James Gunn Says the New ‘Starsky & Hutch’ Will Continue the Original Series

James Gunn is producing a new Starsky & Hutch show at Amazon, and the Guardians of the Galaxy director has now revealed that it will not be a reboot but rather a continuation of the original series.

On his Facebook page, Gunn said this week that the original Starsky & Hutch was the first “adult” show that he saw and fell in love with, and the new version will take place within the same universe as the old one.

“This would NOT be a reboot or a remake, but a continuation of the original series that would deconstruct the buddy cop show in a fun way,” Gunn wrote, describing his original idea for the new show. “Like Guardians of the Galaxy did with the space opera, it would honor the genre while turning it inside-out.”

Starsky & Hutch

Starsky & Hutch. | Sony Pictures Television

Gunn added that his pitch for Starsky & Hutch was exciting, different, and not what people would expect. How it will continue the original series remains to be seen, and Gunn didn’t want to give anything away when a Facebook user asked for more details.

IT IS NOT A REBOOT OR A REMAKE,” Gunn said. “It is a continuation. I can’t go into too much detail about what that means, but, to me at least, it’s an important difference. ”

Gunn also noted that the new version will be a gritty, character-driven drama, not a comedy like the 2004 version starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.

“…[I]t [will] definitely not be a spoof like the 2004 Starsky & Hutch movie – it [will] be gritty and driven by both characters and high stakes,” Gunn writes.

In the comments section, one Facebook user begged Gunn not to let Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson come back. Wanting to make his reference to the 2004 version clear, Gunn said that he actually has no problem with that movie; it’s just that this will be a different take.

It’s unclear whether James Gunn will actually direct any episodes of Starsky & Hutch. The Hollywood Reporter notes that he may direct the pilot, but that depends on whether he has time in his busy schedule; he’s currently writing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, a movie that he will direct for a likely 2020 release date. Though Gunn came up with a lot of ideas for the series, the script for the pilot will be written by the director’s brother, Brian Gunn, and his cousin, Mark Gunn.

James Gunn at the opening of the Guardians of The Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! ride

James Gunn at the opening of the Guardians of The Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! ride. | Richard Harbaugh/Getty Images

The original Starsky & Hutch aired starting in 1975 on ABC, with 92 episodes being broadcast during that time. It followed two police detectives, David Michael Starsky (Paul Michael Glaser) and Kenneth Richard Hutchinson (David Soul), and it was one of the early entries into what would develop into the “buddy cop” genre. The show ended in 1979 after four seasons, partially due to declining ratings and partially due to Paul Michael Glaser’s desire to move on from the series.

In 2004, Todd Phillips (Old School, The Hangover) adapted the show into a movie, but it was almost a spoof of the original TV series rather than a proper adaptation of it. Phillips’ version was a success at the box office, grossing $170 million worldwide on a $60 million budget. But with James Gunn’s show, there will be more of an attempt to return to the feel of the original series, and presumably none of the comedy that characterizes the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise will be present here.

Starsky & Hutch recently landed at Amazon. Gunn said on Facebook this week that he felt Amazon would offer the most freedom and allow him to challenge the audience and stray outside of the genre.