Michael "Burt Gummer" Gross confirms that he won't have any involvement with Syfy's upcoming Tremors TV series, which stars Kevin Bacon. This will make said series the first ever Tremors project to not include Gross' fan favorite character in some form. Burt began life as a supporting player in the original 1990 Tremors film, serving as the town of Perfection, Nevada’s local gun enthusiast. Burt’s huge supply of weapons and survivalist training proved a great help to Perfection’s fellow residents during the Graboid assault, and he quickly gained a large fan following.
When original Tremors co-lead Kevin Bacon didn't return for Tremors 2, Gross' Gummer saw increased screentime alongside the returning Fred Ward. By Tremors 3, Gross had completely taken over as series star, and has played the lead role in Tremors 4 and 5 as well. He also headlined a short-lived 2003 Tremors TV series that aired on the then Sci-Fi Channel. At this point, it's hard to imagine a Tremors-related movie or TV show happening without Gross, but the actor has now confirmed that he officially will not be participating in Syfy's new series.
Gross made his lack of involvement with Syfy's new Tremors series clear via a recent Facebook post. Gross is very active on social media, and often uses it to communicate directly with fans and reveal info about things he's working on. Apparently, Gross has been getting inundated with questions about whether or not he would be appearing on the Kevin Bacon-led show, and felt the need to set the record straight. Here's what he had to say.
"For Tremors fans who have been asking, ‘Will Kevin Bacon return to do the films?’ or ‘Is your Burt Gummer character going to be in Kevin’s series?’ I think we can say with a good deal of certainty that the answer to both questions is no. The series is currently shooting in and around Albuquerque, New Mexico, and I have no other details. If Burt Gummer appears, [he] will be played by another [actor]."
Gross has always been rightly protective of the Burt Gummer character, as it's probably his signature acting role, with the possible exception of Steven Keaton on the classic sitcom Family Ties. With that in mind, it's surprising to see him even mention the possibility of someone else playing Burt. Still, Universal owns the character, so they could indeed conceivably decide to recast. One wonders why they would though, as Gross' statement makes it sound less like they asked him to be on the show and he said no, and more like he simply wasn't contacted at all.
It seems a lot more likely that Syfy just won't include the Burt Gummer character at all in their new Tremors series, and the official synopsis gives a possible clue as to why. This Tremors seems to be ignoring all the film sequels, and functioning as a direct follow-up to the original, albeit set 25 years later. Whereas Bacon's Val McKee quickly moved out of Perfection in the films, in this series, he stayed, and there seemingly have been no Graboid attacks in the decades since. That scenario really doesn't seem to have much room for Burt. Well, at least Gummer fans still have the upcoming Tremors 6 movie to look forward to, which hits DVD and Blu-Ray in May 2018.
Syfy's Tremors has yet to be assigned a premiere date.
Source: Michael Gross