Miami Vice Movie

Movies based on TV shows aren’t new… but it’s rare when the creative entities behind the show are also in charge of the big-screen version (in fact, I can only think of one recent example, "The X Files").

Variety reports that Miami Vice is the next cult tv series up for a theatrical re-do… with series exec producer/showrunner Michael Mann writing, producing and directing.

Universal is zeroing in on Colin Farrell to star as Det. James "Sonny""Sonny" Crockett, and the studio is in discussions with Jamie Foxx to star as Det. Ricardo Tubbs in the South Beach sizzler.

Farrell, you may recall, also starred in the movie version of SWAT. If this comes to pass, he’ll only be matched by Owen Wilson ("Starsky & Hutch," "I Spy") and Matt LeBlanc ("Lost in Space," "Charlies Angels") when it comes to doing the most tv-to-film adaptations.

That’s not the only revival news today. Frank Spotnitz, ex-producer of "The X Files," is hoping to craft a new version of "Kolchak: The Night Stalker."

"The first TV movie is burned into my memory," Spotnitz told Daily Variety. "It was a huge event at the time, and it was one of my favorite TV characters of all time. The chance to return to this character and find another great storytelling vehicle for smart, scary television was very appealing."

Still unclear is exactly how closely the new "Night Stalker" will mirror the format and mood of the original, which was based on a novel by Jeff Rice. While the first "Night Stalker" telepictelepic shattered Nielsen longformlongform records at the time, the series lasted just one season.

Spotnitz is staying mum about details regarding the new project, but did say he’s learned some lessons from his days on "X-Files" and a recent marathon re-watching of the original series.

"As much as I loved the TV movie, the series was not successful," he said. "I wouldn’t expect a religiously faithful adaptation. I don’t intend to repeat the same mistakes."

To me, Darren McGavin was 90% of the charm and humor of the movies and the series. I don’t know if a new version could be done, and capture any of the flavor of the original, without him. Besides, Spotnitz isn’t exactly know for his light touch…

Voyage to the Bottom of the Barrel

VoyToTheBotOfTheSeaVariety reports today that Fox is mounting at VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM SEA revival…

The original show, as you may recall, was about a giant submarine exploring the sea and starred Richard Basehart and David Hedison. It was basically Star Trek underwater… with giant octopuses and algae monsters and space aliens (and, my favorite toy as a kid, "the flying sub.").

The new version, however, is going to be substantially different.

the world’s most advanced submarine is sent on a deep-sea salvage hunt, inadvertently bringing aboard a predatory organism from the ocean floor.

"They got that we wanted to jumpstart Irwin’s franchise not only with cutting-edge effects, but an intense story with a fantastic villain," Jashni said. "We were inspired by imagining what would happen if we put ‘Alien’ underwater."

So it’s two old ideas rehashed… ALIEN and VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. But is it really going to capture the camp fun of the old series? Unlikely.

This is the third Irwin Allen TV series revival in recent years. An ABC revival of TIME TUNNEL died in development. The WB’s LOST IN SPACE revival, directed by John Woo, was scrapped. The New Line Pictures version of LOST IN SPACE was a critical and financial bomb.

So after a string of Irwin Allen remake failures, why the mad rush to develop another one?