Mark Gordon, the producer of Source Code, has gone to ABC Studios and set up a new TV show for CBS that will hang on that film’s basic premise. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear he had a ledger proving how successful Quantum Leap had been as part of his pitch.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, there’s a “meaningful penalty” attached to the deal – by which they mean we can expect to CBS to follow through and air the show, as it will cost them significantly not to.
The show’s story won’t follow Coulter Stevens, Jake Gyllenhaal’s character from the film, but “three former federal agents.” Each week, they’ll use the source code tech to jump into the near death experiences of some new characters and, presumably, they’ll solve the odd murder mystery or two.
There was a pretty clear acknowledgment of the aforementioned Quantum Leap in Duncan Jones’ Source Code feature, as that show really was a precedent for some – though by no means all – of the ideas in the movie’s set-up. See how quickly we’ve come full circle and arrived back on the small screen again.
And with this new code-of-the-week format, the Quantum Leap elements could, if they’re not specifically avoided, grow yet more obvious and central.
What’s interesting is that the infinite variety of Source Code‘s narrative multiverse could allow the show’s creators to set their stories both in and not in the same “world” as the movie. Can’t get Jeffrey Wright? No problem – his character is younger in this reality. Or has a bigger nose and different eyes. Or is a woman. And we’re still, officially, all part of the same canon.
Incidentally, Duncan Jones took to Twitter to say that the first he heard of the show was this evening – via Twitter.
Nobody has mentioned Ben Ripley, the original creator of the idea and the writer of the Source Code spec screenplay that gave us a movie in the first place. It’s looking very much like he’s not involved, though, as Steve Maeda, of Lie To Me and Lost, is writing scripts for the show now.
I expect we’ll hear more as the pilot goes into production in the new year.