[Movie News]

Yes, a Lost in Space feature film is in the works. On this page we will keep you informed of recent developments as they come to hand. Getting Lost in Space to the silver screen has not been easy as this chronological history shows. Here we will take you on a journey from up to the minute Lost in Space movie news all the way back to the beginning when it all came about.

Daily Telegraph
October 7, 1997
Mark Goddard Bonds with William Hurt

Mark Goddard revealed during a convention tour of Australia that William Hurt (Professor John Robinson in the movie) took him under his wing and provided helpful advice including that he should imagine he was "surfing" when they did a walk-on scene together. In the Scene, Goddard who plays the role of a general attempts to convince Professor Robinson that Don West, a last minute replacement pilot, was the best available.

Goddard revealed "I really bonded with him, you know because I listened, and he just talked." He also related how on one occasion he was invited back to Hurt's dressing room, where the brooding Academy award winner cooked up a wild rice feast, and delivered some heavy philosphical lectures.

Australian fans were served a special treat during a special film night when exclusive scenes from the Lost in Space movie involving Goddard and Hurt were shown to a very appreciative audience.

LA Times
July 28, 1997

Hiding behind a slatted door, young Will Robinson fiddles with a holographic zapper aimed at his school principal. As she harangues the boy's mother about his obstreperous behavior, Will morphs the matronly principal into a gun-toting Rambo in sensible shoes. Maureen Robinson bursts out laughing. The mortified principal stalks out and Maureen turns back to steeling her reluctant children for a separation anxiety no child-rearing guide could prepare her for--a 10-year jaunt around the universe in search of a way to rescue the Earth. "Saving the planet; gimme a break," snorts 10-year-old Will.

"Lost in Space," the campy '60s television series, has been spectacularly hijacked for a wise and wisecracking cinematic parable of family dynamics, a morality tale hatched under the long metaphoric shadow of that other Spock, Benjamin. Instead of a contest to select the best go-go girl in the galaxy--one of the series' fluffier episodes--the film revolves around such weighty themes as the absent father and the problems of parenting a million miles from home. The film pits the fatally distracted William Hurt against a volatile Gary Oldman--an embittered character so evil even his goatee quivers with demonic intent.

Not that the film isn't a science-fiction extravaganza with a vengeance. It is so full of special effects that it is taking a marathon five months to shoot and is currently sprawled across 11 sound stages at Shepperton Studios in the leafy suburbs of London.

With cuddly and creepy creatures by Jim Henson's workshop, yawning canyons of extraterrestrial sets by Norman Garwood (the fevered imagination behind "Brazil"), time warp portals and hundreds of other computer graphics, New Line Cinema is betting it will get its $70 million worth. The film, New Line's most expensive venture to date, is due for release next spring.

Even NASA has gotten in on the act, called in for story consultations on the look of the future and predictions about family stress in outer space. The studio is gambling that the film will become a franchise, spinning off Robbie the Robot toys and evil Dr. Smith masks.

Says Oldman at the prospect of becoming an action figure: "I'm not bothered because it's an intelligent script. It's not just a shoot-'em-up, let's cram in all the special effects we can and razzle-dazzle 'em with laser guns."

* * * * *

Director Stephen Hopkins, however, was less than thrilled at his first read-through of the script. "My initial reaction was: Oh, no, please don't make me. You can spend as much money as you like; it's impossible to make this film," he recalls over lunch in the studio commissary. "If there's not some crazy computer effect to consider, there are robots wandering around, puppets jumping up and down, TV monitors distorting things, giant moving walls in spaceships, time portals, hyper-gates and hyper-speed." Hopkins, who honed his special effects skills on such horror films as "Predator 2" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5," was just coming off a "thoroughly miserable experience" with the star-crossed African epic "The Ghost and the Darkness."

"Lost in Space" screenwriter and producer Akiva Goldsman ("Batman Forever," "Batman & Robin") persuaded him that the film was more concerned with the confrontation between a father and his son than with giant man-eating spiders and other sci-fi staples.

"I use science fiction to have the story sneak up on audiences and catch them off-guard with more content than they might have imagined," Goldsman says during the shooting. Originally, New Line envisaged a wackier, inflated version of the already-wacky television series. Goldsman, Hopkins and Richard Saperstein, the studio's executive vice president, finally cajoled New Line President Bob Shaye into risking a darker film and casting Hurt, Oldman and Mimi Rogers--intensely nuanced actors not known for their wackiness or likely to stand still as foils for an epic of special effects. Despite its visual fireworks, "Lost in Space" is no "Star Wars" redux, even though both films are driven by the search for a father's affection. Where Darth Vader is encased in emotional and technological invincibility, Hurt's John Robinson is vincible to a fault. He bumbles through fatherhood on auto-pilot--more a creature of baffled guilt than a Vader-esque black hole of imperious threat. "Professor Robinson is so serious and such a horrible father, he comes across as funny," Hopkins says with a laugh. For the analytical Hurt, the role is as form-fitted as his rubbery black spacesuit. "To save his family, which means saving his race, he has to do the work that takes him away from them," the actor explains during a break. "That's what's tearing at him. He's robbing them of the thing they could use the most." Like the TV series, the film launches the Robinsons into space in search of a habitable planet after mankind has wrought irreparable environmental havoc on Earth. In this endangered 22nd century world, the inhabitants live under "comfort domes" to escape the perpetually wet weather of the rapidly deteriorating atmosphere.

Cynically scoffing at the Robinsons' planetary rescue mission, Maj. Don West, a lone wolf hotshot flight commander played by Matt LeBlanc of "Friends," parrots the accepted line: "Every schoolchild knows that our recycling technologies will cure the environment; this mission is just a publicity stunt to sell soda." "Every schoolchild has been lied to," Robinson responds in grim earnest. "Our recycling technologies came too late. All fossil fuels are virtually exhausted. The ozone layer is down to 40%. In two decades, the Earth will be unable to support human life."

* * * * *

Piloted by West, the Robinsons set off across the universe, encountering voracious spiders, benign lizard-monkeys with saucer eyes, a hostile planet where time waves swallow everyone without warning, and--after several swift kicks of self-awareness--the means to their own tenuous salvation. Unlike the chirpy '60s family, these Robinsons are edgily dysfunctional. Purist fans of Irwin Allen's original series may be in for a jolt. Reruns keep the flame alive on the Sci-Fi Channel and series' clubs around the world keep in touch via half-a-dozen sites on the Internet.

"June Lockhart, the original Maureen Robinson, always seemed to be making lunch," jokes Mimi Rogers. In this updated version, the doting homemaker has undergone a post-feminist make-over. Maureen is now a no-nonsense bioengineering genius. She's also a portrait in exasperation, obliged to contend with her teenage daughter Penny's budding Electra complex and her husband's abstracted fumbling of paternal affection. Rogers, who worked alongside high-powered British research biologists for a couple of days to prepare for her role, has some of the punchiest lines in the script. Lockhart would never have gotten away with dressing down her husband and the spaceship's pilot the way Rogers does when she barks to the posturing pair: "Now if you've finished hosing down the decks with testosterone, I suggest you come with me." Despite being a science-fiction buff and card-carrying Trekkie, Rogers was dubious about the project at the outset. She quickly realized that Maureen is "not just some cardboard space babe," but the emotional center of the film, as tough as the men, but with a cooler head.

For Hurt, the film is a chance to pick up where the series left off, to reconsider meaty themes like family versus technology and artificial intelligence versus natural intelligence that were smuggled into the otherwise lightweight television episodes only to abruptly fizzle out.

"Even as a kid, I remember saying, 'Jeez, I wish the producers would develop these ideas more,' " says the actor.

"Even though this is a glorioski space movie, it deals with some of these same heavyweight issues that first caught my attention, only in simplified form. This is a family racing against technology, trying to use technology to beat it. The very technique they're using to escape the Earth's demise is taking the problem with them, in the same way that the idealist gets off 'The Mayflower' and the rats are swarming at his heels." One of those rats is Dr. Smith, a role that allows Oldman to tap unexpected comic reserves as he digs deep into his bag of quirky villainous mannerisms.

He was drawn to this movie by his fascination with "the rage tearing away at the Robinson family," he says. "It's the emotional well I draw on for all my work."

Like Shakespeare's Richard III, Smith sets out to wreck the family he doesn't have. But where Richard III woos the widow of the king he's just killed, Dr. Smith, now mutated into a human spider, settles for the boy Will. By becoming a surrogate father, Smith simultaneously wreaks revenge on John Robinson and forces him to face up to the paternal responsibilities he's been escaping.

"This is Smith's higher dramatic function within the film, what saves him from being just one broad brush stroke of villainy," the actor maintains.

The Freudian-Oprah overlay--what the director calls "those wonderful family-father issues"--might've sunk the film into treacly caricature. But the filmmakers have sought to pull it back from the edge with Goldsman's understated dialogue and Hopkins' insistence on a low-key naturalism--even if filming occasionally has resembled group therapy.

"Some days, you could almost feel the catharsis crackle," jokes Hopkins, who only recently reconciled with his own father after 17 years of not speaking.

"When we shot the confrontation scene between Will and his father, every guy was going, 'Yeah, tell him,' me included," the director recalls. "We've all had a time when we wanted to be the same age as our parents, to stand up and fight back, to plead for them to listen to what we're saying and stop treating us like idiots."

* * * * *

On the bridge of "Jupiter One," the mother spaceship, the Robinsons are saying goodbye to one another before entering cocoon-like "sleep tubes" and blasting off into the unknown for a decade of travel in "cryosleep mode." Sheathed in a black rubber spacesuit with flashing blue lights, Rogers' Maureen Robinson adjusts a strand of her daughter's hair. Lacey Chabert, of Fox's "Party of Five" television series, plays 13-year-old Penny Robinson.

"Don't, Mom! Vogue says this will be the style," she pleads, waiting a beat. "In 10 years," she adds in her final petulant dig before takeoff. Rogers glares at her, and Penny shuffles obediently into her tube. "Can we cut back on her oxygen a little so that she's not quite so annoying when she wakes up?" zings Will, played by Jack Johnson, from his sleep tube.

Hurt's John Robinson lumbers up to whisper something in Penny's ear that makes her smile, then turns to Will, fumbling a hopelessly awkward hug.

"You get a C in paternal expression, Professor, but an A for effort," Maureen comments with wry fondness. Shameless teasing and loving irony are handed down in this bunch like family heirlooms.

Musing earlier over his swordfish, Hopkins speculated about NASA's motives in drawing up plans to send family missions into deep space. "It may be the only way people can live together for protracted periods without killing one another," he says with a bemused grin.

TV Guide's Dailey Dish
July 21, 1997

Fans of the campy charms of TV's Lost in Space are in for a shock when the $70 million movie version hits the screens next summer -- the out-of-this-world kitsch humor that defined the series has been cut back. "I fell on the floor laughing when I watched videotapes of the show," declares director Stephen Hopkins, "but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed." Ditto screenwriter Akiva Goldsman. "The later episodes were campy and funny, with lots of silver face paint. Our movie isn't. In the original show, the Jupiter II seemed to be the size of a two-bedroom condo. Now it's as big as the Colosseum!"

And star Gary Oldman doesn't exactly plan to step into the zero-gravity loafers of Jonathan Harris's Dr. Smith. "I don't go around saying, 'Oh, the pain, the pain!' I want to have fun with the role on my own terms, while taking the character away from the wobbling sets and papier-mch boulders of the past."

Hopkins is a big fan of '60s comic books, says Academy Award-winning production designer Norman Garwood, so expect the influence of classic artists Jim Steranko and Jack Kirby on the film's look. "The last time I worked on anything as visually creative was Brazil." Of course, no one's ignoring the stellar Lost in Space legacy: The original Major Don West, Mark Goddard, has a cameo role, as do June Lockhart (Maureen Robinson), Marta Kristen (Judy Robinson) and Angela Cartwright (Penny Robinson).

"I'm 100 percent behind the new approach taken by the filmmakers," says Goddard. "When I meet fans of the show, they all say they loved the first 1965 season in black-and-white the best. The movie reflects that tone and is giving credibility back to the show." Sultry Mimi Rogers is definitely giving ber-space-mom Maureen Robinson a new attitude. "I set only one table and I prepare no meals," she declares. "What's great about Akiva's script is Maureen is a fully modern woman, a professor." And Goddard's got no complaints about Friends' Matt LeBlanc, who's playing his old role: "They got one of the best-looking actors in Hollywood to play me!" -- Alan Jones


New Line Cinema Press Release

New York, NY, July 16, 1997 - New Line Cinema has announced a deal with Inkworks to create two all-new lines of collectible trading cards for its blockbuster franchise Lost in Space. Inkworks, a leading publisher of entertainment cards, was selected to produce trading cards for both the classic 1960s television series and the upcoming feature film. An $80 million space adventure, the Lost in Space feature film is slated for release by New Line Cinema in April, 1998.

Comments David Imhoff, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Licensing & Merchandising, New Line Cinema, "Inkworks has quickly earned a reputation for developing high-quality and innovative cards that also break boundaries in the trading card market. Their passion, attention to detail and flair made them the obvious choice for handling a property with this wide-ranging scope."

Adds Allan Caplan, title, Inkworks, "We are absolutely delighted to be working with New Line Cinema again, and are excited about the creative prospects for both sets of cards. We hope to bring back the good feelings of a classic age of television, while simultaneously creating the intensity and excitement of a blockbuster sci-fi film for a whole new generation."

Both collectible card sets will feature UV-coated, 90 full-bleed and unique images (front and back) produced on premium quality card stock.

The Classic Series:

Officially licensed for the first time in more than thirty years, "Classic" Lost in Space trading cards will be released to the public on November 5, 1997. Geared towards baby boomers and guaranteed to evoke nostalgia for the beloved original series, the 90-card set will be highlighted by rare photos and restored vintage images. As an added highlight, preview shots of the new movie will be found in the Classic series through a 9-card subset.

The Feature Film:

As adventuresome as the new movie, the feature film trading cards will re-tell the entire movie story, as well as feature exclusive art, character cards, and information on the vehicles, spaceships, equipment, etc. This set isgeared for both the avid collector and new fans, who should also look for opportunities to win incredible Lost in Space premiums through redemption cards. In addition, the Lost in Space feature film cards contain a minimum of three levels of Bonus Cards inserts.

New Line Cinema recently named Trendmasters as the master toy licensee for 'Lost in Space,' as well as publishing deals with HarperPrism, Scholastic and an advertising campaign with Altoids. New Line Cinema also plans to partner with the Sci-Fi Channel in a series of cross-promotional opportunities beginning this fall.

Inkworks is a cutting-edge non-sport trading card company established in 1995. They are the only major card manufacturer that has established an Inkworks Guarantee that assures collectors that each display box contains defect-free cards and a complete set (90 cards) or Inkworks will replace them free of charge, while supplies last. Inkworks pledges the highest quality, production, printing and packaging. Inkworks' other licenses include the James Bond Connoisseur's Collections, Vol. I-III, Sliders, Men in Black, Starship Troopers, and New Line's highly-anticipated feature film Spawn.


New Line Cinema Press Release

New York, NY, July 16, 1997 - New Line Cinema has announced a licensing deal with Dark Horse Comics timed for the release of its big-budget space adventure Lost in Space. Dark Horse, considered the preeminent comic book publisher for sci-fi properties, will create all-new original stories based on the characters from New Line's Lost in Space feature film. The blockbuster action film is scheduled to be released in April 1998, and stars Gary Oldman, William Hurt, Matt LeBlanc and Mimi Rogers.

Says David Imhoff, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Licensing & Merchandising, New Line Cinema, "Dark Horse Comics is clearly the leader in publishing innovative and high-quality comics. Considering the success of our past partnership, and Dark Horse's impressive track record with science fiction properties, we are pleased to once again partner for what we hope to be a long and very successful series."

Comments Mike Richardson, publisher, Dark Horse Comics, "I'm really excited about publishing this comic book. I loved `Lost in Space' as a child, and from personal experience I know that New Line is a great partner. Bottom line: There's no danger here, Will Robinson!"

New Line Cinema previously partnered with Dark Horse Comics with the 1994 blockbuster The Mask. Based on Dark Horse's successful "The Mask" comic book series, the feature film was transformed into a $330 million blockbuster that catapulted Jim Carrey to stardom.

New Line Cinema recently named Trendmasters as the master toy licensee for 'Lost in Space,' as well as publishing deals with HarperPrism, Scholastic and an advertising campaign with Altoids. New Line Cinema also plans to partner with the Sci-Fi Channel in a series of cross-promotional opportunities beginning this fall.

Dark Horse Comics publishes the most diverse line of quality comics in the industry, including Star Wars, Starship Troopers, Aliens, Terminator, Predator, and many more.


New Line Cinema Press Release

New York, NY, June 9, 1997 - New Line Cinema has announced long-term publishing deals with HarperPrism and Scholastic Publishing for its Lost in Space science-fiction franchise. The innovative publishing program was signed a year before the release of New Line's feature film, and grants adult and kids' publishing rights to the respective houses, with an emphasis on creating serious science fiction. Books will begin their rollout in April of 1998, simultaneous to New Line's release of its long-anticipated Lost in Space feature film, starring William Hurt, Mimi Rogers and Gary Oldman among others. David Imhoff, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Licensing & Merchandising, New Line Cinema, negotiated the deals in conjunction with New Line's literary agent Writer's House, who will also be consulting on the series.

Says David Imhoff, "It is our aim to create a line of serious science fiction with long-term appeal for readers. With that in mind, we are excited to be working with two publishing houses that not only understand the property, but are clearly capable of creating a distinctive and well-respected series of novels based on the 'Lost in Space' franchise."

John Silbersack, Senior Vice President and Publishing Director of HarperPrism comments, "HarperPrism is very excited to be involved with New Line Cinema in developing a wide range of properties, both tie-in and continuity-related, on the 'Lost in Space' franchise. The feature film in development and the longer term plans New Line has for the property are a perfect complement to HarperPrism's unique brand marketing and cross-merchandising expertise. 'Lost in Space' will join a stellar list of bestselling Prism licenses, such as The X-Files, Magic: The Gathering, Peanuts and Independence Day."

According to Craig Walker, Editorial Director of Trade Paperbacks at Scholastic, "'Lost in Space' represents a unique opportunity for Scholastic in terms of publishing science fiction for young readers. Kids seem more and more interested in space travel, aliens and futuristic technology. And, this property has a great track record."

The deal allows HarperPrism to create a line of science-fiction novels that continues the adventures of the Robinson family (and spring from the feature film storyline) as well as an array of movie tie-ins. The tie-ins include a novelization of the feature film story that will simultaneously be released in hardcover and mass market paperback, a blueprint 'map' book, a making-of book and a postcard book. HarperPrism will also create a classic TV series postcard book and a compendium that focuses on the rich history of the classic Lost in Space series.

Scholastic's focus will be on the youth market, with a tie-in digest novelization of the Lost in Space feature film, a glossy and oversized deluxe storybook with photos and two younger children's picture books -- one in the 'Hello Reader!' series for beginning and young readers, the other an 8"x8" heavily-illustrated storybook. Additionally, Scholastic will create six spinoff digest novels for teens that focus on the further adventures of the Robinson family.


New Line Cinema Press Release

New York, NY, May 6, 1997 - New Line Television and Altoids have partnered for an innovative advertising campaign featuring the classic Lost in Space Robot and "the curiously strong mints". The program, which launches this week, will include outdoor billboards, print advertising, and postcard displays. The ads will feature the headline "Danger, Will Robinson!" in a tongue-in-cheek reference to Altoids' powerful flavor.

The unusual campaign leverages the pop culture appeal and renaissance of Lost in Space. While the Altoids partnership focuses on the Robot from the classic 1960s TV series, New Line is developing new Lost in Space properties, including a feature film in Spring, 1998 and an animated series in Fall, 1998. New Line Television will create distinct licensing programs based on the classic series, the motion picture, and the animated series.

Said Chris Russo, Executive Vice President, Franchise Programming & Marketing, New Line Television, "The Altoids brand is the perfect fit for 'Lost in Space.' Combining a pop culture icon like The Robot with Altoids' hip, creative advertising will result in a campaign that appeals to baby boomers and young adults."

According to Mark Sugden, Marketing Manager for Altoids, "Our advertising has focused on Altoids' quirky, off-beat personality. The 'Lost in Space' tie-in was a great opportunity for us to create yet another "curious" execution to our award-winning campaign." The ads were created by Chicago-based Leo Burnett, the advertising agency for Altoids.

In addition to the Altoids partnership, New Line recently announced that Trendmasters has been selected as the master toy licensee for Lost in Space. According to David Imhoff, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Licensing & Marketing, New Line Cinema, the companies will create and market an extensive toy line based on the New Line Cinema feature film, scheduled for an April 3, 1998 release, as well as the classic 1960s television series.

Production has already begun on the Lost in Space feature film, a science-fiction adventure about a family's intergalactic voyage aboard a sabotaged spaceship. Starring Gary Oldman, William Hurt, Matt LeBlanc, Mimi Rogers, Heather Graham, Lacey Chabert, and Jack Johnson, the motion picture is directed by Stephen Hopkins and written/produced by Akiva Goldsman. Inspired by the television series which has become a worldwide phenomenon, Lost in Space remains faithful to the original characters while incorporating a contemporary storyline that stands alone as a bold new family adventure. Featuring more than 650 computer-generated visual effects (nearly twice as many as Jurassic Park), Lost in Space will be populated with otherworldly creatures and high-tech robots from Jim Henson's Creature Shop.


New Line Cinema Press Release

New York, NY, April 29, 1997 - New Line Cinema has selected Trendmasters, Inc. as the Master toy licensee for the Lost in Space franchise. The companies will create and market an extensive toy line based on the New Line Cinema feature film, scheduled for a April 3, 1998 release, as well as the classic 1960's television series. The announcement was made today by David Imhoff, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Licensing and Merchandising for New Line Cinema and William DeWayne Booker, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Licensing, Trendmasters.

Trendmasters, the Toys "R" Us vendor of the year in 1996, will produce an extensive line of toys based on the Lost in Space feature film. This line will include action figures, playsets, vehicles, accessories, and other items. These toys will convey the action, adventure and special effects that characterize the Lost in Space motion picture. Extensive television advertising, promotions and special events will support the toy program. Trendmasters' previous product lines include toys based on ID4-Independence Day, Mars Attacks, Godzilla, Battlestar Galactica and Extreme Ghostbusters, among others.

As another component of the partnership, Trendmasters will create a classic Lost in Space toy line based on the 1960s TV series and characters. Some of the toys, including "The Robot," will be available in 1997, marketed primarily to baby boomers and collectors. Other classic characters, vehicles and action figures will be marketed in 1998.

Said David Imhoff, Senior vice president, worldwide licensing and merchandising at New Line Cinema, "We believe that Trendmasters possesses the qualities necessary for success in this highly-competitive marketplace -- an outside-the-box creative approach and long-term brand commitment. Their proven expertise, especially with regard to science-fiction/fantasy brands, will enable us to develop never-before-seen toys and features."

According to DeWayne Booker, senior vice president of marketing and licensing at Trendmasters, "Lost in Space is a unique opportunity for Trendmasters to create toys that will bring to life a collection of classic character images with which we all grew up. We are very excited about the potential to apply our light, sound and motion special effects to a Lost in Space toy line. We believe strongly that Lost in Space the movie and the resulting entertainment properties will create a legacy that will grow for years, and we are happy to be a part of creating that legacy."

In addition to a multi-faceted Lost In Space licensing program, New Line Television recently announced a Lost in Space Animated TV Series for 1998. Said Robert Friedman, President of New Line Television & Licensing, "The toy line and animated series, propelled by a big event motion picture, support our strategy of building Lost in Space into an important entertainment franchise. We're pleased to have Trendmasters as our partner and look forward to announcing additional licensees in upcoming weeks across a wide range of categories."

Trendmasters is a creative communications company which boasts exceptional boys action figures, wonderfully detailed girls toys and a burgeoning seasonal decor business. More than a toy company, Trendmasters develops such multimedia magic as digital 3-D product development, special effects, animation and computer gaming.

Stars Out Early For 'Lost In Space'

LONDON (Variety), April 24, 1997 - In an unusual move, New Line Cinema trotted out the stars of its costly "Lost in Space" movie to members of the press a full year before the film's release.

On hand at the press conference/party, which took place Friday at the film's Shepperton Studios set, were Gary Oldman, William Hurt, Matt LeBlanc and the rest of the cast, as well as director Stephen Hopkins and writer/producer Akiva Goldsman.

A New Line executive said the open house had everything to do with the fact that the picture, budgeted at more than $70 million, is by far the studio's biggest project, and the company was seeking as much publicity and support as it could muster.

Hurt was not entirely happy with the plan, however, holding out until the last minute before agreeing to show up.


April 5, 1997...Reported on the Lost in Space E-Mail List:

Known cameo appearances in the Lost in Space movie:

"June Lockhart plays the principle of Will's school, Mark Goddard plays a General at Alpha Control, Angela Cartwright and Marta Kristen have small parts as reporters."

LeBlanc Fills In Gap On 'Lost In Space'

By Dan Cox

HOLLYWOOD (Variety), March 12, 1997 - After just a few days of shooting on the sci-fi picture "Lost in Space" in London, Sean Patrick Flanery has been replaced by "Friends" star Matt LeBlanc, the film's producer New Line Cinema said.

The studio determined that Flanery, who was set to play the young astronaut Don West, was the wrong sensibility and look for the role. The star of "Powder" was cast opposite William Hurt, who stars as Dr. John Robinson.

"Sean Patrick Flanery is a professional who understands that his skills as an actor have nothing to do with this casting decision," said a New Line spokesman.

"Once all of the actors were assembled in London, it was decided that the role of Don West required a different look and physical presence. Sean was extremely gracious in allowing us to move forward to locate his replacement."

The picture is the feature version of the hit 1960s TV series about a family that is lost in space, jetting from planet to planet in hopes of finding their way back to Earth. Gary Oldman, Mimi Rogers and Heather Graham also star in the ensemble project. New Line is banking on the big-budget picture as a potential franchise.

LeBlanc will be forced to commute between London and Los Angeles to satisfy the remainder of his "Friends" contract, which stretches through April 11. After that, he will be full-time on "Lost in Space" until it wraps in July.

LeBlanc is best known for his role as Joey Trebbiani on the Emmy-nominated "Friends." He has also had roles on "Married... With Children," "TV101" and "Vinny and Bobby." His only feature credit is last year's box office bomb, "Ed."


March 11, 1997...Reported on the Lost in Space E-Mail List:

The existence of a Quicktime Lost in Space movie trailer at the New Line Cinema publicity site was announced on the list. The trailer features outer space special effects, a new arrangement of John Williams' first season TV series theme, a very plain lettered Lost in Space logo, Will Robinson's voice and the voice of the robot.

The file was dated March 5th but production of the trailer was likely to have been much earlier.

March 3, 1997...Reported on the Lost in Space E-Mail List:

Casting director for New Line Cinema Mike Fenton informed Bill Mumy that he would not play the role of an older Will Robinson. Apparently Mumy was eager to play the character and had been first choice for the role but a change of mind by New Line casting gave the role to someone else. Although the reasons for the change are unclear it is rumored that a lack of "Big Screen" experience was the reason given. It has been rumored that the role was given to Richard Harris' son (no relation to Jonathan Harris).

A cameo role offered to Jonathan Harris but refused was that of the businessman who hired Dr Smith (Gary Oldman) to sabotage the Jupiter 2. It has been rumored Harris was offered just $7500 to play the role.

'Powder' Star Gets 'Lost In Space'

By Dan Cox

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - Sean Patrick Flanery ("Powder," "The Grass Harp") has joined the cast of "Lost in Space," rounding out the intergalactic family of the big screen version of the camp 1960s television series.

Flanery will play Don West, the co-officer and buddy of the patriarchal John Robinson, sources said Tuesday. He joins William Hurt, Gary Oldman, Heather Graham and Mimi Rogers in the ensemble troupe.

The big-budget New Line picture starts shooting in a few weeks in London.

Flanery is currently at work on "Bred and Bored," an independent picture directed by Peter O'Fallon. He will follow "Lost In Space" with another indie film "Zack and Reba." His movie "Independence," which also stars Drew Barrymore and Dean Cain, is scheduled for release in the fall.


-- William Hurt, Gary Oldman and Heather Graham Also Star In Special Effects Packed Science Fiction Thriller--

New Line Cinema Press Release

(Los Angeles, February 5, 1997) -- Casting for the Robinson Family is complete now that Mimi Rogers, Lacey Chabert and newcomer Jack Johnson have signed on to join New Line Cinema's highly anticipated science-fiction action-adventure thriller Lost In Space, it was announced today by Richard Saperstein, Executive Vice President of New Line Productions.

Based on the classic 1960's television series, the film adaptation begins production this March in London under the direction of Stephen Hopkins (Ghost In The Darkness). Rogers will play Maureen Robinson, who along with daughter Penny (Chabert) and son Will (Johnson) become perilously lost in space when their rocketship is sabotaged. As previously announced, William Hurt will star as Dr. John Robinson, Gary Oldman stars as the despicable Dr. Smith and Heather Graham stars as Judy Robinson. New Line anticipates releasing the special effects-packed film next year and hopes to develop Lost in Space as a multi-picture franchise.

"We are excited and proud to be moving into production with some of the most talented actors working today," Saperstein said. "Lost in Space is a unique and ambitious project that can be enjoyed by those unfamiliar with the original television series and still deliver in unexpected and nostalgic ways for fans who grew-up watching the show."

"Lost in Space," which ran on CBS from 1965 to 1968, chronicled the adventures of the Robinson family, the crew of a spaceship who wander from planet to planet in their quest to return home. Veteran filmmakers Mace Neufeld and Robert Rehme will executive produce the film written by Akiva Goldsman (Batman and Robin, A Time to Kill). Hopkins, Goldsman and Prelude Pictures Chairman Mark Koch will share producing duties. Saperstein was responsible for landing the project at New Line.

Rogers most recently starred in Barbara Streisand's The Mirror Has Two Faces and Steve Buscemi's Trees Lounge, and will next be seen in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, starring Mike Meyers. One of the most busy and versatile actors in Hollywood, she will next be seen in HBO's upcoming "Weapons of Mass Destruction" and in Ken Fink's "Tricks," for Showtime, which she also executive produced.

Her other credits include starring roles in Street Smart, Desperate Hours, The Mighty Quinn, Someone to Watch Over Me, and The Rapture, for which she received a nomination for an I.F.P. Spirit Award.

Chabert is perhaps best known for her starring role as Claudia on the hit Fox Broadcasting series "Party of Five." Beginning her professional career as Erica Kane's daughter `Bianca' on the long-running ABC daytime drama "All My Children," Chabert left the role after winning the part of `Young Cossette' in the Broadway production of "Les Miserable," a part she played for two years. Before landing on "Party of Five," she also starred as `Baby June' opposite Bette Midler in CBS' acclaimed production of "Gypsy" and in the ABC after school special "Educating Mom."

Boasting an active voice-over career, Chabert will give life to characters in many upcoming animated features including starring roles as Jill in Babes in Toyland opposite Christopher Plummer and Jim Belushi; Anastasia with Meg Ryan and Angela Lansbury; and Disney's highly anticipated adventure Lion King II opposite an illustrious cast of characters. She will also lend her voice to multiple home video projects including Steven Speilberg's "An American Tale III" for Universal, Disney's "Little Redux Riding Hood" joining Mia Farrow and Michael Richards, and Mikail Barishnikov's "Stories From My Childhood" starring alongside a stellar celebrity cast. Currently Chabert stars as Eliza Thornberry in Nickelodeon's Saturday morning series, "The Wild Thornberries" which will debut this fall.

At nine-years-old, Johnson has co-starred in Love Affair and The Tie That Binds as well as such television series as "Ned and Stacey" and a variety of commercials.


New Line Cinema Press Release

(Los Angeles, January 30, 1997) -- William Hurt is in final negotiations to star with Heather Graham in New Line Cinema's highly anticipated science-fiction action-adventure thriller Lost In Space, it was announced today by Richard Saperstein, Executive Vice President of New Line Productions.

Based on the classic 1960's television series, the film adaptation begins production this March in London under the direction of Stephen Hopkins (Ghost In The Darkness). Hurt and Graham will star as John and Judy Robinson, a father and daughter who, along with other family members become perilously lost in space when their rocketship is sabotaged. As previously announced, Gary Oldman stars as the despicable Dr. Smith. New Line anticipates releasing the special effects-packed film next year and hopes to develop Lost in Space as a franchise.

"As our tentpole project for next year, this is one of New Line's biggest priorities and it is coming together beautifully," Saperstein said. "Heather Graham and William Hurt add to a fantastic cast and a uniquely talented production team that will make Lost in Space one of the most anticipated films of 1998."

New Line secured the remake rights to Lost in Space from Prelude Pictures in August, 1994. Veteran filmmakers Mace Neufeld and Robert Rehme will executive produce the film, with Prelude's Chairman Mark Koch sharing producing duties with screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (Batman and Robin, A Time to Kill) and Hopkins. Saperstein was responsible for landing the project at New Line.

"Lost in Space," which ran on CBS from 1965 to 1968, chronicled the adventures of the Robinson family, the crew of a spaceship who wander from planet to planet in their quest to return home.

Hurt can currently be seen as a bitter investigative-journalist-turned-tabloid-reporter in the box-office hit Michael. After making his debut in Altered States, Hurt went on to star in some of the most memorable films of the 1980s, including the erotic thriller Body Heat; the influential ensemble comedy The Big Chill; James Brooks' newsroom comedy Broadcast News, for which he received both Oscar and Golden Globe Award nominations; the screen adaptation of Anne Tyler's The Accidental Tourist; Children of a Lesser God; and his Oscar winning role as a South American prisoner obsessed with movies in Kiss of the Spider Woman. He has also starred in Eyewitness, Gorky Park, A Time of Destiny, I Love You To Death, and Alice.

Last year, Hurt starred in Wayne Wang's acclaimed drama Smoke, and recently completed production on Dark City for director Alex Proyas (The Crow) and New Line Cinema.

Heather Graham is among Hollywood's most sought-after actresses since starring in the sleeper hit Swingers. Along with Lost in Space, she is currently in production with Robert Downey Jr. in Two Girls and A Guy, and will next be seen starring in New Line's comedy Boogie Nights, with Burt Reynolds, Mark Wahlberg and Julianne Moore.

Bolstered by a number of impressive and acclaimed performances, she has starred in independent feature films ranging from Gus Van Sant's Drugstore Cowboy to David Lynch's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Her other film credits include Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, Diggstown, Even Cowgirls Get The Blues and Six Degrees of Separation.

Oldman May Get 'Lost' In Space Epic

By Dan Cox

HOLLYWOOD (Variety, January 22, 1997) - Danger, Will Robinson: Gary Oldman is in final talks to star as the persnickety Dr. Smith in the film version of the hit 1960s TV series Lost in Space, New Line Cinema said on Tuesday.

Oldman is the first of the ensemble cast firmed under director Stephen Hopkins (The Ghost and the Darkness), and will receive $4 million. He also signed for a sequel at a higher rate if New Line makes one.

Tim Robbins and Kenneth Branagh had also shown interest in the Dr. Smith part. The script was written by Akiva Goldsman (A Time to Kill, Batman and Robin). New Line has a $65 million budget for the high-tech special effects extravaganza...

Oldman couldn't be reached for comment, but his manager said he was eager to segue from the darker roles he's inhabited to more family entertainment.

"He wants to do something that his seven-year-old son can see," said manager Douglas Urbanski. "He's always wanted to pop up in something that is a high-camp family film."

"Gary is the perfect Dr. Smith," said New Line executive VP of production Richard Saperstein, who brought the project to the studio. "Now our challenge is to identify a cast that complements his talents and brings further integrity to the project."'


New Line Cinema Press Release

(Los Angeles, January 21, 1997) -- Gary Oldman is in final negotiations to star as the sinister Dr. Smith in New Line Cinema's highly anticipated science-fiction action-adventure thriller Lost In Space, it was announced today by Richard Saperstein, Executive Vice President of New Line Productions.

The acclaimed actor joins director Stephen Hopkins (Ghost In The Darkness) and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (A Time To Kill, Batman and Robin) on the production which is set to begin filming this March in London. Based on the classic 1960's television series, Oldman, who will be paid $4 million for the role, is the first principal cast member to buckle on board the fast-moving project. New Line anticipates releasing the special effects packed film next year and hopes to develop Lost in Space as a franchise.

"We are extremely excited that Gary is in place," Saperstein said. "Anyone familiar with his filmography understands that this is truly a stroke of dream casting. Gary is the perfect Dr. Smith. Now our challenge is to identify a cast that complements his talents and brings further integrity to the project."

New Line secured the remake rights to Lost in Space from Prelude Pictures in August, 1994. Veteran filmmakers Mace Neufeld and Robert Rehme will executive produce the film, with Prelude's Chairman Mark Koch sharing producing duties with Goldsman and Hopkins. Saperstein was responsible for landing the project at New Line and attracting Oldman, Hopkins and Goldsman. "We are remaining faithful to the original characters that audiences have grown to love, but we have developed a contemporary storyline that incorporates scientific and technological discoveries no one thought possible 30 years ago."

"Lost in Space," which ran on CBS from 1965 to 1968, chronicled the adventures of the Robinson family, the crew of a sabotaged spaceship who wander from planet to planet in their quest to return home.

This summer, Oldman will be seen in such high profile films as Air Force One, starring with Harrison Ford; The Fifth Element, starring with Bruce Willis; and he will be a featured voice in the animated motion picture The Quest for Camelot. In addition, his directorial debut Nil By Mouth will be released by Columbia Pictures. Written by Oldman, Nil By Mouth is produced by The Fifth Element director Luc Bisson.

Among his diverse screen roles, he has also starred in JFK, Murder in the First, The Professional, Bram Stokers Dracula, Immortal Beloved and The Scarlet Letter. Oldman made his screen debut in the 1986 cult classic Sid and Nancy. He has also starred in Romeo is Bleeding, Basquiat, and True Romance, among others.

Jan 16, 1997...Reported on the Lost in Space E-mail List:

"A major happening has taken place in the Lost in Space world.

As of Monday evening, January 13th ALL publicity, promotion, merchandising and other rights to Lost in Space (both the TV series and the Motion Picture) have been acquired by New Line Cinema. Until now New Line only had the rights to produce one motion picture and nothing more - but all that has changed. They can now produce an animated series (talk is for this summer), a sequel TV series, a sequel motion picture, etc..."

It was also reported that Ib Melchior a consultant on the Lost in Space movie has said that "the start of principal photography at Shepparton Studios in London is set for March 3rd...The sets - and they are huge and spectacular - have already been built...New Line plans to announce the cast in a few days...it is planned to have the principals of the old TV series appear in cameo roles." Melchior did not define which "principals" from the TV show he was referring to.

January 3, 1997...Reported on the Lost in Space E-mail List:

A US based subscriber reported the following information passed on by a friend who works for a film production company in the UK:

"One of my friends at a New Year party said she had visited the Henson workshop here in London and had seen the new "Lost in Space" robot for the new film which is being shot in Britain. It looks nothing like the original (which fans of the show who see it in the workshop keep pointing out, much to the annoyance of the staff). It stands about 8 feet tall (she said it reminded her of the big robots in the Judge Dredd film). It has a bulbous body with the head built into the chest tubular upper arms with huge disc-like forearms (like Popeye) and large hands with delicate clawlike fingers. Apparently it gets damaged half way through the film and is then rebuilt (I can't remember if the glass head isn't added at this stage to make reference to the original). The only similarity is the tracks it has in place of feet, but even these are large and triangular. Gary Oldman (who played Dracula in the Ford Coppela version) is to play Dr. Smith. None of the TV cast will be in it. It is a total update of the concept."

January 1, 1997...Reported on the Lost in Space E-mail List:

A UK fan reports seeing the following article in British Magazine 'Sci-Fi & Fantasy Models':

'At Shepperton Studios (Middlesex, England) construction of new stages is well underway. The largest has to be ready for January 1997 in order to house a sixty foot wide front section of the new Jupiter II for LOST IN SPACE. It looks like Steve Begg will be handling many of the model FX, aided by Digital at the Magic Camera Company. Magic Models, headed by Jose Granell, are building the models.'

Steve Begg previous work has included supervising miniature special effects during the production of TERRAHAWKS, DICK SPANNER, and SPACE PRECINCT.

The Magic Camera Company is one of the best known and most highly respected visual effects facilities in Europe. 90% of Magic Camera's work is 2-D image manipulation. The company's recent workn such highprofile feature films as Othello, Wind in the Willows, Muppet Treasure Island and Pinocchio

December 16, 1996 issue of People Magazine:

"Actor Gary Oldman (The Scarlet Letter) has been offered $3 million-plus to head the cast in New Line Cinema's planned big screen version of the old '60s TV series Lost in Space. If Oldman says yes, he'll be the campy villain, Dr. Zachary Smith, portrayed on the series by Jonathan Harris. Offers for all other leading roles - played on TV were June Lockhart, Mark Goddard, Billy Mumy, Marta Kristen, Angela Cartwright and Guy Williams (who died in 1989) - have yet to be tendered, "The part of the doctor is the most fun part, and we wanted to cast it first," says Mike De Luca, New Line's production head. De Luca also says he hopes to lure back the TV cast for cameos..."

October 1996...Issue 16 of Lost in Space Australia's "Alpha Control newsletter" publicly reveals the most detailed information about the new movie to date. Claiming to have had access to the final draft of Akiva Goldsman's script, LISA reveals that the movie recreates the original story of Lost in Space from the first few episodes. All the characters from the original series are present in the script with some subtle variations. Major Don West becomes Captain West, the result of a demotion relating to his having broken military direction to save a friend. Debbie the Bloop is called "Blip."

The LISA articles goes on to outline basic characterization which shows the original characters have been reinterpreted in the movie. For example, we learn Judy is a genius having developed the technology for the cryogenic freezing tubes. We also learn that Dr. Smith shows none of the campiness we come to associate with his character in the TV series. In fact, he is not easily frightened but there are several instances where his TV persona appears to come to the surface, eg. when he exclaims: "We're doomed! We're Doomed!" and he even says on one occassion "Bubble Headed Booby." Unlike in the TV series, the name of Dr. Smith's evil boss is not "Aeolis 14 Umbra" but "William One" whose code name is "Brutus."

LISA identifies 6 main story elements in the movie. If you don't wish to know them please do not read the next section.

1. Explanation of each character before launch.
2. The Launch of the Jupiter 2.
3. Jupiter 2 adventure begins in space.
4. Jupiter 2 crash landing.
5. The Robinsons encounter time ripples.
6. The film ends with "To be continued."

The Lost in Space movie therefore definately does not carry on from where the original TV series left off. The movie is not about a "rescue" of the original cast which many fans favored.

The LISA article even reproduces a single page of dialogue from the script, a dramatic exchange between Maureen and Dr. Smith after all the Robinsons had awoken from their freezing tubes with the exception of Judy.

'Lost in Space' Finds Home On Big Screen

By Dan Cox

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - "Lost In Space" will soon be found on the big screen. New Line Cinema is developing a $60 million feature version of the 1960's TV series about a family traveling from planet to planet trying to get home. However the movie will not indulge in the camp that made the TV series so popular. Rather, it will sacrifice the laughs for high-tech special effects and a strong story.

"The challenge of the piece is that it appeal to kids and to baby-boomers who were the audience for the original series," said Richard Saperstein, the New Line executive who is overseeing the production.

The CBS series ran from 1965 to 1968, and its cast included Guy Williams, June Lockhart, Billy Mumy and Jonathan Harris as the pompous Dr. Zachary Smith.

New Line may also opt for ensemble casting instead of A-list talent in order to let the production take top billing.

The production is set to start shooting in London on Feb. 1 for an October 1997 release. Stephen Hopkins ("Predator 2," "Judgment Night") will direct from a script by Akiva Goldsman.



[New Logo]



Based on the popular hit 1960's television series which has regained cult status in the United States, Lost in Space is an action-packed, special effects laden, science-fiction adventure about one family's extraordinary journey across time and space, in a desperate search for a new home for humankind.

In the not-so-distant future, the Earth is on the verge of total collapse. After years of abuse, the environment is in shambles, the world's population has exploded, and food is running out. Humanity's only hope for survival lies in the stars. The Robinsons are selected as the "perfect" family to find a new world. Their mission - to fly the sleek Jupiter Two spacecraft through the cosmos to the distant star Alpha Centauri and prepare another planet for human colonization. There's only one problem, the Robinsons are not perfect!

Professors Maureen and John Robinson are on the verge of divorce, with a year of intensive training taking a toll on their already strained marriage. Daughter Judy is a beautiful and driven young doctor whose studies have left her with no experience in the affairs of the heart. Penny is a rebellious teen, ambivalent about leaving home for the dark mysteries of space. Young Will, the Robinson's only son, is a shy and socially awkward ten-year-old, finding happiness in front of his computer, surfing the waves of cyberspace. Stowed below the decks of the Jupiter 2 is the evil Doctor Zachary Smith, who attempts to sabotage the mission by re-programming the Robinson's computer.

What follows is an exciting, exhilarating and often dangerous adventure through the uncharted causeways and with the unknown inhabitants of the galaxy. Lost in the darkness of space, off course and out of contact with civilization, the crew of the Jupiter Two must pool all of their resources and talents in order to survive and find their way to Alpha Centauri before all hope for the Earth is lost.

Written by Akiva Goldsman (Batman Forever, A Time to Kill, The Client).

New Line Cinema
116 North Robertson Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90048
Telphone (310)854-5811 Fax (310) 657-4156

* * * * * *

The information contained in the document was later denied by a publicity spokesperson for New Line Cinema. According to the spokesperson, the fax was part of an advanced publicity kit sent to European Video Distributors outlining future New Line Cinema releases and was not necessarily an accurate reflection of the film. Despite the denial, the press release was widely circulated as it kept cropping up in fan discussions world-wide as well as fan publications.

In March 1996 fans got their biggest insight into what the new movie was all about courtesy of a faxed press release received by Glenn Ware of the Australian Lost in Space Club (see above). The fax included what appeared to be a movie logo. Soon after, the contents of the fax were made available to fans via the Internet Lost in Space discussion group, leading to heated fan debate.

Up until early 1996 one of the few details known about the Lost in Space movie was that the script writer would be Akiva Goldsman, who had reportedly been paid $1 million for his script. Goldsman indicated in a comic review magazine in late 1995 that his script would not reflect the camp of the TV series and that the plot would commence with the launch of the Jupiter 2 and therefore it would not be a reunion movie. Goldsman also revealed that he was a great fan of the show as child.

Concrete evidence the movie was still on track emerged in late November 1995 when it was revealed Prelude Pictures had decided to exercise their option rights to the movie (originally purchased in 1993) by paying an additional sum of $850,000. This effectively closed the deal and enabled the production of the movie to go ahead.

In 1995 fans became frustrated when the movie appeared to be put on hold and rumors became even more extreme. Some fans even began to doubt whether the movie would ever be made. In actual fact the delay in production of this movie was more the result of Prelude being already committed to other projects which needed to be completed first.

When it appeared all hope was lost, Turner Broadcasting came to the rescue in 1994. Through its subsidiary, New Line Cinema, Turner Broadcasting purchased the movie rights from Prelude Pictures and Neufeld-Rehme. This followed a week of intense biding with 20th Century Fox, fuelled mainly because the deal offered lucrative returns through an extensive merchandising campaign. Significantly the deal brokered by Los Angeles lawyer Michael Gendler, retained Prelude Pictures as the producer of the film. At around this time the budget for the film appeared to increase and there was talk of it being in the $50 million to $60 range.

News that there would be a Lost in Space movie generated all kinds of rumors, despite repeated explanations from New Line and Prelude that the movie "had no cast, no script, no studio, and no director." Some of the intial rumors that began circulating were that Sharon Stone had been cast as Judy and Richard Simmons as Dr. Smith. Other names connected with playing the role of Dr. Smith were Jack Nicholson and Bob Hoskins. Other casting rumors included Harrison Ford as John Robinson and Macaulay Culkin as Will Robinson. Perhaps the most amazing rumor was that a Lost in Space cave set had been built on a sound stage in Chicago.

In late 1993, Paramount Pictures became caught up in a bidding war between QVC and Viacom. In the cost cutting that almost invariably follows corporate takeovers, the Lost in Space movie seemed to fall through the cracks and once again it appeared that this movie would never be made.

In 1992 a 29 year old Lost in Space fan, Bill Anagnos, apparently unaware of the swelling tide of Lost in Space fandom or the existance of Innovation's successful Lost in Space comic, approached producers Mark Koch and Mike Illitch Jr. of Prelude Pictures about the possibility of turning the 1960's TV series into a major feature movie. After listening to Bill's ideas both men became very enthusiastic and immediatley went about securing the movie rights from Sheila Matthews, the late Irwin Allen's widow. To win those rights Prelude Pictures and its joint venture partner Neufeld-Rehme Productions had to outbid Columbia Pictures, TriStar Pictures and 20th Century Fox. Thrilled with landing the rights, Mark Koch later revealed "I think what really helped us was Mace Neufeld knows Shelia Matthews Allen and she knows that Mace will produce this right!" It is believed the final price paid was $1 million.

Prelude Pictures had achieved what many had thought was impossible. A decade earlier Bill Mumy had unsuccessfuly tried to interest Irwin Allen in his own movie script. Allen was not interested and refused to even read Bill's script despite a massive letter campaign by fans in support of the film. In the late 1980's, Irwin Allen finally relented to fan pressure. It is understood he even ordered research to begin to investigate the possibility of making his old show into a movie. In 1990, he approached Jonathan Harris to seek comments about his plans. Regrettably, Irwin Allen passed away in 1991 after a long illness and the plans were abandoned.

With the rights secured Prelude and Neufeld-Rehme then set about seeking the needed finance from Paramount Pictures, who were given first right of refusal. If passed up by Paramount, the partnership was free to market their film around Hollywood. However the makers of "Star Trek", realizing the film's potential, gave the go-head and a budget to proceed of reportedly between $40 and $50 million.

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