‘Knight Rider’ movie begins to step on the accelerator


EXCLUSIVE: A “Knight Rider” film is getting closer to making the leap.

A film version of the popular ‘80s TV show is gaining momentum, with the Weinstein Co., which owns feature rights, bringing on filmmaker Brad Copeland to write a draft of the script, according to a person familiar with the production who was not authorized to talk about it publicly.

Copeland is a writer-director who penned another vehicular themed feature — 2007 hit “Wild Hogs” — wrote on the “Arrested Development” TV series and has been attached to reboots of other TV mainstays, including “Gilligan’s Island.” His feature directorial debut, an indie R-rated comedy titled “Coffee Town,” is hitting day-and-date next month.


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The new “Knight Rider” is being conceived as a somewhat higher-budget, more action-oriented movie than Weinstein’s typical prestige fare. The company bought the rights from Glen Larson, the prolific creator of many a TV action series, including the hit NBC show about Michael Knight and his flying Trans Am. David Hasselhoff, who of course played Knight in the original “Knight Rider,” has been making noise about wanting to be a part of the new movie.

Though a rebooted TV series ran on NBC for just 17 episodes beginning in 2008, the market for a new movie could be abundant, what with the global take of the sixth and most recent “Fast & Furious” movie at $645 million and counting.

The question for Copeland is how to craft a new car (the show’s KITT was renowned for its ability to talk) in an era when much of what KITT could do can be handled by Siri or a garden-variety iPhone. Certainly, though, he’ll bring one asset the original series didn’t exactly have in spades: Copeland has a deep background in comedy.

A Weinstein Co. spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.


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