MGM, seemingly uninterested in fresh, novel, original ideas, continues to mine its library for remakes/reboots. You’ll recall the recent “RoboCop” and “Carrie” reboots, with remakes of “Poltergeist,” “WarGames,” “Death Wish,” “The Magnificent Seven” and others all in development.
Today brings word that the studio is developing a drama series based on its 1967 classic drama “In the Hear of the Night,” with none-other-than Tate Taylor (director of “The Help” and “Get on Up”) directing.
Keep in mind that there has already been a television series based on the film and novel of the same name, which was broadcast on NBC from 1988 until 1992, and then on CBS until 1994, starring Carroll O’Connor as the white police chief William Gillespie, and Howard Rollins as the African American police detective Virgil Tibbs.
The Tate Taylor edition, which he will executive produce with Warren Littlefield, will of course be set in the present day, and will tackle similar issues of race, class, justice and inequality that the original film and subsequent TV series did.
It doesn’t have a TV home yet, but the project will be shopped to cable networks, which makes the most sense.
The original 1967 film was directed by Norman Jewison, based on the 1965 John Ball novel of the same name which tells the story of Virgil Tibbs, a black police detective from Philadelphia, who becomes involved in a murder investigation in a racist small town in Mississippi. It starred Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger, and won 5 Academy Awards, including the 1967 award for Best Picture.
The film was followed by two sequels, “They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!” in 1970, and “The Organization” in 1971.
The first TV series launched in 1988.
So who would you cast as Virgil Tibbs?
Variety was first to report this news.