Ben Stiller and Cate Blanchett join forces to turn the 1960s spy TV series “The Champions” into a movie.
In addition to the play, Stiller directs the upcoming film adaptation. Blanchett produces through its company Dirty Films, and Stiller produces through its label Red Hour Productions. Additional producers include ITV Studios America and New Republic Pictures.
The “Champions” film, which pays homage to the TV show from Dennis Spooner, follows three UN agents whose planes crash into the Himalayas. After being rescued by an advanced civilization secretly living in Tibet, the enhanced intellectual and physical abilities are assigned. When agents return to the outside world, they use their new superhuman abilities to become champions of law, order, and justice.
“‘Champions’ is a long-forgotten gem that will excite a new generation in the same strange and magnificent way that the original series spoke to us. I have long wanted to work with Ben – the director and actor. He is one of “The most dedicated and versatile instructors working today. Anyone who can do both ‘Zoolander’ and ‘Escape at Dannemora’ is a creative force to be reckoned with,” Blanchett said.
Stiller adds: “I’ve been a big fan of Cate’s for a very long time. I hope this project will help people finally take her seriously as an actress.”
The small screen version of “The Champions” ran in the UK on ITV. The series, which consists of 30 episodes, was broadcast in the United States on NBC starting in the summer of 1968. Stuart Damon, Alexandra Bastedo, William Gaunt and Anthony Nicholls starred in the program.
“There is no doubt that we have a superhuman team on board to bring this captivating series to life for a new audience,” said Philippe Maigret, President of ITV Studios America.
“The Champions” marks the recent collaboration between New Republic and Dirty Films through its first-look deal. They have previously announced “Queen Bitch and the High Horse”, written by Eric Matthew Brown and directed by Bert and Bertie.
“New Republic Pictures is excited to team up with Ben Stiller and Cate Blanchett – an irresistible cinematic spy duo, if ever there was one – with our friends on ITV and Dirty Films as we recreate ITV’s hilarious and iconic 1960s espionage series , “The Masters.” Can’t literally wait, “said New Republic President Bradley Fischer, who co-produces with Brian Oliver. Andrew Upton and Coco Francini from Dirty Films will also be producing.
Blanchett is currently in production on Todd Fields drama “Tar” and has recently completed filming for Eli Roth’s video game adaptation “Borderlands”. She will be seen next time in Guillermo del Toro’s thriller “Nightmare Alley” for Searchlight Pictures and Adam McKay’s environmental satire “Don’t Look Up” on Netflix.
Stiller is working on the Apple Plus work thriller “Severance”, a drama series that he directs and plays alongside Adam Scott and Patricia Arquette. He will also be directing “Bag Man,” based on Rachel Maddow’s podcast; “London” starring Oscar Isaac; and “High Desert” with Arquette.
Blanchett is represented by CAA and Wolf Kasteler Public Relations. Stiller is represented by UTA, ID and Gang, Tire, Ramer, Brown & Passman.