Amazon Studios is partnering with Paramount Television to develop a TV series based on Galaxy Quest, the 1999 sci-fi comedy that skewered Trekkie culture. Entertainment Weekly broke the news of the plans today adding that no word was released on the original casts involvement, but the film’s director, co-writer, and executive producers have signed on. For a campy, cult film the original cast was a powerhouse lineup including Alan Rickman (please come back Sever—uh, Mr. Rickman,) Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shaloub, Sam Rockwell, and Tim Allen as a thinly disguised parody of James T. Kirk. Notably, Justin Long made his feature film debut in Quest as an obsessed fan who gets his life’s dream fulfilled. The show will air on Amazon Prime Instant Video streaming service.
Things have changed for Amazon’s film and television production venture since last summer, when Wired predicted the effort would be a colossal flop. “Instead of working deals like Netflix, Amazon seems to be trying to reproduce its success as a self-publishing platform by crowdsourcing pilot scripts and relying on viewer feedback for deciding on what to turn into full-length series. That approach may fit in with Amazon’s techie faith in disintermediation […] But it’s not a proven recipe for making good TV.” Since then Amazon’s original show Transparent has become a critical success, becoming the first Golden Globe winner for Best Series from any streaming network. The series marks Amazon as a studio willing to innovate while also balancing their content with more traditional fare like detective series Bosch, based on Michael Connelly’s popular novels.
While making big deals based on established work – they’ve also created a series based on Phillip K. Dick’s story The Man in the High Castle – Amazon hasn’t left behind its original idea to crowdsource content. On the home page anyone can still submit a script, concept video, or idea. But meanwhile, Amazon isn’t going to let the reboot bandwagon pass by; the choice to adapt Galaxy Quest is part of an industry trend toward nostalgia which has included the entire comic-character revival, remakes like Ghostbusters, Tron, and Robocop, and Fox’s upcoming Minority Report.