Joaquin Phoenix has been cast as the lead, Stringfellow Hawke. Dennis Franz will star as Hawke’s co-pilot/father-figure/sidekick Dominic Santini.
The series, created by TV icon Donald P. Bellisario, ran on both CBS and the USA Network between 1984 and 1987. Bellisario,who officially retired from Hollywood in 2007 after clashing with “NCIS” star Mark Harmon, will reportedly have no involvement with the film.
Hawke’s love interest, Caitlin O’Shannessy, will be played by Disney star/singer Olivia Holt.
Barry Van Dyke will reprise his role in the television series and portray Saint John Hawke, Stringellow’s long-lost, kidnapped brother.
Denzel Washington has been signed to play Archangel Coldsmith-Briggs, an agent with “The Firm” who recruits Hawke to steal back the futuristic helicopter after its unstable creator steals it and uses it to commit acts of terror against the United States.
Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, most famous for writing on “LOST,” have been tapped to pen the script, with Christopher McQuarrie reportedly in talks to direct.
“While it is true that no current executive at ‘Paramount’ was alive when the TV show aired, most of the creative team has watched episodes online,” a rep with the production company said. “And they weren’t bad, to be quite honest. It was pretty good. And we are confident that with the right script, and a good amount of CGI, we can bring the story into the 21st century and to a whole new audience. We’re very excited. Truly.”
Phoenix also took to the podium to discuss the announcement, but said nothing during the 14 minutes he took questions from the media, before slowly walking off the stage and eating a banana. Holt said on Twitter that she was “super, crazy, MEGA excited to be in this movie! I LUVED (sic) watching AIR WoLF (sic) when I was little! SO Exited!! (sic). XOXO <3”