I have been putting this off and putting this off. At this point, it’s barely even news anymore, but if you haven’t heard:
That’s what show creator Donald Bellisario, with Scott Bakula by his side, told a presumably stunned L.A. Comic-Con crowd during a Quantum Leap reunion panel.
A Quantum Leap movie?
Is it really so crazy or even all that surprising, though? After all, we live in a world in which a major pay cable network gave David Lynch a lot of money to do this:
Plus, the Will & Grace, Lethal Weapon, Full House, The Exorcist, SWAT and Mystery Science Theater 3000, DuckTales, The Magic School Bus, Dynasty, Star Trek reboots/revivals are currently on the air, soon to be followed by [deep breath] 4 Weddings and a Funeral, 24 (again), Roseanne, American Idol, Miami Vice, Hocus Pocus, the second season of the revived X-Files, Animaniacs, Lost in Space, Amazing Stories, Manimal, and….
Wait. Manimal? Did I just make that up?
No and yes. That was a real show about a man who could change into any animal. Naturally, he used that power to fight crime. An instant inclusion on any list of craziest 80s TV shows, sure, but it’s not coming back. At least not yet. To borrow a bit from John Oliver, you didn’t immediately know I was lying about it coming back, and that’s exactly the point. So many shows and old movies have been announced as in development for a reboot or revival that we can’t even keep up anymore. Tell me Manimal’s getting a Netflix series, and I’d believe you because it’s 2017 and nothing matters anymore.
So, even though Bellisario admits he has no idea what will become of his script it’s entirely inside the realm of possibility we’ll be looking at Twitter or Instagram photos of Scott Bakula’s first day on the et of the Quantum Leap movie a year from now. Apple, Netflix or Amazon will probably pay for it. And I’d LOVE to see that happen because, like so many other nerds, I have long since been of the belief that Quantum Leap should come back:
It has an easily repeatable story formula. The primary cast and creator are still alive. The show’s popularity has only grown over the years, referenced on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, lovingly spoken of at a Nerdist live show where Jonah Ray and Chris Hardwick proposed a reboot starring Nathan Fillion. The entertainment landscape is a decidedly geekier place these days, far more amenable to supporting time-travel shows like Legends of Tomorrow, Doctor Who, and Timeless. Quantum Leap would be welcomed back in whatever form it might take.
Though we’ve been here before, and it never seems to pan out:
There are questions, though. Oh, so many of them. Do they attempt to undo the series finale’s “and Sam never leapt home” ending? What’s Dean Stockwell’s health looking like right now? Does Quantum Leap even make sense as a movie? Why not a new TV season? Should they circle back to the long-abandoned idea of focusing on Sam’s daughter and her leaping through time, hoping that each time her next leap will be the leap to wherever the heck her dad ended up?
What do Al’s grandkids look like because God (or Al-God) knows he’s got to have plenty by now? Is there any possible way of doing this without Sam and Al at the center without sacrificing what made the show so great? What story could be big enough to necessitate a movie since the show, until the final season at least, was always more micro than macro in scale? Do the evil leapers make an appearance? Which version of the theme song do they use, season 1-4 or the peppier one from season 5?
Just kidding. That’s not a real question. They bury that season 5 theme song deep, deep in the crowd and give us the good stuff. Obviously.
Give me a minute. I’m just going to watch that again.
But, wait, what of the sad graveyard of failed film/TV reboots/revivals? What of the recent history of nostalgia-based entertainment which has ultimately reminded us that some things are better left in the past? What of the many regrettable parts of the new X-Files? What …
Dude. What are you doing? Why are you trying to tear this down? Yeah, there have been lots of forgettable at best, reprehensible at worst, reboots and revivals. This time will be different because it’s Quantum Leap, and Quantum Leap is great and there’s no way they could mess it up. End of story. Right? Sam Beckett must leap home. I’m sorry. I will not live in a world in which a man that pure and improbably multi-talented morphs into a glorified Touched By An Angel figure. Donna’s lonely nights back at QL headquarters must end. She’s been talking to those stars she drunkenly believes to sound like Sam far too long. Put the poor woman out of her misery.
Or, ya know, just make a really cool movie about a guy setting out to right what once went wrong.
Oh, they did that already. It was called Source Code.
Oh, shut up already.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments.