Somebody alert the sleestaks! In a casting announcement so bizarre it could only emanate from a Sid and Marty Krofft show, Will Ferrell will be starring in a big-screen version of the classic kids’ show “Land of the Lost” for Universal. Adam McKay, who teamed with Ferrell for last year’s “Anchorman,” will direct.
For those who actually spent their Saturday mornings outdoors, “Land of the Lost” was an early morning program that ran from 1974-1977 and later enjoyed a rebirth when it ran for years in reruns.
“Land of the Lost” tells the story of forest ranger Rick Marshall, who falls into a time vortex while rafting the Colorado River with his children, Rick and Holly. The three are transported to a mysterious, forgotten world where they encounter such oddities as dinosaurs, talking monkeys and cavemen. Although many natural dangers threaten their mission to return to the present day, the Marshalls are most fearful of the menacing sleestaks, hissing lizardlike creatures that suggest the possible offspring of Greedo from “Star Wars” and He-Man arch-enemy Mer-Man.
Universal acquired the feature film rights from the Kroffts, producers of “Land of the Lost” and such other “what were they smoking?” fantasy programs as “H.R. Pufnstuf” and “Lidsville.” The kiddie-television pioneers will produce the movie, along with Mosaic Media Group’s Jimmy Miller and Julie Wixon-Darmody.
The casting of Ferrell instills hope that the remake will be an inspired parody of a show remembered far less for its plotlines than the campy visual of Marshall, Will and Holly dodging Styrofoam boulders while being flushed into a world of crude green-screen interaction.
Over the years, “Lost” has become a wellspring for affectionate pop-culture references, memorably having its cheesy dialogue borrowed for the 1996 electronica song “Multi-Family Garage Sale” by a band calling itself Land of the Loops. Those looking to reacquaint themselves with the hopelessly square Marshall clan should begin setting aside money for April 26, when the complete series becomes available on DVD.
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