Buckaroo Banzai TV Series Loses Kevin Smith Amid MGM Lawsuit


In between the likes of Yoga Hosers and his directorial input on DC’s small-screen universe through The Flash and, soon, Supergirl, writer-director Kevin Smith has spent the past few months developing a TV spinoff based on cult MGM classic, The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension.

All of that progress has come screeching to a halt, however, with Deadline reporting that Kevin Smith has abruptly pulled out of the gestating Buckaroo Banzai TV show. Smith later posted a frank 18-minute Facebook video to explain his reasoning, which can be traced to the federal lawsuit filed by MGM against the original creator Earl Mac Rauch and W.D. Richter, the director of the 1984 flick, over complicated rights issues.

Originally set for a 2017 premiere by Amazon Studios, there’s no word of an official statement from the studio at the time of writing, though the mere fact that Smith is “no longer involved” in the Buckaroo Banzai series will surely be a heavy blow to production.

“This is not what I signed up for. I was caught off-guard [by the lawsuit]. I literally had no idea. It blows, man, because that’s the closest I’ve [come] to having my own show so far… This lawsuit comes from MGM legal — it doesn’t come from any of the people I met at MGM… I’m no longer involved. I don’t wish anybody harm; I wish all parties well. I hope these dudes come to an agreement, and if they do and they still want me involved down the road, I’ll be here. But why would they?”

The Clerks creator then went on to compare the ongoing situation to another creator announcing plans to remake one of his existing movies against his will.

“Let’s say one day that the people that own Miramax now [said], ‘Hey, we want to make Clerks.’ And I’m like, ‘Well, I don’t want you to make Clerks — not while I’m alive.’ And then they sue me to make sure that they can make Clerks without me being involved. Well, what goes around comes around in life. I’m not saying anybody is wrong in this situation, but what I’m saying is — respectfully to all parties involved — I’m out.”

Buckaroo Banzai is effectively on ice until further notice, but tell us, are you disappointed to learn that Kevin Smith has bowed out of the TV spinoff?