Most super heroes hide from the public because they don’t wish to advertise the work that they do, wishing to do their public service in the shadows of the night or with the help of black government operations. Others wish to just save mankind and leave all the glory to the victims rescued from peril. Not Booster Gold–the only thing he wants is the fame.
Syfy and NBC Universal are looking to take the relevant DC Comics character to become the next TV hit to cross mediums, ordering a one-hour pilot to be made for the genre-centric cable network that has had other recent super-powered success with shows like Haven and Alphas. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news that Greg Berlanti’s and his company Berlanti Productions will produce the project with Warner Horizon Television.
Booster Gold is about a man from the 25th century, Michael Jon Carter who was a star quarterback in college. His sketchy father convinced Carter to throw games and once discovered, his future as a star athlete faded. Carter soon became a night watchmen at the Metropolis Space Museum, and became a student of the history of heroes and villains of the DC Universe. He stole weapons on display that belonged to the Legion of Super-Heroes and found a way to travel back in time to our present day and uses the stolen weapons to become a hero and builds an entire corporation to promote himself and become famous. He is joined by an artificial intelligence robot which has stored in it 500 years of news headlines which Booster uses to prevent. His newfound fame rubs the present day heroes the wrong way and this is just one of the many problems Booster Gold realizes that he’s created for himself.
Considering how the pursuit of celebrity and fame have preceded the means at which one gains that status, the concept of Booster Gold was ahead of its time. The comic was first published in 1986, created by Dan Jurgens. He has since been a regular fixture in many of the DC’s biggest stories including Infinite Crisis, 52, Blackest Night, Brightest Day and is currently in the new DC New 52 title, Justice League International. Booster Gold made one appearance in a Geoff Johns-written episode of Smallville in the final 10th season so it’s possible this could be a reality some day.
Berlanti was one of the many hands who handled the Green Lantern movie (story, screenplay, and producer) and he also served as executive producer on several television series including Dawson’s Creek, Everwood, Dirty Sexy Money, Eli Stone, Brothers & Sisters and most recently the super hero family drama No Ordinary Family. Warehouse 13 co-executive producer and writer Andrew Kreisberg has been hired to write the screenplay. He worked with Berlanti on Eli Stone and has also written and co-executive produced on Fringe and The Vampire Diaries.
This marks the third DC Comics character currently in development for television. The CW and Supernatural’s Eric Kripke is trying to launch a Deadman series and Fox is working on The Spectre. Could Booster Gold be one of the chosen few super hero pilots to be made? Will it break through and become the next Smallville or Alphas? Or will it follow the same fate as IDW horror comic Locke & Key (critically praised, but expensive pilot that Fox eventually passed on) and Wonder Woman (critically panned pilot with re-imagined concept and costume), both of which did not air. Locke & Key was shown at Comic-Con and was considered by Syfy but also deemed it too expensive.
While not one of DC’s top-tiered properties, Booster Gold could have a place in today’s entertainment. I do think that this hero could present something different for both Syfy and the TV medium, while being a good home for its target audience. If it can be clever and satirize how fame and infamy have dominated mainstream news, there’s something special here. The tone should be humorous at times and mine the Keith Giffen and J.J. DeMatteis Justice League stories that featured Booster Gold but be able to provide top-flight action and well-written scripts that make us believe he is worthy of having his own show.
I’m encouraged to see that Syfy, despite some of their questionable decisions in recent years, is going to be the home if the pilot is made and a series does launch. Had this landed at a major network I would have been less thrilled given their track records with genre entertainment. At Syfy, Booster Gold would have less episodes per season maximizing the impact, the creators would be given a challenge to be more creative given the limited funds, and regardless if it succeeds or fails audiences would probably see a full season in its entirety.
I do wonder how fantastical a Booster Gold show would be, especially on Syfy’s limited budget. There are some supporting characters such as Ted Kord (Blue Beetle) and Skeets, Booster’s futuristic almanac robot that are essential. Because of how unknown the character is outside of comic shop talk and DCU threads on online comic book communities, some liberties could be made and modifications would be met with open minds as long as the end product is better and more contemporary to our world.
There is a small window of opportunity for Booster Gold, yet with so many other super hero-related projects in development (Incredible Hulk, AKA Jessica Jones to name a few), I’m still scratching my head over how they’ll be made.
Does Booster Gold at Syfy interest you? What Booster Gold essential elements would you like to see that would realistically be done at Syfy? Let us hear what you are thinking below and be sure to be on the lookout this week for the latest Blast Off #4 Podcast with Bags Hooper and me as we discuss the challenges of bringing comic book adaptations (and remakes) on TV today. Look for it!