18/11/2008. Contributed by Jessica Martin
United Artists has told SFcrowsnest that Christopher McQuarrie of The Usual Suspects, and Valkyrie fame is to write and produce the spy-fi actioner The Champions along with his mate Guillermo del Toro. Tom Cruise is to star in this scifi spy superhero film reboot.
Tom Cruise told SFcrowsnest.com, "Chris is a remarkable talent who always brings a valuable perspective to the table. We are thrilled to be working with him on."
United Artists' COO, Elliott Kleinberg, added, "Chris McQuarrie is a uniquely gifted artist. We look forward to continuing our long and productive partnership with Chris."
McQuarrie is writing The Champions with fellow writer/producer Guillermo del Toro. Based on the 1968-69 British TV series, The Champions follows the adventures of a team of secret government agents who are rescued from a Himalayan plane crash by an advanced civilisation and given superhuman abilities - ESP, precognition enhanced intelligence and super strength.
The original classic Champions espionage/science fiction series consisted of thirty episodes broadcast on ITV during 1968-1969, made by Lew Grade's ITC Entertainment production company. The series was also broadcast in the US on NBC back in 1968.
A fan of the original television series, United Artists president Don Granger told us, "The Champions is not just a strong concept with serious franchise potential, we believe that with Chris and Guillermo's combined creative vision it can be an incredibly original film."
Chris McQuarrie felt the source material was too strong and the opportunity to work with Del Toro too great to pass up. "The Champions is a great premise with fascinating potential, I wanted to be involved from the moment Guillermo and I first discussed it."
The original classic series of course starred Stuart Damon as Craig Stirling, Alexandra Bastedo as Sharron Macready and William Gaunt as Richard Barrett. Based in Geneva, their characters were agents of the United Nations law enforcement organisation called NEMESIS. Barrett was a code breaker, Stirling a pilot, and Macready a recently widowed scientist and doctor.
Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner are also producing the new movie.
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