David Hasselhoff, star of the original Knight Rider TV series, has shared his views about the upcoming film adaptation of the franchise. Created by Glen A. Larson, Knight Rider is a cult-favorite action-crime entertainment franchise consisting of four core TV series: Knight Rider (1982–1986), Code of Vengeance (1985–1986), Team Knight Rider (1997–1998), and Knight Rider (2008–2009), three TV movies, and multiple video games. In the first Knight Rider show, Hasselhoff starred as Michael Knight, a public justice field agent, who alongside his high-tech, AI, indestructible car KITT fought tyrannical criminal organizations.
While Knight Rider has been revived in various forms throughout the years, it hasn't received a big-screen treatment until now. Plans for a film adaptation initially kicked off in 2002, with Hasselhoff's Knight attached to appear as a supporting character. In 2006, Orlando Bloom was approached to play the lead role, but he declined the offer. Later, in 2014, it was revealed that John Cena and Kevin Hart were being eyed for a comedic Knight Rider reboot. In fact, Cena had exclusively confirmed to Screen Rant that the script was amazing. But, despite all the progress, none of the plans came to fruition, and the project remained in development limbo. That was until Spyglass Media stepped in. In August 2020, the production company announced that it had partnered with Atomic Monster’s James Wan and Michael Clear for the film. And since then, the movie has been in active development.
Now Hasselhoff has also shared his thoughts about Spyglass' Knight Rider reboot. In a conversation with Heavy Consequence, Hasselhoff stated that he is relieved that the movie is in the hands of screenwriter T.J. Fixman, who is a big-time Knight Rider fan. Hasselhoff says that the filmmakers want to make a movie that he approves of, but for that, they will have to get the formula right. According to Hasselhoff, the essence of Knight Rider lies not in a talking car or its importance to a modern-day crime-fighter, but in the change that an individual can make. So as long as Spyglass honors the crux of the original TV-show, Hasselhoff will support the adaptation. At the moment, Hasselhoff doesn't know whether he will appear in the movie or not. He said:
"The details I can share are I have an emotional hand in it and I have a passion. The guy who’s writing it is a major Knight Rider fan. He sent me a picture of him in the Knight Rider car. His name is T.J. Fixman. The concept, I don’t really know. I threw my hat in the ring as ‘nostalgia meets Knight Rider of today,’ which is not a new Knight Rider, but a continuation of it. They want to do a script that has my approval on it. Whether I’m in it or not, or whether I approve of it, the answer is: I don’t know."
"But I had the rights for about 10 years to Knight Rider, and I couldn’t get a bite. And these guys have it now because of the timing, because of the resurgence of nostalgia, because the guy who’s doing it gets it. It’s not about a talking car. It’s about the relationship between Michael and KITT. And it’s also about the action and ‘one man can make a difference.’ And if they do that, I’ll probably support it. If they don’t do that, they’ve hassled The Hoff.”
As Hasselhoff has also confirmed in the interview, he had also attempted to get a Knight Rider movie greenlit. In fact, he pitched the idea to Guardians of the Galaxy writer-director James Gunn as well as to Machete helmer Robert Rodriguez. Hasselhoff did not want Knight Rider to get "spoofed" like Baywatch and 21 Jump Street, and therefore he made all possible attempts to get his show an adaptation that truly honors its legacy. In December 2019, Hasselhoff confirmed that while his efforts to revive Knight Rider did not work out, a new movie was still moving forward without him.
All David Hasselhoff has ever wanted from a Knight Rider movie is that it remains true to the spirit of the original TV series. It doesn't matter to him if he is in the movie or not, he just wants the adaptation to retain the respect that fans have for the people associated with the project. It, therefore, must be a relief for Hasselhoff to see that although he isn't directly attached to the movie, the people making the Knight Rider reboot actually know what the franchise is about. The new film is not a comedy as previously planned; rather, it is a full-fledged continuation of the adventures of the crime fighter in the modern-day. True, it will be a special treat for fans if Hasselhoff appears in the reboot. But even if he doesn't, there will be a lot to take away as long as the movie keeps its anti-establishment theme and incorporates the signature epic chases and intense action sequences that made the original show so popular.
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