The Original Film Was An Early CGI Innovator
Back in the ’80s, the idea of using a computer to create entire scenes within a film was basically unheard of. Nowadays, it’s hard to go more than a few minutes without something being rendered in CG, but back in the day, the technology just wasn’t there.
Then, a pair of movies came along and changed everything: Disney’s Tron in 1982 and Universal Pictures’ The Last Starfighter in 1984.
30 years later, Starfighter is being redeveloped into a TV series and that will follow in the original’s innovative footsteps by incorporating virtual reality into the show.
Jonathan Betuel, the film’s original writer is developing The Starfighter Chronicles, a Starfighter themed show with a company called Surreal.tv. It will not be a direct sequel or complete remake. It is described as “a serialized story about alien law enforcement” with a highlight on “instilling a moral code.”
The new series aims to be the first TV show to use virtual reality. The original story of “Starfighter” which took a teenage video-game fan into outer space so that he/she could fight an interstellar war, will not be continued entirely in the TV show. It will be a series of stories about alien law enforcement.
Most of the series will be viewable on normal TV sets and will also have some special scenes which will let users with virtual reality headsets, explore the interior of the spaceship or immerse in a firefight with alien. They would also be able to see scenes inside a cockpit or fly through the space. Betuel said “It’s a very interesting blend. The otherworldliness of it lends itself to VR.”
Co-founders of Surreal.tv, Rick Rey and Andy Vick are also working with Betuel on this project. Surreal.tv is a virtual reality entertainment company which aims to combine VR with linear storytelling.
Betuel has retained the remake rights for the Starfighter brand which have been sought after by many people like Steven Spielberg, Seth Rogen, etc. Betuel partnered with Rey and Vick as they have an idea about technology as well as storytelling, both of which are very important for Starfighter.
VR is becoming increasingly accessible and movie studios and media of all sorts are exploring ways to apply it commercially.
Read Also: The Martian VR Experience
The development of the show has just begun and it is not yet clear whether a conventional cable network would pick up a series which will play out partially in VR. Surreal has retained United Talent Agency to advance talks with potential suitors.
It can be hoped that this TV show will be a big hit that is required by virtual reality to become successful.
What do you think? Is Sci-Fi the logical genre for VR to be tested? Do you think science fiction fans would be more likely to engage with VR than a general audience?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.