Quantum Leap creator Donald Bellisario says that he's a written a script for a potential movie reboot of the classic sci-fi series. In the current age of TV reboots, revivals, and sequels, it's far from surprising that such a beloved cult show would find itself next up on the docket for a continuation. While Quantum Leap was never a huge ratings hit, it drew constant critical acclaim, and although NBC targeted it for cancellation more than once before it finally ended for good, vocal fan outcry saved it each time.
Running for five seasons and nearly 100 episodes, Quantum Leap first aired in March 1989, with Dr. Sam Beckett's final time-traveling adventure to date airing in May 1993. In the years since Quantum Leap ended, there have been rumors and reports of possible follow-ups, including a proposed sequel series that focused on Sam's daughter's quest to locate her father and bring him home. Sadly, none of those ideas ever got off the ground.
Bellisario revealed that he's a written a Quantum Leap movie reboot script during an appearance yesterday at Los Angeles Comic-Con, where he was also joined by series star Scott Bakula. While it's exciting news for fans, Bellisario's statement is still frustratingly vague, giving very little guidance as to what he plans to do with a reboot. That said, here's his full quote, via EW.
"I just finished writing a Quantum Leap feature. I don’t know what’s going to happen with it, but I did write it."
"I write things exactly the same way. I just start writing and I let them take me wherever it’s going to take me. I’m entertained the same way the audience is. So I just put Scott and Dean [Stockwell] in my head, kind of rebooted them, and went from there."
Additionally, Bellisario and Bakula also addressed the backlash against Quantum Leap's original series finale, which - while introducing some intriguing new plot elements - resolved little, and ended with a depressing title card saying that Dr. Beckett never returned home. In the eyes of both men, the finale was well done, and holds up. Here's what they had to say.
Bakula: "It was a great episode. Last episodes are always controversial. I always say to writers, ‘If you want a challenge more than writing just an hour of television, write an hour of television that is the last hour of television that that show will ever have on; write it so that it could also come back next fall; write it so that it could possibly become a movie of the week; [and] write it so that it could still potentially be a feature film someday. And make everybody happy… If you go back and watch that episode, [Bellisario] checked off all those boxes."
Bellisario: "I was proud of that episode. Everybody was."
What makes Bellisario's first quote above frustrating is that he fails to spell out what exactly a reboot would mean in this case. Quantum Leap fans have long asked for some type of follow-up that would close the series' story and bring Sam home, and it does appear like Bellisario plans to bring back Bakula and co-star Dean Stockwell to their respective roles of Sam and his hologram sidekick Al. The way Bellisario words things though, it sounds like the characters would not continue on from the series finale, and would instead be rebooted themselves. One hopes that he'll soon clarify his intentions.
Whatever creative avenue Bellisario might end up going down, it's almost guaranteed that devoted fans of Quantum Leap would watch, if only to see Bakula and Stockwell back in their signature roles. One hopes that if this resurrection indeed happens, it'll last just long enough to give both Sam and Al the happy ending they deserve.