Amazon has picked up Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn's planned reboot of the classic 1970s cop series Starsky and Hutch. The episodic drama has been in development since last summer and is a co-production of Amazon and Sony Pictures Television.
Running from 1975 to 1979 on ABC, the original Starsky and Hutch starred David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser as plainclothes cops fighting crime in their Ford Torino with the considerable help of their favorite snitch Huggy Bear (Antonio Fargas). In 2004 the show was adapted into a feature film starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson as the title cops and Snoop Dogg as Huggy Bear.
With the backing of Amazon, Gunn and his writing partners Brian and Mark Gunn are bringing Starsky and Hutch back to life as a series. THR reports that Amazon has committed to a straight-to-series order pending their approval of the Gunns' script. James Gunn talked about his love for the original TV series and his plans to push the boundaries of genre television with his reboot:
“When I was a kid, Starsky and Hutch was the first 'adult' show I ever saw, and I fell in love. It instilled in me a lifelong love of gritty street shows, of killer 70’s threads, and muscle cars. So when Neal Mortiz asked me if I wanted to be a part of an all new Starsky and Hutch on TV, I was instantly intrigued. I teamed up with the two writers I trusted most in the world to work with us, my brother Brian Gunn and my cousin Mark Gunn and together we came up with a show that I’m really proud of. At Amazon I believed we would have the most freedom to create something that is different, challenges the audience, and that strays outside the parameters of genre from time to time.”
Gunn's take on Starsky and Hutch is being described as employing a "unique approach to a character-driven procedural." Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy films also start with genre elements but focus on character to an unusual degree, and are certainly unique in their approach, blending humor and action in a way that audiences have fallen in love with (the two movies having grossed a grand total of $1.6 billion worldwide).
Given Gunn's track record when it comes creating audience-pleasing entertainment, it's no surprise that Amazon would want to work with him for this project. Gunn reportedly will direct the series' pilot himself if his schedule allows it. Reportedly, the next Guardians of the Galaxy won't be going before cameras until late 2018 at the earliest, so he should be able to squeeze in at least a single episode to help launch Starsky and Hutch.