Carlton Cruse and Hulu are taking a crack at Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Is it finally time to do Douglas Adams’ masterpiece justice?
Carlton Cuse–most famous for his work on Lost–is teaming up with Wonder Woman screenwriter Jason Fuchs to develop the series for Hulu. It’s being billed as a modern update of the classic, which seems like an odd creative choice since most of the story is set in, you know, space.
Cuse is also developing Joe Hill’s Locke & Key for Netflix right now, as well as other projects for Disney+. That seems like a lot of different things to juggle, especially for the guy who helped deliver one of the most hated TV finales of all time. Hopefully, since this is an adaptation and not an original story, we can avoid a retread of Lost.
So Many Adaptations
This isn’t the first time HG2G has been adapted. In fact, the books are technically an adaptation of an earlier series of radio plays. (Break out that trivia at your next party and watch all your friends be very impressed.) It’s been a stage play, a graphic novel, a video game, a TV miniseries in the early 80s, and, most recently, a movie.
The 2005 movie kept much of the spirit but wasn’t faithful enough for many readers. Martin Freeman was a great Arthur Dent, and it’s hard to imagine another actor embodying the bewildered British hero. Joining Freeman was Sam Rockwell as Zaphod Beeblebrox, Mos Def as Ford Prefect, and Zooey Deschanel as Trillian. Bill Nighy played the world-weary Slartibartfast to perfection, and Stephen Fry was brilliant as the narrator.
The movie wasn’t terrible, but it definitely felt rushed. There’s a LOT of book to get through, and a series can take its time.
Given the success of the recent Good Omens adaptation–another classic of zany British literature–, it makes sense that Hulu wants to adapt HG2G now. But unless they have a lot of money to play with, the series doesn’t stand a chance. Luckily, Hulu is mostly owned by Disney these days, and the studio doesn’t scrimp on special effects or on-screen talent.
That does beg the question as to why Disney didn’t want the property for its platform. Possibly it’s because this HG2G will be less family-friendly than the fare Disney plans to offer on Disney+.