreography had the feel of a Bourne franchise fight scene.  (The cast has now been trained for fight scenes)

KITT has a complete transformation mode.  In a scene which the panel audience loved, Michael Knight jumps into the back of a black Ford F-150 which a few moments later, and after a whole bunch of body panels move around, reconfigures into the black Ford Mustang we all know. They touched on the fact that KITT has a battle mode (we didn’t see that), that we may be seeing an evil version of KITT, and the reintroduction of the turbo boost.  Yes, KITT will be jumping things again.  Thompson said that he’s read the media about the show and noticed that viewers missed the turbo boost.

knight rider panel p Comic Con 08: NBC Knight Rider Panel

Other points are that we’ll be seeing Thompson touch more on Michael’s military background.  They have a hi-tech “Batcave” of sorts for KITT that is just completely cool – and of course David Hasselhoff will more than likely NOT be seen in the show since Hasselfhoff has got a pretty busy schedule.

A side note: Thompson was asked about finalizing the character stories from Las Vegas.  The show was canceled at the close of last season on a cliff hanger.  He said he’d love to finish the story out to closure in some fashion, whether it be in a movie, webisode or what not, but bringing everyone together, like Josh Duhamel, what with their developing careers might be a tough one.

Knight Rider premieres on NBC this Fall.

UPDATE:  Earlier I had made the statement “Bruening is not playing David Hasselfhoff’s son, he’s playing the actual character from the original series.”  & “David Hasselhoff will more than likely NOT be seen in the show since Bruening is playing him

Some folk think I’m off on my extrapolations and I don’t blame them for it… it’s good to be curious about what is correct and what is not.  So I went back and rewatched the panel and here’s a collection of quotes from the panel that led me to make the previous statements:

  • There’s the preview clip where he introduces himself as Michael Knight.
  • Thompson said they’re “blowing up the mythology and making a new mythology“.
  • Michael knight is back, as you’ll see in the first episode.
  • Thompson addresses the preview by saying:

in the preview we just saw Justin say I’m Michael Knight,  in the 2 hour his name was Michael Traceur and obviously we’re doing something to take us back to the roots, the origins of this show.

I’ll let you folks be the judge on this one.

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  1. Yeah where did they hide the extra 1580 LBS the F-150 weighs inside the fat Mustang in Turbo Boost? Better strap on a few extra JATOs. :)

  2. F-150 eats Tundras C@#P! Mustangs! Yeah that’ll go over well.. Go ahead delete it I can’t help it..

  3. Yeah The Old Man, behold the Transformers effect.
    Bruce , Big Rig flipped over on the 5 fwy, burst into flames. ,,,, Welcome to Southern California pal!

    That happens once a week , if you watch the local news in the hotel, your sure to see a high speed chase before you leave. ;-)

  4. I know 790. It’s silly stuff. I’ve spent over 90% of my life in So Cal.

  5. F150 transforming to a Mustang? It reminds me of two things:

    1) The old Viper TV series.. it had an off-road mode, a Defender mode and a roadster mode.

    2) The Transformers movie. “Mass shifting”, anyone? Are we gonna see KITT’s nanotech “mass shifting” before Soundwave demonstrates it in ROTF?

  6. hmmm… I don’t get why it has nothing to do with the pilot or why he is playing the original guy and not his son. Are you sure on that one? Or could that just be a clip misinterpreted?

  7. If they’re really making the character Michael Knight and not his son, are they also going to drop the idea that the events of the original series occurred? No longer making this a sequel and instead making it a reboot, much like the new Battlestar Galactica was to the original?

    If so, it could work, especially if they start fresh and give us a new pilot story as the first episode.

  8. yes FlameStrike.

  9. I read the execs/producers just had a 4 hour lunch sitdown with the Hoff to talk about a guest starring role after the first 8 eps. I wonder if he is playing the original character or some other character (like Richard Hatch was in the new BSG)?…that would be a little far-fetched.

    I’m kinda hoping they pay due to the original series and base this 20 something years after like it actually is.

  10. Setting it after the original series, like the movie did, does bring some problems though, like the need to keep continuity with 4 years of the original series. I think the movie did a good job of that, but that could be difficult to maintain for a new series. So on that note, rebooting has a lot to recommend it. You have a clean slate, and no need to maintain continuity with anything but your own series.

    However, the problems I’m seeing here all come from the fact that they’re rebooting after the movie and keeping so much from the movie at the same time. They’re apparently keeping the characters and they’re keeping the car along with it’s technology.

    This leaves, however, a lot of unanswered questions, especially in terms of elements from the original series. With the Graimans and Rivai, are they going to have a need for a Devon Miles character? Did Wilton Knight have any role in creating the Foundation? If either of them do exist in the back story for this series, are either of them still alive? What about Michael Knight himself?

    Doing the reboot after the movie and keeping so much from the movie is bound to get confusing, especially with the movie’s stand alone DVD being canceled so it can be included with the first season DVD set next year. Depending on what gets thrown out to make it work, it could also alienate long time fans.

    As I said earlier, it could work, but the more I think about the situation, the more problems I see cropping up. I guess we’ll see how they handled them come September.

  11. i’m really looking forward to this series. i grew up on knight rider and saw the very first episode, on the very first night it came out (1983). i wouldn’t be surprised if KARR is a 2008 or 9 dodge charger (suped up of course).

    NUFF SAID *_*