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SYFY WIRE George Clooney

George Clooney adds some fuel to Brian K. Vaughan-written Buck Rogers series

By Vanessa Armstrong
George Clooney Getty

George Clooney is taking an eye to the future again, this time by executive producing a Buck Rogers limited series with Legendary.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Clooney along with his Smokehouse Pictures partner Grant Heslov have backed the project, which is currently being written by Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina, Saga). This isn't Clooney and Heslov's first sci-fi foray; via Smokehouse, the two also backed Netflix's The Midnight Sky, which is also the latest film Clooney has starred in. 

Buck Rogers, a sci-fi icon best known through Gil Gerad’s performance of the character in the late ‘70s TV show, revolves around the story of Rogers waking up 500 years in the future after being trapped in suspended animation. Buck Rogers first appeared, however, in the 1928 novella, Armageddon 2419 A.D. by Philip Francis Nowlan, and first became part of popular culture when it was made into a 1930s John F. Dille comic strip. 

Where, exactly, Buck Rogers chills out for centuries has varied over the IP's many incarnations. Nowlan's original story had Rogers trapped in suspended animation at the bottom of a coal mine in Pennsylvania, for example, while the 1979-1981 NBC television show had Rogers as an astronaut who ends up frozen in space for five centuries.

How Vaughan decides to handle Buck Rogers' Rip Van Winkle years remains to be seen. What also remains to be seen is who will take on the role of Rogers himself. Though THR notes that Clooney is producing the series as a "potential starring vehicle," Variety is reporting that the A-lister is only attached to the project in a producing capacity and will not star.

No news yet on when the limited series will go into production. What we do know, however, is that Legendary hopes to use the series as a gateway to a subsequent movie if the show is a hit. It's not clear if Clooney's deal with Legendary extends to subsequent Buck Rogers projects or not, though hopefully we won't have to wait as long as Buck did to find out.