Kiefer Sutherland and Boyd Holbrook will star in a remake of The Fugitive for streaming service Quibi. The original Fugitive was of course a TV show that ran from 1963 until 1967, and was later remade as a film starring Harrison Ford. Both series and show focused on the character Dr. Richard Kimble and his efforts to clear his name after being wrongfully accused of the murder of his wife.
The TV show starred David Janssen as Kimble, and also included the character Lt. Gerard (Barry Morse) who pursued the titular fugitive as he set about trying to capture his wife’s real killer, the infamous One-Armed Man (Bill Raisch). The show was indeed popular throughout its run, and its final episode, which finally resolved Kimble’s search for justice, drew a then-record 78 million viewers. The 1993 film pairing Ford’s Kimble with Tommy Lee Jones’ Gerard also proved very successful, grossing $368 million worldwide while nabbing 7 Oscar nominations including Best Picture, with Jones winning for Best Supporting Actor.
Over 50 years after the show left its indelible stamp on TV history, and over 25 years since the movie revival, The Fugitive is returning again as a streaming series at Quibi. Sutherland and Holbrook head up the cast (via Variety), with Sutherland playing Detective Clay Bryce and Holbrook playing the fugitive Mike Ferro. 24 director Stephen Hopkins has been tapped to helm the project, reuniting him with Sutherland.
In the new series’ re-worked storyline, Ferro’s family is on a subway train that falls victim to a terrorist bombing, and through a bizarre set of circumstances fueled by faulty evidence and bad journalism, Ferro himself comes to be accused of the crime. In true Fugitive fashion, Ferro must go on the run to clear his name, with legendary detective Bryce in pursuit.
Set to debut in 2020, the Quibi mobile streaming service was founded by former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, and the new company is aggressively pursuing projects featuring big name talent, with an eye toward having 7000 pieces of content available at launch. Recently, Steven Spielberg jumped aboard by signing to write a horror series that literally can only be viewed at night. Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner is also going to work for Quibi, starring in a new thriller series called Survive. The company has also ordered up a remake of the MTV prank series Punk’d.
What distinguishes Quibi from Netflix and other streaming services is its emphasis on short-form storytelling, which is specifically intended for viewing on mobile devices. It will be interesting to see how the classic story of The Fugitive will translate as a reworked, bite-sized series that people are meant to consume on their devices instead of on the big screen or even the TV screen.