Universal Soldier, Jean Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren’s cheesily entertaining 1992 sci-fi action romp, has somehow not only spawned multiple sequels, but now it’s coming to a television near you.
FreemantleMedia, a company billed as Europe’s second largest TV production company, is set to adapt the film franchise for television and turn it into a “global television property”. We’ve got a bad feeling about this…
The idea of a Universal Soldier series is pretty scary in its own right (but one that intrigues us, too), but the real concern is that this would be FreemantleMedia’s first foray into action/sci-fi – the company is most widely recognized for handling reality programs in Europe – shows like The X-Factor. It’s not impossible to transition from reality to scripted television, but we do wonder if the company has the right people onboard to help with the transition.
To that end, they’ve hired Damian Kindler, a writer and producer on Stargate: Atlantis, to oversee the series. Give FreemantleMedia the benefit of the doubt here – at least they went out and got a guy with sci-fi series experience.
No word on whether the show will tie directly into the films or not – or whether it will be considered canon (hard to believe there’s canon for Universal Soldier, but JoBlo assures us there is…). There’s also no word on who might star in the series – but it’s unlikely to be Van Damme or Lundgren, even though they reprised their roles in the 2010 sequel, Regeneration.
We can picture at least a million ways a Universal Soldier TV series could go wrong, but let’s hope for the best. After all, Stargate and Highlander have both proven that cult film franchises can spawn some decent small screen entertainment. Who’s to say the same might not happen here?
It appears that Universal Soldier isn't the only sci-fi flick coming to the smallscreen. Deadline reports that SyFy is in the process of developing a new series based on the recent film The Adjustment Bureau. Former Smallville executive producers Darren Swimmer and Todd Slavkin are writing the series for the channel, which is based on a film based on a Philip K. Dick's short story Adjustment Team. No word yet on who might star (or what sort of direction the series might take), but we'll keep you posted as more details are revealed.