n the spring of 1983, there were two things that I was looking forward to - the end of the school year and the release of RETURN OF THE JEDI, the final chapter in the STAR WARS saga! (Please don't laugh!) I was eight years old and who the hell my age age didn't want to see how this STAR WARS business was going to pan out? Could DARTH VADER have been bluffing about being LUKE's dad? Was HAN SOLO going to be freed from the carbonite or was this going to be the end of the road? Did any of this mean wedding bells for LUKE and LEIA? (Seriously, don't laugh!) We could certainly count on the fact that the EMPIRE was going to get it's due and LUKE was going to have learned a thing or two about wielding a lightsaber. This was the age before moral ambiguity reared it's head in space opera. The good guys always won in those days.
In the weeks before the release of the third STAR WARS film was another science fiction opera, though this one was televised. It was a two-part miniseries called V and it had all the trademarks that would fly with a kid like me growing up in the STAR WARS era. You had massive flying saucers, aliens and laser guns, but V was a different kind of science fiction. This wasn't escapism. V was a tale of human life under the fascist rule of an alien menace with a blood chilling agenda. It was an allegory for the rise of the Third Reich before I knew what an allegory was, let alone the Third Reich. The nightmare of totalitarian suppression told through the gadgetry and circumstance that only a science fiction narrative could accomplish was what made V the curious phenomenon that it was. It even made for some ratings gold, and even today, is still ranked as one of the top rated miniseries of all time. V was a curious cultural milestone that is sadly not so easily remembered today and often confused for the TV series that it morphed into in 1984 and the 2009 reboot for ABC TV which miraculously lasted for two seasons. It doesn't enjoy the cultural resonance of a STAR TREK or a BATTLESTAR GALACTICA for anyone under the age of forty.
THE ARTiCLE WiLL CONTiNUE
FOLLOWiNG THE ADVERTiSEMENT BELOW
V announced it's pending arrival with a series of mysterious TV spots throughout NBC's programming. In these spots, massive flying saucers loomed menacingly over suburban neighborhoods and cityscapes. This was all happening more than a decade before the release of INDEPENDENCE DAY, and while that film had the benefit of CGI, V used some serviceable matte paintings and blue screen that could sell the human race's latest dilemma to audiences in the days of analog television. Yes, it's clear that the aliens have arrived , but who the hell were they? Were these going to be the benevolent grasshopper-like creatures that we saw in CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND? Were they to be the lovable, homely dwarves that we saw on E.T.? Remember, this was 1983 and the E.T. craze wasn't finished just yet.
Part one aired on May 1, 1983, and we got our first look at the aliens dubbed "The Visitors" in the form of SUPREME COMMANDER JOHN ( RICHARD HERD) atop of the UN Building in New York City, making his formal introduction to the human race. Disappointingly, they looked human. In fact, SUPREME COMMANDER JOHN looks like the guy who tried to get me to join PRIMERICA 15 years ago. The only thing separating Visitor from Human is their reverberated voices. It turns out that the Visitors need our help in a manufacturing a chemical that will save their dying planet which circles the star Cyrius. Throughout the course of part one, the two worlds come together to the delight of some and to the worry of others. Even a few love interests begin to take shape, one of which involves a bumbling visitor by the name of WILLIE. (Portrayed by ROBERT ENGLUND in his pre-FREDDY KRUEGER days.) Out of a nowhere, news or a conspiracy of human scientists trying to seize control of the motherships hovering over Earth begins to break and scientists (particularly anthropologists) begin to disappear. Getting to the heart of this story is journalist MIKE DONOVAN (MARC SINGER), who sneaks aboard a mothership and crawls through their ventilation system secretly videotaping the higher ups eating live mice and scarfing down a live guinea pig while discussing their plans to control human society. As he makes his way further down the ventilation system, he sees a Visitor removing his contact lenses exposing red, serpentine eyes. The officers sees DONOVAN past the grating and pulls him into his quarters where a fight ensues and we learn that these visitors have forked tongues that spew venom. DONOVAN reaches for the face of the officer and begins to pull the human-like flesh from it. In this shocking scene, we learn that these SEARS catalog model appearing Visitors are in fact reptilian. DONOVAN escapes the mothership with videotape of the skirmish in tow and brings it to an NBC affiliate to broadcast, but the Visitors take control the airwaves, declare DONOVAN a fugitive and declare martial law on human society. In response to this martial law, a resistance begins to take shape under the unwitting leadership of fugitive scientist JULIET PARRISH (FAYE GRANT). For a kid brought up on STAR WARS and all of it imitations (BUCK ROGERS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA), V was my first introduction to the fear and paranoia that exists in a totalitarian dictatorship. Seeing humanity cornered in this way was something out of the TWILIGHT ZONE, and I wouldn't become aware of that show until later that Summer.
How the hell was the human race going to handle this reptilian menace? What were the intentions of the Visitors and their smolderingly hot commandant DIANA (JANE BADLER)? In part two, we witnessed the Visitor's seizing control of a small California town and rounding up it's residents in nightmarish flashbacks and learned of the Visitors' plans to take the water from Earth and harvest humans for food and use some of them in an army to defeat a mysterious enemy that is never mentioned again. Of course, the alien commandant DIANA has grown interested in the mating of human and visitor and lays a little Spanish fly for the seemingly star-crossed lovers, the captive ROBIN MAXWELL (BLAIR TEFKIN) and hunky visitor officer BRIAN (PETER NELSON). The ragtag resistance fighters led by JULIET PARRISH get their first victory against the Visitors when fighting off a convoy of Visitor ships attacking a mountain camp, but the Visitor threat is massive and seemingly insurmountable. By the end of the miniseries, humanity is still under the oppressive regime of the Visitors, our heroes are still fugitives, PARRISH transmits a binary message into space to the alien intelligence that had defeated the Visitors before, and ROBIN MAXWELL is pregnant by her reptilian paramour. Not since EMPIRE STRIKES BACK had I been dealt such a cliffhanger.
t happens more and more. I walk into these rooms full of grown up and they say 'Wow! Man, I grew up watching your stuff!' and I'm like 'But you're older than I am right?'" says KENNETH JOHNSON over the phone when I explain to him my fondness for V and just about everything he created for television from THE BIONIC WOMAN and THE INCREDIBLE HULK all the way up to the series ALIEN NATION. "I always feel like I'm in a room full of grown ups. I've had arrested development from the time I was seventeen. But it's nice to hear that you're a fan."
The resume of KENNETH JOHNSON is one I've been familiar with since I was a boy. As creator of the THE BIONIC WOMAN and THE INCREDIBLE HULK, he served up a more dramatically nuanced style sci-fi television where human emotion was just as resonant as any special effect. Who doubted for a moment that despite cybernetic enhancement that LYNDSAY WAGONER's JAMIE SOMMERS was all woman in the BIONIC WOMAN? And who didn't well up at the end of every episode of the INCREDIBLE HULK when BILL BIXBY's DAVID BANNER resumed his status as a fugitive after saving a guest star's life and started hithhiking?
THE ARTiCLE WiLL CONTiNUE
FOLLOWiNG THE ADVERTiSEMENT BELOW
In speaking with JOHNSON, I brought up the fact that 2018 was going to be the 35th anniversary of V, but clearly, there were other matters more pressing. One was the release of his new novel THE DARWIN EFFECT- a day after tale about a deadly comet hitting Earth and the lengths that people will got to in order to survive. And of course, the other matter is the return of of V. Some of you may think that V already saw it's return in 2009 when ABC rebooted the franchise to lukewarm ratings and critical response. But JOHNSON had nothing to do with that 2009 "re-imagining" or any other iteration of V outside of that original four hour miniseries from thirty-five years ago. This new V is headed for the big screen with backing and support by the re-vamped DESILU STUDIOS and will feature JOHNSON as both writer and director.
"There is a script. There is a full completed script and two sequel scripts as well." says JOHNSON. "This film will be the first of a trilogy. It's not a re-imagining of what I did before. I'm not very fond of that word. I've seen other people try to re-imagine projects of mine in the past and the results were not so beauteous. THE BIONIC WOMAN was a disaster and the first couple of HULK movies were really scary in a bad way. There were so many reasons why the original four hour mini-series of V that I did was successful. A lot of it had to do with the fact that I was dealing with a timeless kind of a story. In truth, the core of the story is SPARTACUS and the revolt of the slaves. It's about the American Revolution. It's about any group of oppressed people fighting back against this huge power that is over them"
"When I first conceived of V it was designed as a piece that was a study about power and when an uber power comes into your life like the Nazis rolled across Europe in the '30s and '40s and how some people would suck up to that power like the Vichy French did to aggrandize and enrich themselves and be on the side of the winner, and some people people would go along with it and keep their heads down and think if I don't bother them, they won't bother me. But then, there are the people that say 'Wait a minute! This power is being abused and it's dangerous and it needs to be fought against!' We can't have someone controlling all of the media and telling us what is really not true and have people believe. It sounds a little bit like today, doesn't it?"
There is no doubt that the TRUMP administration is doing wonders for speculative fiction with a dystopian twist. Just look at the critical hosannas being thrown at HULU's serial take on MARGARET ATWOOD's THE HANDMAID'S TALE. It isn't such a stretch that these times could work in favor for a new version of V.
"There were so many reasons that V was successful, but the core reason was that it had a layer of substance underneath the sci-fi hoo-hah and the big spaceships and the lizards and all of that kind of thing. None of that was in my original concept of V. All of that stuff was added later and it was really just the icing on the cake. I really wanted to do a story of how ordinary people reacted to extraordinary circumstances. But I realized, that by adding element of spaceships flying overhead, and having these people present one agenda while they really did have a different face, literally, was a great way to combine commercial appeal with a story that had something to say about who we are and what we should be thinking about in society. V was incredibly successful. It was the highest rated show in the country and it's on of the top 15 highest rated mini-series in television history. It ranks, as I am told, the highest work of science fiction in the history of television, so I didn't want to mess with success. The response, the reviews and the acclaim was so rewarding. The one person who wasn't happy with it was me."
Dissatisfaction with the limitations of film making of the time has an awfully familiar ring to it. It brings to mind the very dissatisfaction that drove GEORGE LUCAS to tinker with the masters of his films with iffy CGI inserts into his classic films, which yielded clunky results and controversy. Shot in film as opposed to video and eschewing flat angles in favor of a documentary style of film making that lends to the films sense of paranoia, V THE MINI-SERIES still resonates on a visual level.
"In those days I didn't have the time or the money or certainly the tools didn't exist to make it look the way that I wanted it to look. If you're going to do a four hour mini-series you need at least three to four months of prep before you start shooting. People in the industry's jaws drop when I tell them that when BRANDON TARTIKOFF of NBC read the script and said go, until the day I said action, I had two and a half weeks."
Perhaps the tense shooting schedule helped in conveying the tension and paranoia of a society under martial law?
"It was insane. People say that's impossible. You can't do that. Well, we did. We did all of the prepping that we could in two and a half weeks and we did it and we started shooting. BRANDON wanted to get it on the air as fast as he possibly could because NBC was so far in the toilet and WARNER BROTHERS hadn't sold anything and they were eager to get it made. Every weekend during production we would take a deep breath and spend that weekend prepping for the next week. I was filming this thing while we were still casting. JANE BADLER, who played DIANA, wasn't even hired until the third week of production. We didn't have a budget until three weeks into the production. Four weeks into the production, one of my leading ladies was murdered."
Actress DOMINIQUE DUNNE was cast in the role of ROBIN MAXWELL and up until that time had gained notice for her portrayal of older sister DANA FREELING in the 1981 SPIELBERG film POLTERGEIST. During the filming of V on October 30, 1982, DUNNE was strangled by her ex-boyfriend JOHN THOMAS SWEENEY in the driveway of her home and fell into a coma. DUNNE died five days later. Curiously, SWEENEY was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and only served three and a half years in prison. The role of ROBIN MAXWELL was recast with BLAIR TEFKIN (FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH).
"It was a heartbreaking situation!" says JOHNSON, "We shot three weeks of material with her and we had to go back and recast and re-shoot those scenes, but the hardest part was losing her as a human being."
***he success of V THE MINISERIES in the ratings, which attracted 40% of the viewing telelvision audience, shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone. As an eight year-old kid, the notion of bad guys with human skin that could be ripped off to expose a reptilian visage, gave inspiration to some schoolyard games that me and my friends could play. Why there wasn't more of an effort to create a toy line for this fascinating new franchise was beyond me. As the Summer progressed, RETURN OF THE JEDI hit the screens and while it satisfied as the closing chapter of a formidable space opera, it didn't have a reveal as exciting as seeing a seemingly human woman hog down an entire guinea pig. Oh yeah, there was that bit about LUKE and LEIA being brother and sister, but even an eight year old could see that had more to do with convenience than anything else.
A year later came V THE FINAL BATTLE - a six-hour miniseries that today, looks like it came in at a fraction of the budget and clearly had it's sights set on morphing into a weekly television series. The drama and paranoia of the original is gone and replaced with prime time soap opera-styled line delivery and a reliance on clunky action sequences. JOHNSON's magic touch was noticeably absent and a quick look at the credits will tell you that the man lost control of his baby. When you helm a successful miniseries for television, how do you get removed from every creative decision that goes into it's sequel and all of the iterations that come after it?
"It's very simple. At first I was tasked with supervising the writing of the sequel. I was working with writers PEGGY GOLDMAN, CRAIG FAUSTUS BUCK and DIANE FROLOV. These were writers who had written hours upon hours of television with me in the past. Together, we came up with a six-hour script that was better that the original four-hour one I had written. Of course it was better, I had three fantastic people helping me out with it. We spent the entire Summer of 1983 crafting the story and each of us wrote a two-hour piece. BRANDON TARTIKOFF had hoped that my original four-hour was going to serve as a pilot for a weekly series. Eventually, he realized that a weekly series was going to be too expensive so TARTIKOFF went to WARNERS and suggested a six-hour sequel with the idea that it would garner big ratings. WARNERS said no. They didn't want to be in the miniseries business. So TARTIKOFF proposed a blind, thirteen episode series commitment from me if they chose to go along with making the six-hour sequel to V. No one in the history of television has ever done that before. Sure, you get blind pilot deals but never a blind series deal. And the show could've been whatever we decided."
"When I started working on supervising the writing for what would become V THE FINAL BATTLE, I got a call from WARNERS saying that they didn't want me directing any part of the sequel. I pointed out that it was in my contract to direct, and they told me to forget about that. I realized that I was going to have to back away. They told me that I was still going to get my money, but that they wanted to get me working on the 13-episode blind series commitment. I said no and they told me I had a contract. I told them "Not anymore I don't!" They pointed out that I couldn't take that commitment to another studio, and I said that I understand that. They also pointed out that I'd be walking away from millions of dollars. I told them 'I understand that too, but you breached my contract. I'm out of here!' That was the reason that I left and it was heartbreaking. It was like having a baby and handing it over to foster parents that you didn't trust. There was nothing I could do. They totally screwed me over."
This wouldn't be the last time JOHNSON would deal with WARNER BROTHERS.
"They [WARNERS] came back a couple of years later when BRIAN GRAZER and I came up with a show called SHADOW CHASERS. It was like X-FILES with a sense of humor before there was even an X-FILES. Everybody wanted to buy the script from us. BRIAN wanted us to talk to WARNERS. I didn't want to. He wanted to go just to get the bidding started. So we went to WARNERS, sure enough they offered us way more than anyone else."
In proceeding with SHADOW CHASERS, JOHNSON demanded that his own accountant to watch the dollars given some alleged discrepancies that had taken place during the production of V THE MINISERIES. JOHNSON got his wish and his new series SHADOW CHASERS came in at the budget expected without any funny stuff. However, his plucky series was up against THE COSBY SHOW and MAGNUM P.I. and quickly vanished.
: THE FINAL BATTLE, the three-part miniseries, aired May 6-8, 1984 on NBC to healthy ratings and cautious reviews from critics. According to JOHN J. O'CONNOR of the NEW YORK TIMES, "V is rarely less than compelling...The continuing saga is still impressive where it counts most in this sort of science-fiction caper. The overall look and the special effects are remarkably striking, perfectly calibrated for the context of the small television screen."
THE FINAL BATTLE was a hell of a lot of fun at age nine, but looking back, only part one truly holds up. After suffocating under Visitor rule and enduring one loss after another, the resistance finally hit pay dirt by exposing the reptilian face of SUPREME COMMANDER JOHN on National television. Unfortunately, the resistance leader JULIET PARRISH is captured and placed in the confines of DIANA's dreaded conversion chamber - a tedious, poorly blocked operation that lasts well into the middle of part two. In part two, we are introduced to one of the franchise's most celebrated characters HAM TYLER (portrayed by a smolderingly intense MICHAEL IRONSIDE) - the bad ass to MIKE DONOVAN's gallantry. By the conclusion of part two, ROBIN MAXWELL gives birth to twins - a human girl with a forked tongue and a reptilian boy with piercing blue eyes. When part three rolls around, the forked-tongued, human appearing daughter ELIZABETH has grown at an alarming rate, finally appearing as a ten year old girl over the course of a few days. The unnamed, reptilian boy dies unexpectedly. Upon closer inspection of the boys GI track, they discover a bacteria that will be converted into a biological weapon against the Visitors called the "red dust". The first Visitor to fall prey to the poison is ROBIN MAXWELL's reptilian sweetheart BRIAN. In the end, the red dust proves effective in forcing the visitors to retreat form Earth with the exception of DIANA's mothership which is set to transform into a doomsday weapon. Of course, DIANA's plans are thwarted by intervention by the resistance and by the hybrid ELIZABETH who boasts some rather convenient superpowers when disarming the doomsday device. This time around we get schlock instead of allegory and melodrama in the place of suspense. One can only wonder how this opus would've fared had JOHNSON been in the director's chair. JOHNSON, brings up a time when he was flipping through the channels and found a scene from V THE FINAL BATTLE involving a confrontation between DIANA and a Catholic priest.
"In the original script for THE FINAL BATTLE, there was a Catholic priest character that was kind of modeled after DAMIEN KARRAS of THE EXORCIST. It was a really gritty character from the mean streets of New York. In this scene I wrote, this priest gives DIANA a Bible. After she reads it, we see her in a way that we've never seen her before. Something is troubling her. Something is bothering her. When the priest asks if she has read it, she says "Yes, and I didn't like it!" and blows his head off and he's gone. It was written to be a total shock. But when I was saw this scene on TV, they cast this old Irish guy as the priest and and instead of playing against it, you had JANE twirling her mustache and going "Yes, priest! I read you Bible!" and I turned it off. In thirty seconds, what I saw was every wrong choice that could've been made. I couldn't got there so I backed away from it."
Despite JOHNSON's indifference to the outcome, THE FINAL BATTLE has truly resonated with fans of the franchise.
"THE FINAL BATTLE does have fans and I respect that. They particularly love the MICHAEL IRONSIDE character HAM TYLER. But then, I point out that HAM TYLER was supposed to be in a wheelchair. His entire character was based on the fact that he was confined to a wheelchair. That was the anger that drove his whole character and it allowed for MARC SINGER to the be the sole action adventure guy. When they cast MICHAEL IRONSIDE, he went to the producers and said 'I can't be in a wheelchair. My last name is IRONSIDE!' so they took him out of the wheelchair. They lost the point of what that whole character was about."
THE FINAL BATTLE, despite it's title, ended up being a six-hour pilot for the weekly TV series V, which debuted October 26, 1984. A year following the exodus of the Visitors from Earth, DIANA has been imprisoned on a world poisonous to her because of the red dust and awaiting trial for crimes against humanity. The franchise had a new enemy in NATHAN BATES ( LANE SMITH) - the owner of SCIENCE FRONTIERS and the manufacturer of the red dust. BATES masterminds a phony assassination attempt on DIANA and holds her captive with the intent of forcing her to share secrets of the Visitors' advancements in technology. DIANA escapes and signals the fleet and notices that the red dust has no effect on her. When she meets up with an armada of motherships on the dark side of the moon, she immediately clashes with fleet commander LYDIA (JUNE CHADWICK as the CRYSTAL CARRINGTON to BADLER's ALEXIS CARRINGTON) yet the two join forces and invade Earth to find that the red dust has no effect in warmer climates, making the warmer parts of the Earth theirs. In order to produce an anti-toxin to the red dust DIANA will need the DNA of the hybrid child ELIZABETH - who has been dubbed the "Starchild" and has grown into a woman in her twenties in the year since the final battle. NATHAN BATES of SCIENCE FRONTIERS uses this crisis to his advantage. His company will no longer manufacture the red dust because of supposed harm to human health and makes Los Angeles an open city were human and Visitor can reside in peace were no weapons are to be carried. Needless to say, this "peace" doesn't last the course of the show's 19 episodes. If producers and executives were going for DYNASTY with a sci-fi edge, they got it, and strangely enough, it's that aspect that made the series work on a camp level. JANE BADLER's DIANA was given the biggest hair imaginable and some flashy outfits to play with, and her bitchy revelry is a hell of a lot more fun to watch than any "starchild" nonsense. Despite being the lead-in for NBC's MIAMI VICE, the series was cancelled and closed with a cliffhanger.
n the 2000's, pop culture had cottoned to the value of brand recognition. In a decade where media expanded into the realm of the internet, leading to the boom of various entertainment platforms as HULU or NETFLIX, and hundreds of cable channels getting into the game of original programming, it was more important than ever to stand out with a brand name that was tried and true. A re-imagined BATTLESTAR GALACTICA on the then SCI-FI CHANNEL (now called SY FY) took the look of the 1970's GLEN A. LARSON STAR WARS imitation and made it a gritty epic about the threat of extinction at the hands of a technological force created by humans. More importantly, the re-imagined GALACTICA became a hallmark not only in Science fiction but in television in general. The new GALACTICA laid down the groundwork for revitalizing a franchise, but many walked away with the belief that you simply needed to add some doom and gloom to truly resonate in a post-9/11 world. With so much classic television to chose from, the creations of KENNETH JOHNSON seemed ripe for the picking.
The first of JOHNSON's work to get a re-imagining was an anemic re-tread of THE BIONIC WOMAN in 2007, which was surprisingly orchestrated by DAVID EICK - the man behind SY FY's GALACTICA. According to JOHNSON, he smelled trouble early on.
"When the new BIONIC WOMAN was about to come on the air in 2007, PETER ROTH, who was president of WARNERS TELEVISION, told me 'Hey KENNY! I saw the numbers and THE BIONIC WOMAN is going to be huge!' I asked him 'Did you see the pilot?' 'No, but it's going to be huge!' He kept saying that it was going to be astronomical and that it was going to be the biggest show in the history of Western Civilization. I did see the pilot and I knew that it wasn't going to work. This wasn't THE BIONIC WOMAN. Our original BIONIC WOMAN was full of heart and humanity and humor and we had a really great actress and great writing. This was the opposite. It was dark, ugly and mean spirited and it was going to sink or die."
JOHNSON's dismay proved to be right on point. THE BIONIC WOMAN was cancelled after eight episodes.
"They wanted to make another BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and get her hair wet and swing it around in slow motion. The audience tuned in, not expecting what we did back in the seventies, but at the same time there was a humanity about the original. The audience tuned out little by little and eventually it was gone. When it tanked DAVID EICK stood up and took it on the chin. In interviews, I've heard him say that they blew it and that they never understood what the show was about or how it was supposed to work and that there was no humanity, humor or heart. Those were my exact words in the beginning."
After completing some audio commentary for the 2001 DVD release of V THE MINISERIES, JOHNSON was inspired to write a sequel. That sequel came in the form of the novel V THE SECOND GENERATION. The story was set twenty-five years after the arrival of the Visitors and completely ignores the events of V THE FINAL BATTLE and the TV series. The mysterious enemy of the Visitors that the resistance tried to contact in the original miniseries conclusion, finally show up in the form of human appearing insectoids known as the ZEDTI, but are they too late? Planet Earth is a wasteland, the resistance was stamped out a decade earlier and with The Visitors plans for the Earth complete, what the hell is next? Just as V THE SECOND GENERATION was released, ABC TV announced their plans to re-imagine V. ABC's 2009 V series brought all of the CGI splendor that JOHNSON has envisioned for his own cinematic version, but missing was the suspense and paranoia of the original. Sure, you had allegory but many saw these new Visitors (called Vees) as a thinly disguised critique of OBAMA and his message of hope. These Visitors heal the sick, cure the crippled and are led by ANNA (played flawlessly by a pitch perfect MORENA BACCARIN) and instead of harvesting humans for food, these horny lizards are trying to mate with us in order to ensure the survival of their species. ANNA controls her minions with a drug called bliss, which renders her followers extra-subserviant, but there are those that aren't going along with her plan. Oh, and you have a priest and an FBI agent as the good guys, but there is nothing interesting there. BACCARIN stole the show and had us rooting for the bad guys - a huge mistake in a story about the abuse of power. Miraculously, this new V lasted two seasons. Not even the much appreciated return of JANE BADLER in the role of ANNA's mother in the second season could save this show.
"I discovered that I owned the motion picture rights and discovered that I had a bunch of new best friends. All of the major studios came calling to try to get me to sell them the rights for a truly obscene amount of money. I met with upper echelons of all of the major studios. They wanted me to produce but wanted someone else to write and direct. I said 'no' and when you say no in Hollywood, you get people saying "Okay KENNY! We understand! How much money do you really want?" It's not about the money. I've seen my BIONIC WOMAN get screwed up. I've seen THE HULK get screwed up by not bringing back the same essence that drew audiences in in the first place. V, of all of the things that I have done, is one of my major accomplishments in this life. My wife SUSIE put it this way. This is the question that you have to ask. Would you rather the movie never got made than got made wrong by the wrong people. The answer for me is 'I would rather the movie not get made'. I'd rather set it up as an independent picture where I can maintain control of the product and not disappoint the fans and there are gazillions of them around the world."
In walks CHARLES B. HENSLEY - an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and inventor of the nasal spray ZICAM. In 2016, HENSLEY and his partners purchased the DESILU brand and now serves as the chairman of the DESILU CORPORATION which has created DESILU STUDIOS - the new home for KENNETH JOHNSON's cinematic vision of V.
"We were introduced to CHARLES at DESILU through a friend of mine who was helping us out in looking for financing. His name is SEAN STONE and he's the son of OLIVER STONE. When I met with HENSLEY, he was excited by V becasue it's a huge brand name and he's got experience in merchandising brand name items like ZICAM. That was why he bought the rights to DESILU because he knew that brand meant more than CHARLES HENSLEY PRODUCTIONS. It was LUCILLE BALL and DESI ARNAZ's studio and it created shows like I LOVE LUCY, THE UNTOUCHABLES and STAR TREK. For a time, it was the largest independent production company in Hollywood. CHARLES revived it and is eager to find other brand name projects to present to investors."
The V THE MOVIE is set to be the flagship for DESILU STUDIOS. In a press release form DESILU, HENSLEY states: "DESILU was revolutionary in it's time and as the saying goes, everything old is new again. Coming formthe consumer products space, it makes sense for the company's trajectory and shareholders to focus on film and telelvison properties with high merchandising and licensing potential such as the V movie franchise."
"Right now, DESILU is working on getting all of their ducks in a row in getting us the funding that we need to make this movie happen. We're looking at some early concept art and looking at who we want to have in the movie. It's really an exciting time right now and things are moving forward. CHARLES is excited because, more than a brand, V is a franchise. This is more than a one off movie. It's a huge internationally known brand. That is where we stand and making everything better is DESILU giving me creative control and the final cut. Those are the golden words that I've been looking for."
CONTACT BRiAN LUSH AT: email@example.com