The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Gary Scott Thompson (who wrote The Fast and the Furious and created the recent Las Vegas series) is onboard the new Knight Rider as Executive Producer/showrunner, having signed a two-year deal with Universal.
Thompson will be joined by Las Vegas Executive Producer Matt Pyken, and the two of them will share producing duties with Dave Bartis and Doug Liman, who masterminded the series’ recent two-hour pilot. Dave Andron, who wrote the telepic, will stay onboard as a consulting producer.
“We definitely wanted to stay in business with Gary, who has proven himself on Las Vegas,” Universal Media Studios president Katherine Pope said. “If you think what the series would be, it’s The Fast and the Furious meets Las Vegas.”
Comparisons with The Fast and the Furious are obvious, and have been made frequently in Knight Rider Internet forums since the project was initially announced last year (in fact, The Fast and the Furious is very similar to the Knight Rider Original Series episode Knights of the Fast Lane). And, of course, Vegas has always been Knight Rider‘s spiritual home… see Glen Larson’s 1982 pilot Knight of the Phoenix, and the episodes The Topaz Connection and Goliath. Andron’s pilot episode paid homage to this by introducing new Rider Mike Traceur in Vegas.
Thompson is now in the process of hiring writers. The plan is to go quickly into production to allow plenty of time for postproduction.
“We didn’t have a ton of time on the movie, which was done on a very tight schedule, so the biggest thing we want to do with the series is have more action and special effects, which requires time,” Pope added.