Comic-Con ’08: Take The New Knight Rider Out For A Spin

Posted by SH

Speculation ran wild when a new “Knight Rider” movie aired on NBC earlier this year that it was actually a pilot for a new series. Well, that turned out to be true — the show premieres Sept. 24 — but the producers say to forget pretty much everything in that movie. There’s a new sheriff in town, executive producer Gary Scott Thompson, who knows his way around fast cars. He wrote the first two “Fast and the Furious” movies and wasted no time making this show his own. The lead, Mike Traceur (Jason Bruening), has a new but familiar name, Michael Knight, and Deanna Russo’s character is no longer a college professor (OK, she’s on sabbatical), focusing instead on wearing high heels and kicking butt.

KITT still sounds like Val Kilmer, but the super-intelligent car can now transform into “attack mode” and become a badass war machine. The crowd visibly oohed and awed at the sight. They also reacted with glee at the news that the creators are in serious talks with the Hoff for a recurring role.

I was a child of the ’80s, but honestly I never got too into “Knight Rider.” That probably means I could enjoy the new incarnation more than someone taking notes and forgoing anything enjoyable about it and instead just lamenting everything that’s different. That said, it doesn’t look to be as drastic a reimagining as, say, “Battlestar Galactica,” so fans of the original should find plenty to geek out over.

The most memorable part of the session had nothing to do with the preview, or the Q&A. Most of the cast was late because of — impending irony alert — they were stuck in traffic. Where’s KITT when you need him?