When you think about Buck Rogers, you probably think of a scifi character that’s basically been around forever. But he does have an origin story—one that was told in the classic Amazing Stories magazine under the title Armageddon 2419 AD—and it’s this tale that will finally bring Buck Rogers back to the big screen.

First serialized in 1928 and written Philip Francis Nowlan, Armageddon 2419 AD introduced the character of Buck Rogers before he started going by Buck (his first name was Anthony, actually). But the character and setting are very much the same: Buck is a World War I veteran who gets trapped in a mysterious gas mine and sleeps for nearly 500 years. When he wakes up, he discovers a Soviet Mongolian Empire has conquered the planet and decided to help America regain its independence.

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I would imagine the new movie will probably adapt the “Yellow Peril” aspect of the story to something less blatantly racist. Deadline reveals a few other changes:

The new film will focus on a future informed by the present and predicts a 2419 based on scientific/technological advances in the 90 years since the novel was originally published. The Rogers character, having lost everyone he loved centuries ago, will be darker and more brooding, a fish out of water who struggles to find a way to fit in with a war-torn world.

Sound like a grittier, more scifi version of Captain America, which is hardly the worst idea in the world. There are a few more details over at Deadline.


Contact the author at rob@io9.com.