Kevin Smith is no longer involved with the Buckaroo Banzai TV series
If you were one of those who were looking forward to Kevin Smith's adaptation of THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI for Amazon, I've got some bads news for you. Earlier today MGM filed suit against director Walter D. Richter and writer Earl Mac Rauch, the two men who brought BUCKAROO BANZAI to life with Peter Weller back in 1984. Both Richter and Rauch claimed to have rights in any television remake of their film, but MGM wanted them out of the way so that Kevin Smith would be clear to proceed with the TV show. Unfortunately none of this was run by Kevin Smith and, as a result, it appears that Smith has left the project behind.
Although he has nothing but respect for the people he works with at MGM, Smith took to Facebook to explain why he decided to leave upon learning that MGM was filing a suit against the BUCKAROO BANZAI creators.
The only reason I love Buckaroo Banzai is because of those two guys, because of Walter D. Richter and Earl Mac Rauch, that's why i fell in love with that movie when I saw it back in like 1984, like, it was magical, because there was nothing else like it. That work came from an amazing singular vision or vision of those two men, and when I got the job, if you go back and look at my Instagram feed I was like 'I can't wait to do this, I want to involve Walter D. Richter and Earl Mac Rauch, I want to get Earl writing a script and Walter directing an episode. So, without those two dudes, I don't fall in love with that property. I don't want to make anything unless those dudes are involved, they had the vision, all we're doing is taking their amazing vision and making a TV show out of it.
Smith followed up by saying that this was not what he had signed up for and that the lawsuit had really caught him off guard. "I literally had no idea. It blows, man, because that’s the closest I’ve [come] to having my own show so far. I’m no longer involved. I don’t wish anybody harm; I wish all parties well. I hope those dudes come to an agreement, and if they do and they still want me involved down the road, I’ll be here. But why would they?" Although I'm not the biggest fan of Smith's work nowadays, I certainly admire his reasons for stepping aside. The BUCKAROO BANZAI television series was set to debut sometime in 2017, but with Smith's departure and this lawsuit looming, it seems that the project is in limbo until these legal matters are resolved.