The Greatest American Hero To Feel So Free Again

by Erik Amaya

 

The Greatest American Hero may soon find its way to a reboot.

Deadline reports Fresh Off the Boat writer Rachna Fruchbom will develop a new take on the 1980s dramedy for ABC. The new version will center on Meera, a 30-year-old Indian-American who loves tequila and receives wondrous abilities from a group of wandering aliens.

The reboot takes its cues from the original Greatest American Hero. Created by prolific TV producer Stephen J. Cannell, the series starred William Katt, Connie Sellecca and Robert Culp. Katt played Ralph Hinkley, a high school teacher with a Superman-esque costume which granted him superhuman powers. Unfortunately, when he obtained the suit from a group of aliens, he misplaced the instruction manual. Aided by Culp (as FBI Agent Bill Maxwell) and Sellecca (as lawyer Pam Davidson), Hinkley fought crime and crash-landed into dumpsters for three seasons on ABC. An attempt to flip the script with The Greatest American Heroine produced a pilot starring Mary Ellen Stuart and Culp in 1986. It failed to become a series, but appeared as a special feature on the DVD release of the original series.

Since the show’s demise, Cannell attempted to bring it to the big screen, often meeting resistance when he demanded the spandex suit be preserved in any version of the script. After his death in 2010, 21 Jump Street directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord tried to develop The Greatest American Hero as a film twice. Both attempts were not successful.

It is unclear if Frunchbom’s new title character will maintain Hinkley’s bumbling and carelessness or if she will get her hands on that long-missing instruction manual. Either could lead to a successful series, though I’d love to see that original premise maintained.

Erik Amaya

Host of Tread Perilously and a Film/TV Writer at Comicon.com. A contributing writer at CBR, Fanbase Press, Monkeys Fighting Robots and Rotten Tomatoes. Voice of Puppet Tommy on The Room Responds. A seeker of the Seastone Chair and the owner of a Legion Flight Ring. Sorted into Gryffindor, which came as some surprise.