We don’t get it exactly, but there is a big fanbase for the “Universal Soldier” franchise. The 1992 Roland Emmerich film starring the incomparable team up of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren has spawned a staggering five followups (including the forthcoming “Universal Soldier: A New Dimension“) and it seems the creative well isn’t dry on the premise centering on reanimated soldiers brought back to kick some ass.
At the MIPCOM conference in Cannes, it has been announced that FremantleMedia North America will produce a new television series based on the movie. Damian Kindler (“Stargate,” “Sanctuary“) will be tasked with the writing the show and frankly, the concept is malleable enough we could see it being a weekly program. Whether or not it’s something we would actually watch is a whole other question. However, the small screen has been no stranger to the “Universal Solider” series as both “Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms” and “Universal Soldier III: Unfinished Business” were made-for-TV endeavors. Give this thing a halfway decent budget and some decent scripts, and you could have the next sci-fi hit on your hands.
Movies being turned to TV shows in a longstanding tradition, but the past twelve months seem to have been busier than most, as last December both “The Transporter” and “Taken” were headed into development (in fact, the former has already gone in front of cameras). The big question is if audiences will actually care. Attempts to bring the much more popular (and similarly themed) “The Terminator” to television failed, so whether or not there is a big enough audience to sustain “Universal Soldier” will be interesting to find out. But let’s hope there’s at least some room for a Luc Deveraux cameo.