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 enjoyed the 80’s series with Gil Gerard and I, too, would give Miller his chance.

  2. BIDDEE, BIDDEE, BIDDEE…Thanks Buck, I like that series too Kahless but I bought the entire collection on DVD a few years back and it’s replay value was not good at all…Seems my nostalgia overtook my sense of taste in good TV when I was 10 years old..

  3. @Greenknight

    I’m finding that “nostalgia over substance” is becoming a recurring theme amongst my favorite shows from yesteryear.

    So I guess we’ll get a heavy dose of Black & white images with Bucks space suit staying red, right?

    @Vic and crew
    Any timeframe for a Spirit review here on “The Rant”?

  4. Here’s the deal on a review of The Spirit: There are two major companies that handle pre-screenings of movies – and at the moment I only have a relationship with ONE of them. I’m going to try to get the other one on the phone today because I’m missing out on a lot of screenings.

    And since this opens on Christmas, I won’t be seeing it that day so my review will be pretty delayed, unfortunately. In any case I’m hearing that it is uttter CRAP. Like “Battlefield Earth” bad. I’ve thought so ever since I saw the Comic-Con footage and first trailer.


  5. Oh no, not “Battlefield Earth” bad! If “The Spirit” is that bad, I may have to re-evaluate whether I agree with Miller directing Buck.

  6. “Battlefield Earth” bad? Oh pardon me while I throw up…

    Miller can pen up a good story, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t mind him doing that for Buck Rogers at all, and would be quite interested in seeing how he thinks it should change.

    Just… for the love of God… keep Reeves away from this one. Is that too much to ask?

    Oh wait, I know… Wil Smith! 😛

  7. “And since this opens on Christmas, I won’t be seeing it that day”


  8. The Spirit looks HORRIBLE and I would like to keep Miller AWAY from Buck Rogers! Why the heck does Buck Rogers need to be a dark film?? Good God, is EVERY film now going to be like The Dark Knight??? WTF???

  9. Oh boy. I LOL’d at this. If he effed up the Spirit you know his Buck Rogers is gonna tank. Seriously, Frank Miller was a COMIC BOOK GUY – and he screwed up a comic book adaptation. Of course, his recent comic book work (All Star Batman & Robin) has been terrible too. I’ve been very dissappointed with everything I’ve seen from The Spirit. I’m not at all surprised at the reviews. Hopefully Buck Rogers at least won’t be done in the same “Sin City” style.

  10. Sounds good to me,,,
    Hope they get Gary Colman in there reprising his role as Hieronymous Fox.

    Damn I really want this! 😉

  11. robocop 2 and 3, anyone?


  12. Did Miller do RObocop 2 Heath or just the third film?

  13. I wont go near The Spirit unless it gets a good review from Vic.
    themes of corruption n and redemption?
    It doesnt sound like Miller understands Buck Rogers either .

  14. All I care is who plays Wilma.
    Get that wrong and I’m upset.

    Although who can compare to Erin Gray in shiny catsuits!

  15. Erin Grey was a highlight of the 80’s series. Frank Miller, on the other hand, can’t direct an accident.

  16. Frank Miller should get behind the next Robo-Cop movie!!!

  17. So I’m assuming you guys want a Robocop reboot? Where are the (I hate reboot ppl?)
    Frank Miller a Hack? Ju r loco!

  18. Oh, Frank Miller is most definitely NOT a hack – but being a great comic book writer doesn’t automatically make you a great movie director.

    In regards to Robocop, we really need to do an update on that… I know there’s been news on it recently.


  19. I just thought of something – is it just me or does Miller look like Freddy Krueger/Robert Englund in that photo in the main post? No?…

  20. Vic , I regretted using the word hack as soon as I sent the message .
    But i think it would be better for Miller to stick to comics .

  21. Frank Miller is a great director,,,!

  22. @790

    Based on what?


  23. RoboCop 2 ,and Sin City,,, 😉
    If I recall most ppl liked 300,,,?
    I’d like to hear anyones comments on why Robo2 sucks,!
    And Sin City was his best…

  24. He didn’t direct Robocop 2 and had a co-director credit on Sin City, which was REALLY directed by an experienced Robert Rodriguez. He also did NOT direct “300.”

    He had writing credits on all those but a good writer does not necessarily equal a good director (as it seems “The Spirit” will prove in spades).


  25. Holy crap your right Vic!
    Hmm my hard-drive isn’t what it used to be… :-)

    Well I still don’t think Miller is a hack writer… 😎

  26. while I Still regret the use of the term Hack
    I was referring to my doubts in him as a director
    I taklked about his work on The spirit and his potential work on Buck Rogers
    I never criticized his writing skills.

  27. Director/ Writer?,,,
    I have a feeling even with all the negative internet buzz, The Spirit is going to have some decent B.O. business…

    I think the trailers suck on this, let’s give the film a shot,,, ?