The Champions Return

Hollywood Reporter notes that Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro has signed on to write and adapt a big screen version of the 1960s ITC drama The Champions for United Artists.

Del Toro will also will produce the film along with Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner’s C/W Prods.

The Champions ran for 30 episodes in 1968-69 and centred on the adventures of a trio of secret agents working for a multinational organisation Nemesis, whose lives were saved when their plane crashed in the Himalayas and they were rescued by an advanced civilization who also bestowed them with superhuman abilities.

Despite its international flavour the show was entirely shot in England. Stuart Damon, today best known for his role as is best known for 30 years of portraying the character Alan Quartermaine on the US soap opera General Hospital, played series lead Craig Stirling. William Gaunt, whose other fantasy credits include Doctor Who and The Avengers, was Richard Barrett and Alexandra Bastedo played the cool-as-ice female superagent Sharron Macready (She has a blog about her work at her donkey sanctuary on WordPress). Anthony Nicholls played their long-suffering and often bemused boss Tremayne.

Originally produced by ITC, who also made The Saint, The Prisoner and other shows, the company’s assets are now owned by Granada International, who optioned the rights to the television series to Universal.

This is the fifth high-profile film that has been set up at UA since Cruise and Wagner have taken its helm.

The Champions is available on DVD

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: Film, Television

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