SyFy Developing New ‘Waterworld’ Series?

Published 2 years ago by

Kevin Costner and Jeanne Tripplehorn in Waterworld 1995 SyFy Developing New Waterworld Series?

If you were a movie fan growing up in the ’90s (as I was) then the name Waterworld still lives in infamy. Made for a reported $200+ million (an unheard of sum back in 1995), Kevin Costner’s passion project – which is basically The Road Warrior… set on a seemingly endless ocean – only made $88 million domestically ($264 million worldwide) and was widely considered one of the biggest bombs of that era.

Naturally, then, it makes sense that Syfy network and its parent company NBC Universal would want to resurrect the Waterworld property… right?

Jeff Bercovici over at Forbes dropped the news as part of an addendum to another article he’d written about NBC Universal and SyFy making a push into the video game market. Bercovici added that in addition to video games, Syfy is also trying to get into the movie game – and this is where we get first details on this Waterworld business.

The details are somewhat vague, but basically the article suggests that Syfy is actively exploring the idea of developing some kind of new project out of the Waterworld property, which (in this age where every idea seems to get recycled) has managed to remain idle since the ’90s. SyFy network president Dave Howe apparently started looking at the property when it was observed that the network’s airings of Waterworld were garnering large viewership (400,000 at last count). Naturally, an interested viewership within a niche channel (sci-fi lovers) and a property just sitting around waiting to be dusted off… you see where this is headed. Plus, NBC Universal owns the rights to the film, so this would essentially be a money-saving endeavor. And for that reason, don’t be too surprised if this actually leads somewhere. Question is: where to go?

Syfy Stargate SyFy Developing New Waterworld Series?

Could ‘Waterworld’ be the new ‘Stargate’ for SyFy?

Howe himself openly acknowledges that there is no room for a sequel film – but ideas for a TV series have been “talked about endlessly” and it is still a possibility. Too be honest, there is probably wiggle room to crank out a sequel – or trilogy – that follows the same character (played by Costner – or not) on the same water-covered world;  but it’s nice to hear that Howe isn’t interested in going that route.

However, a TV series could work in expanding SyFy’s viewership: the network took Stargate - another ’90s sci-fi movie that only had mild success – and revamped it into a franchise of shows that maintained a very dedicated cult following and plenty of merchandising dollars to go with it. There is no reason at all that – with some smart execution – SyFy couldn’t pull off a similar move with Waterworld, as the property is ripe for expansive exploration (read: many season of show), spin-off installments, prequel series, Web series tie-ins, etc. Could Waterworld be the new Stargate for the network?

waterworld l SyFy Developing New Waterworld Series?

To be fair, in the years since it was released, I’ve, personally, come to enjoy Waterworld. It’s not great – but it’s not as bad as The Postman, either; it has actors like Jeanne Tripplehorn and Tina Majorino – both of whom have gone on to have solid careers (Big Love!); not to mention the late (but still great) Dennis Hopper, chewing every piece of water-logged scenery he came in contact with. More than that, however: Waterworld was always a cool concept that never got done full justice (in many people’s opinions). A good TV show (we’re thinking ‘Lost with more water shots’) could change that.  

We’ll keep you updated on SyFy’s plans for Waterworld.

Source: Forbes

TAGS: Waterworld
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  1. no interest at all . that was the most boring kevin made. why waste money on a tv serie that doesnt make sense

    • I thought that “Mailman” or whatever it was called was worse.

      But I, like you, have no interest at all.

  2. I think this could be good. I am hopeful that if they do it they start long before but not too far after the majority of land has been swallowed up. I like the idea for revolution and it has a similar tone to what I think a Waterworld show would be like. The thing I don’t like about Revolution is I think they started too far after everything turned off. I think it would have been more interesting to slowly evolve the show with 5-10 year gaps between seasons to show the world come to the points of acceptance that would be necessary should we lose all electronics. The storyline about the “key fragment” (or whatever the hell that thing is)would still have worked but it could have went from person to person through series progression, eventually turning everything back on.

  3. On Syfy? Boring, it’ll be worse than the movie. They’ll just turn it into a movie about raptors with wings that battle sasquatches in a middle of a tornado.

    Which is bound to happen because that’s Syfy.

    • Wally, I am going to ask my my mom if she secretly had another Son and put him up for adoption without us knowing.

      Because I swear, we think :)

    • Yeah I came here to say pretty much the exact same thing. SyFy is awful. Make it go away.

    • Also Waterworld was, at the time, one of the costliest movies ever.

      Nowadays movies have become bad CGI-fest because “it’s cheaper than real SFX” but yet cost more than Waterworld did.

      The point being that if Siffy makes it, it will be with a super-small budget that can’t possibly do it what little justice it deserves.

  4. I’d rather they just reboot Man from Atlantis…

  5. As awful as Scifi (I refuse to call it SyFy) movies are, all their shows are pretty good. I’m interested to see where this goes. I always like to see something not fail.

    • I could not disagree more. I find all their shows as terrible as their movies. Alphas in particular is just awful (a different kind of awful but still awful).

  6. Well, as one of the few people who actually enjoyed Waterworld, this has some potential.

    • I thought waterworld had a lot of good ideas and enjoyed the movie. Admittedly it was mad max 2 on the ocean but was a good show none the less.

  7. If they were to *CONTINUE* to it, and not reboot it, then yeah, that’s okay. Either by sequel, or prequel. Because that was actually a pretty cool story despite how somewhat down it was.
    However, if it is a reboot, then just shut down the project NOW.
    I don’t know why the producers & directors just don’t get it through their thick skulls. That over all, Remake-Reboot-Rehash Flicks of any kind deserve absolutely NO respect nor admiration what so ever, because they are recycled material that either was better in the first time around, or was never that good to begin with. And either way in that, the clone or copy is never as well made as the original. the remake is never that great. It however may be good, but it will always be still (as expected in all remakes seen and made so far) worse than the original.
    Don’t get me wrong, I do not mind a remake once and a great while. But how it is now with one being shelled out every way too often, it’s all just grotesque banality.

    • To be honest, you can’t do anything other than a prequel because a reboot might seem strange and way too expensive and a sequel would either require an older actor playing The Mariner but seeming awkward in the water due to aging or focus on the people who found land with him (which would be boring frankly).

    • battlestar galactica was a reboot that was better than the original

      • I quite disagree with that. The original had, if nothing else, great camera work. The remake had the unwatchable shakycam used to disguise the paucity of the video images.

  8. Boring… And EXPENSIVE. Every single scene filmed out to sea either on top of or under the water. That’s expensive filming. On the plus side, their first sponsor could be Dramamine.

  9. They’re rebooting “Flipper”??

  10. Hm. The Sci-Fi channel took a failed tv series called Battlestar Galactica and made it a hit. They also took a so so movie called Stargate and made a hit series from it. Maybe they can do it a third time. It could be an interesting concept. Maybe add some underwater cities that war with the above water cities. There are possibilities.

    • Actually, the Galactica remake was never a hit. Siffy renewed it time and again to pretend it was a hit but it was little-watched.

      Siffy actually arguably lost what little remained of the excitement of having a dedicated SF channel when it kept pouring its meager resources into this utter failure.

      As for Stargate, also far less than an actual hit, and Showtime is the channel that adapted it (and let it go for lack of viewers).

      Both shows were paid for in part by foreign companies (how they got their money back remains a mystery) but in the U.S. neither show was a hit (being renewed these days really doesn’t mean you’re a hit as channels lie Siffy will renew anything that moves so they can pretend they’re doing great).

  11. I’m a fan, so this is good news to me.

  12. I really enjoyed Waterworld back in the day,
    same goes for Postman !

    Both are good movies.

    Just not sure about the TV Show !
    They should invest in Blood & Crome,
    or make
    Battlestar Galactica – The Second coming !

    • Ooh, no, The Postman was terrible considering the source material. I enjoyed the book but Kevin Costner was just wrong for the part.

      If you haven’t read the book I suggest you do, could have been made into a really good movie, or even a TV series. The Postman was just a really awful adaptation.

  13. BOOOO!!!

  14. I’m a massive Costner fan and love Waterworld, I enjoyed The Postman but see its flaws, I don’t really see how making a Waterworld tv series would work, filming at sea is highly expensive and a directors worst nightmare, that’s why we’ve had no Master and Commander sequal, plus the post apocalypse genre is already rather bloated right now, do we really need another mad max style tv show when we have a mad max movie on the way?!

    • They would not have to film at sea. Film has come a long way since the original water world. They have a lot more technology at their disposal.

      • I agree but judging by the SyFy channels history and budget allowance i can’t see that technology being much use here, unless special fx made on an etchasketch are still cutting edge

      • It’s like like Siffy even has the budget for semi-convincing CGI monsters. They wouldn’t be able to create convincing CGI seas with actor in them.

        I’m also not sure what you mean by “film has come a long way”. Today’s movies seem to cost twice as much as they’d have cost ten years ago and be ten times worse.

  15. The film’s character and plot arc didn’t really leave any room for further development, especially since the two hour running time seemed a little too long after eighty minutes of expositition, ten minutes of tacked on action then another ten minutes of Costner looking into th distance heroically trying to find that island he found five minutes later… Bring back Stargate Universe instead I definitely watch that.

  16. I’m sorry to be contrary, but SciFi had *nothing* to do with the creation of Stargate SG1 – they only grabbed it from Showtime after 5 seasons, which many would argue were the strongest of the run. Just saying…

  17. I’d rather see SeaQuest DSV make a return

  18. I say do it. SyFy needs to she’d their image as a D-movie network. They may as well create a series based upon an existing property of their own. If they’re doing the whole 90′s thing, why not a reboot of Van Damme movies like Hard Target, Timecop, or maybe even a weekly Darkman series?

    • Why not avoid anything even remotely original indeed….

    • Doing reboots is exactly what Siffy doesn’t need to do if it wants to shed its image.

      But I don’t think anyone at Universal/NBC realizes what a mess Siffy is. Bonnie Hammer has mastered the art of the press release and I think the higher-ups are still entirely snowed.

  19. This is the epitome of everything that is wrong about Siffy:

    A remake…

    Of a film generally regarded as a flop…

    Needing a huge budget that Siffy can’t possibly afford…

    Don’t hold your breath for Siffy to have something good on the air in the near future if they’re seriously thinking doing that ridiculous idea.

  20. can we please kill Sy-fy now… seriously, what the f-bomb is up with them. Waterworld, really?

    • That’s great advice. If you wanted a SF channel you couldn’t do worse than trying to salvage Siffy’s reputation. Better to start fresh.