In January 1990, a rather unlikely horror/action franchise was born. Tremors centered on Valentine “Val” McKee (Kevin Bacon) and Earl Basset (Fred Ward), two blue-collar handymen residing in the small mountain town of Perfection, Nevada. Their day-to-day lives had grown so tiresome the duo decided to hit the highway, only to discover on their way out that Perfection is now under siege by giant carnivorous monsters known as Graboids. These subterranean beasts use seismic vibrations to find and then make snacks out of multiple residents, eventually forcing Val, Earl, and a small group of survivors — including armed-to-the-teeth survivalist Burt Gummer (Michael Gross) — into a life-or-death situation where the only safe move is to get to higher ground.
Despite Tremors’ decidedly B-movie premise, the film was a hit with both critics and audiences, bringing in nearly $50 million worldwide on a roughly $10 million budget and receiving high marks for its blend of humor and horror. That positive profit margin led to a series of four direct-to-video follow-ups, with the most recent installment arriving on shelves earlier this year. Bacon declined to return for any of the sequels, while Ward came back for the second film. From the third film on, Gross’ gun-toting character took the reins, including headlining a short-lived Syfy TV series.
With all that in the rear view mirror, it’s not entirely surprising that horror super producer Jason Blum is preparing to once again bring the Tremors franchise back to the small screen. This time though, an unexpected guest is returning to Perfection, Nevada for the first time since 1990: Kevin Bacon. According to EW, Bacon (The Following) is set to not only executive produce the series but also reprise his lead role of Val McKee. The script for the project will be penned by Andrew Miller (The Secret Circle). Multiple networks have reportedly expressed interest in the proposed series, although a particular outlet has yet to be officially attached.
Now that Kevin Bacon is officially back in the Tremors fold, fan speculation will likely turn to the supporting members of the series’ cast. Fred Ward has quietly carved out a long career for himself since Tremors, with his most recent work being a stint on HBO’s True Detective. With how often Ward books recurring parts on TV, it’s not at all hard to imagine him coming aboard if Blumhouse offers him a role.
As for Gross, the ex-Family Ties star has long been the only consistent element of the Tremors franchise, and there’s really no logical reason why that can’t continue going forward. For one, many Tremors devotees have become so attached to Burt Gummer that they can’t imagine Perfection without him. Casting Gross would be an easy way to make sure that the diehards who’ve stuck around for every sequel come back yet again. Of course, if they really want to delight Tremors fans, Blumhouse might want to look into bringing back Reba McIntyre as Burt’s now-ex wife Heather. That would sure be a blast from the past.
One other aspect to consider is just how the infamous Graboids will be brought to life this time around. In past interviews, Bacon has expressed his affection for the practical monster effects used in the original Tremors film, and with him producing it would at first seem likely that more Graboid puppets are in fans’ future. Unfortunately, the effects budget for the average TV show still isn’t that high, and the cost of building and maintaining practical Graboids might prove cost prohibitive. Whichever route producers choose, the world is soon due for a return trip to Perfection, Nevada, and Tremors fans everywhere have reason to rejoice.
The Tremors TV series is in early development, and has no current premiere date.