New York—Looking to capitalize on the incredible success of his Broadway smash musical, “Hamilton,” Paramount Pictures confirmed yesterday that Lin-Manuel Miranda has signed on to write, direct and star in a big-screen adaptation/reboot of the classic 1980’s syndicated children’s television program, “The Great Space Coaster.”
Miranda will be working with puppeteer John Tartaglia, who starred on Broadway in “Avenue Q” from 2003 until 2005. The film will combine live action, puppetry and CGI, according to Paramount.
“This will be a bold, innovative, daring film, bringing the joy and camaraderie shown on television in the early ’80s to today’s generation,” a spokesman for Paramount said. “We are very, very excited to work with both John and Lin-Manuel, as well as the rest of the amazing cast to bring these amazing characters to the big screen.”
Also confirmed to be in the cast are Gary Oldman as Gary Gnu, Betty White as the voice of Knock Knock the Woodpecker, Andy Serkis as Goriddle Gorilla and Denzel Washington as the rose-loving elephant, Edison.
Lin-Manuel will play the role of the evil ringmaster M.T. Promises, whose sole mission in life is to recapture the clown Baxter, who drives the Great Space Coaster, and take him back to the circus. Baxter will be played by Keenan Thompson.
Rounding out the cast of the film are Kira Kosarin as Francine, Michael B. Jordan as Danny and Joey Bragg as Roy, the teenage band members spirited away from Earth by Baxter.
Running on first run syndication from 1981 through 1986, “The Great Space Coaster” was a children’s educational television program that centered around a great space coaster that flew kids to an asteroid in space, where they encountered a wide array of colorful, puppet-like characters and sang in a band. Oddly enough, neither Sid nor Marty Krofft had any involvement in the show.