In 1999, the sci-fi comedy Galaxy Quest was released in theaters to critical acclaim and became a commercial hit ($90.6 million worldwide gross on a $45 million budget). Its fans appreciated the heartfelt and humorous spoof on classic TV series like the original Star Trek – and thought that it offered rollicking genre entertainment to boot. With a cast of colorful and memorable characters like Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen), Gwen DeMarco (Sigourney Weaver), as well as Alexander Dane (Alan Rickman) and a premise seemingly built for sequels, it’s a little surprising a follow-up never came to fruition.
But those who have never given up (and never surrendered) on the hope that they would one day get to see more Galaxy Quest will definitely enjoy today’s news. Though a second movie still seems kaput at this time, the property will be getting a second lease on life for the small screen. By Grabthar’s hammer, by the suns of Worvan, Paramount is developing a Galaxy Quest television series.
Variety broke the story, saying that the movie’s original creative team are in negotiations to take the concept to TV. This includes co-writer Robert Gordon, director Dean Parisot, and executive producers Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein. This development is a continuation of Paramount’s new trend to adapt their film library to television. Other projects in this vein include the School of Rock series and a pilot based on Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report.
It is unknown at this juncture what the storyline for the proposed program would be. In the movie, Galaxy Quest was its own TV show about a group of space explorers who sought out strange new worlds (again, like Star Trek). In all likelihood, it wouldn’t be surprising if this real-life series followed a similar format, only with more humor than its spoofed titles. We wouldn’t expect the original film cast to return (perhaps only in cameos), as Paramount probably wants younger thespians (and a smaller casting budget) should Galaxy Quest warrant multiple seasons over an extended period of time.
In fact, that would be a funny way to tie the two together. Perhaps the first season could be about producers looking to reboot Galaxy Quest with a new cast, who have to deal with the ever-critical opinions of fans as they try to escape from the overbearing shadow of those who came before. It’s purely speculation on our part, but that would be a nice, meta way to acknowledge the history of the franchise and the challenges of revitalizing it, especially since many long desired for the fan-favorite film cast to go on more adventures.
As the list of reboots and remakes continues to grow, some may scoff at the notion of bringing back something like Galaxy Quest, but there are plenty of reasons to be excited about its potential quality. Behind-the-scenes at least, the series is in strong hands. In the years after the film, Johnson and Bernstein went on to become major players on the TV circuit, with credits that include Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. That’s a nice résumé to have. It will be interesting to see who they cast, but they should know who’d be a good fit for this universe.
Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not a given Galaxy Quest will be on your TV screens in the near future. Everyone involved is still “in talks,” meaning that there’s a chance things fall through and this project never sees the light of day. Hopefully, things can be finalized shortly. Galaxy Quest has always been something viewers wanted to see more of, and if we can’t get a new movie, this is the next best thing.
The pieces are there for this love-letter to geek culture to become the next hit TV show.
We’ll keep you updated on Galaxy Quest as more information becomes available.