Frank Miller To Hopefully Not Ruin ‘Buck Rogers’

Published 6 years ago by , Updated August 18th, 2013 at 5:48 pm,

Hot off the heels of directing his first feature film (c’mon, we all know that on Sin City he basically just got to sit next to Robert Rodriguez while he was directing) The Spirit, it looks like graphic novel writer extraordinaire Frank Miller has his eye on another comic project to write and direct. No, it’s not one of his own (how many does he have left that haven’t already been spoken for?) but rather an adaptation of the classic 1930′s newspaper comic strip Buck Rogers.

However Miller’s version will be a lot different than the original:

“Miller will write and direct his own big-screen take on the comic serial; while the creator has only begun to sketch ideas, it’s expected to be a darker take, with many of Miller’s signature visual elements and themes, such as corruption and redemption.”

Boy, I sure hope that “Miller’s signature visual elements,” doesn’t mean he’s just going to yet again use that stylized Sin City look. As far as I’m concerned it worked in Sin City (and therefore should obviously be kept consistent for those sequels) but after using it for The Spirit (which word around the net is it’s horrible) I think he’s employed it enough. It’s not the only style you can do that looks cool, Frank – how about trying something different?

The rights to the project are currently owned by Nu Image/Millennium, but Odd Lot is in the process of acquiring those rights so that they and Miller can go ahead with the project as planned:

“It’s likely to be a priority project for Miller, though he has been mulling a Sin City sequel.”

For any of you who may not be familiar with Buck Rogers, he began life as a character in two novellas by Phillip Francis Nowlan back in 1928. Then in the early 30′s became a long running newspaper comic strip. Since then the character has seen various (and wildly differing) incarnations – from a TV series done by ABC in the 50′s to another TV series and a feature film done by NBC in the late 70′s and early 80′s. The original story deals with space exploration, one story involving:

“…the space explorer as someone who woke up in the 25th century to find Earth destroyed and was then consigned to roam distant planets.”

buck rogers strip Frank Miller To Hopefully Not Ruin Buck Rogers

I’ve never been a follower of the original stories of Buck Rogers, but I’ve come across the comic strip from time to time and honestly I think it’d make for a good modern film.

I’m still willing to give Miller the benefit of the doubt when it comes to future projects even if The Spirit does turn out to be as bad as people are saying it is (although this might ultimately change the studio’s mind as to whether to even allow Miller get his hands on it). This is the guy who gave us the graphic novels Sin City and 300, so unless he makes error after error with his upcoming film projects I think we can give him a chance. However it’s looking like skill on the printed page may not necessarily translate to movie making skill.

Having said that, I’m going to go against the crowd and remain hopeful. I just know I’m going to be in the minority on this, but maybe he’ll be man enough to take the criticism and learn from it instead of saying “you just don’t UNDERSTAND my film!”

So what do you think of Miller adapting Buck Rogers? Do you think it will make a good modern movie or should it be left well alone?

Sources: The Hollywood Reporter and

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  1. I don’t know, if someone compares it to Battlefield Earth… That’s pretty serious stuff…

  2. Battlefield Earth, had a funny and satisfying ending…
    It actually wasn’t that bad if you want a hokey camp sci-fi-entology film… 8-)

  3. Um… I think my eyes were bleeding half way through that movie…

  4. I will give the film a shot.
    I will watch it whenit comes out on cable.

  5. When you get a race that’s part Klingon, part Ferengi, and standing on stacked boots, the word CRAP seems to stay in your mind. :-)

  6. Look, if you don’t like Frank’s style, that’s fine. Not liking someone’s style does not somehow make a work of art objectively “bad”. I freaking HATE The Royal Tenenbaums and most other Wes Anderson movies, but I am smart enough to know that they are not bad movies. I just don’t dig his style or subject matter. I find it extremely annoying. So if you don’t like Frank’s style, don’t watch his movies and don’t read his comics. Go watch and read something you like. I happen to have liked Frank’s style for 20 some years now, and I will be seeing this movie on opening day. The only way I will possibly dislike is if it is not in Frank’s style, and from the previews, it sure looks like it is. I am also a fan of Eisner’s comic, which is done in a completely different style. I am not expecting that on screen. I want a Frank Miller comic book on screen, and if that is what he delivers, I’ll be happy.

    Also, to this day I do not understand what people have against All-Star Batman and Robin, aside from Jim Lee being lazy and not drawing the thing on schedule. The dialogue is great, and the story, were it to progress at a decent clip, would be fine. The narrative flow is destroyed by the delays, but the delays are not Frank’s fault. The fanboys who can’t deal with an R-rated Batman can go back to mommy’s bosom.

  7. A movie that needs a reboot, re-imagine, a re-everything: thats Battlefield Earth!!

    I’ve read the book more than once. A very good story that continues long after the point where the movie ends!

    A mini-series on TV, with some very large amounts of CGI animation is the only way justice could be done to the visual imagery of the book.

    Of course the movie was so bad no one will touch for a long time to come. Too bad, ‘cuz it really is a good story!

  8. BTW Kahless;

    A real Psycho is described as: A ten foot, one ton, purple furred, orange glowing eyed monster!

    A “part Klingon, part Fearing, standing on stacked boots” version IS crap! Great description though. :)

    The only reason for such a cheap rendition of a Psycho is so we could see Travolta’s face!

  9. @Luke

    I really like Miller’s comic work – I just don’t think the guy knows how to direct a movie.


  10. vic -

    point. not everybody should direct movies. i’d much prefer if he stopped chasing the money and got back to the drawing board. from what i remember, some years ago frank said the next sin city GN would be about sin city in the 50s. i’m assuming that’ll never happen now, as he basically just did that with the spirit. ah well. perhaps now he’ll get out of hell A.

    but let’s not get too carried away with the battlefield earth comparisons. i got no more than 5 minutes into that movie before putting it back in the netflix envelope and sealing it. and i study (removed for the sake of paranoia) for a living! got to keep those religious loonies on the path!

    - luke

  11. Oooooooooooh Luke, the best part of Battlefield Earth was the last 5 min,,, ;-)


  12. You mean when the credits start rolling so you know the torture is over?

    Yah, I agree, I don’t think I sighed a bigger sigh of relief EVER…

    Don’t fall for it Luke, you’ve already suffered through 5 minutes of that, I consider you good for a purple heart. You have nothing to prove!

  13. Just consider all my comments as Spoilers one way or another, SR audience. :-)
    Ah come on Ken J, you didn’t feel a little (Turn on, Your Heart Light, As sung by Niel Diamond) when the main character teleported the volatile material to the alien homeworld causing it to be completely blown away ? I did,,,
    It made up for the Planet of the Apes, ripoff that Battlefield Earth was,,, and still is on dvd,,, try to find it used, ???

  14. I think there was too much brain damage at that point for me to even notice anything like that. I think my mind has blocked out that experience in order to save me from irreparable psychological problems. The only thing I remember is random imagery of John Travolta in dreads… Even that is scary to think about…

    Lol, I’m just messing with you 790, well, I’m telling the truth about how bad I felt the movie was, but whatever, you clearly have different tastes than I do if you didn’t try to claw your own eyes out while watching T3 or this film… Now that I think back, being able to write a review of the movie is so not worth sitting through them…

  15. Considering how unoriginal the 1979-81 Buck Rogers TV series was, I’m hopeful that Frank Miller can improve on it as the new Battlestar Galactica is on its original version. A new adaptation of Buck Rogers is long overdue. Miller’s talents may do the sci-fi hero justice.