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‘Galaxy Quest’: Paul Scheer Plans to Blend Original and New Casts For Amazon Series

The actor/comedian plans to update the 1999 cult favorite for the modern era of sci-fi. 

SIGOURNEY WEAVER, TIM ALLEN AND ALAN RICKMAN ON A SET OF "GALAXY QUEST".TIM ALLEN ON A SET OF GALAXY REQUEST.

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By Grabthar’s Hammer, the criminally overlooked “Galaxy Quest” will be avenged. Based on some new comments from writer/producer Paul Scheer, there’s reason to be excited about the still-in-the-works sci-fi comedy.

Amazon first announced it was developing the 1999 film as an episodic series in 2015, but things escalated last August when Scheer came on board to work on the show. In a new interview with SlashFilm, he revealed that he’s not only turned in his first script for the series, but has some big ideas on how to honor the original film while also updating the premise for the modern age of television.

“It’s going to be so long before people get to see it, I don’t want people to get too burnt out on me telling you what it’s about before it gets to that point,” he said. “But for me, it was really important to do service to a ‘Galaxy Quest’ story that gives you everything that you want and indoctrinates people who have never seen ‘Galaxy Quest’ into what the fun of that world is […] and also to continue the story of our original characters and have consequences from the first film.”

The original film starred Tim Allen, Alan Rickman, Sigourney Weaver, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, and Daryl Mitchell as the former cast of a canceled sci-fi show (which might not bear a striking resemblance to “Star Trek”).

But while Scheer’s take includes bringing back the original characters, he also plans to mix the original “Galaxy Quest” crew with a new cast.

“I really wanted to capture the difference between the original cast of ‘Star Trek’ and the J.J. Abrams cast of ‘Star Trek.’ I think that, to me, is my entry point,” he added. “Sci-fi heroes are rock stars now. If you look at ‘Thor,’ in 1999 if that movie came out, it would not be received the way it is. People would not want to see a cosmic, galactic thing on that level. But now we’re accepting it. I think just by virtue of that switch in our environment, it’ll make the story feel a little bit more fresh.”

Paul Scheer TVLine Portrait Studio, Day 2, Comic-Con International, San Diego, USA - 21 Jul 2017

Scheer also promised a serialized story, as opposed to episodic, and said that he wants to “avoid anything that could be viewed as a reboot for reboot’s sake. There are real reasons behind these choices — maybe too much so.”

It’s all incredibly promising, especially as anyone who’s listened to his long-running podcast “How Did This Get Made?” knows that Scheer’s nerd credentials are bonafide. And “Galaxy Quest” itself has built up serious admiration over the years.

Just this fall, “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” director Nicholas Meyer told IndieWire that, even though it’s not officially a part of the franchise, he thinks that it is the best “Trek” film ever made. “I think in a way that’s a perfect movie. Because it satirizes aspects of it but it also delivers on it. You know, that’s the three hat trick,” he said.

As Scheer told SlashFilm, it’s still very early days for “Galaxy Quest: The Series” (officially, according to the final moments of the film, “The Journey Continues”). But this fall, Amazon has been on the hunt for “its own ‘Game of Thrones,'” a need which was theoretically addressed by acquiring the rights to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” universe. What if the platform’s actual breakthrough genre hit ends up being a very different adaptation?

OK, that might be a lot to ask of “Galaxy Quest,” given how, as a sci-fi TV show about sci-fi TV shows, it’s set to be the very definition of niche. But the original film was both a solid space adventure as well as an exceedingly meta narrative not just about science fiction, but the dedicated fan bases which don’t just watch these shows, but sustain them for decades. And as fandom grows more powerful over the years, “Galaxy Quest” might have finally found its moment.

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