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Simon Pegg upset about the Spaced US remake

Spaced on DVDThe classic TV series Spaced is going to be remade by Fox with McG as one of the producers.

Star and co-writer Simon Pegg has released an official statement in which he is understandably upset:

My main problem with the notion of a Spaced remake is the sheer lack of respect that Granada/ Wonderland/Warner Bros have displayed in respectively selling out and appropriating our ideas without even letting us know.

A decision I can only presume was made as a way of avoiding having to give us any money, whilst at the same time using mine and Edgar’s name in their press release, in order to trade on the success of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, even professing, as Peter Johnson did, to being a big fan of the show and it’s creators.

A device made all the more heinous by the fact that the press release neglected to mention the show’s co-creator and female voice, Jessica Hynes (nee Stevenson). The fact is, when we signed our contracts ten years ago, we had neither the experience or the kudos to demand any clauses securing any control over future reversioning.

We signed away our rights to any input in the show’s international future, because we just wanted to get the show made and these dark days of legal piracy seemed a far away concern. As a result, we have no rights. The show does not belong to us and, those that do own it have no obligation to include us in any future plans.

You would perhaps hope though, out of basic professional respect and courtesy, we might have been consulted. It is this flagrant snub and effective vote of no confidence in the very people that created the show, that has caused such affront at our end.

If they don’t care about the integrity of the original, why call it Spaced? Why attempt to find some validation by including mine and Edgar’s names in the press release as if we were involved? Why not just lift the premise?

Two strangers, pretend to be a couple in order to secure residence of a flat/apartment. It’s hardly Ibsen. Jess and I specifically jumped off from a very mainstream sitcom premise in order to unravel it so completely.

Take it, have it, call it Perfect Strangers and hope Balkie doesn’t sue. Just don’t call it Spaced.

Whilst I don’t like to prejudge anything, the thought of McG producing a US version of the show sounds like a recipe for disaster.

For those who have never come across the show, get the original on DVD.

> Spaced Out – Fansite of the show
> Find out more about Spaced at Wikipedia

2 replies on “Simon Pegg upset about the Spaced US remake”

I think this is a disgrace.

Why do the Americans have to remake our fantastic comedies such as this and the Office? Pure greed. They are feeding off the success of these and there is no creative input or passion on the other side of the water.
Fine, be a fan, respect it, watch it, talk about it, but don’t remake it!!! The whole point is that the humour created in Spaced by Edgar, Simon, Jess, Nick, Mark etc (and the others involved of course) is that the humour is quintessentially ENGLISH! That’s why it works…
The American accent just would not do it justice and would set a completely different tone. Not to mention the fact that this is an original masterpiece. Why remake something that has been done already? They are always doing it with horror films too (The Wicker man really got my goat!), and even their own 70s classics (the Fog, Texas Chainsaw)
America you do make some great films but leave to the U.K what we do best (comedy) and come up with some ideas of your own! Surely they are not that dried up??!!

At least they fail most of the time. The US versions of “Red Dwarf”, “Coupling”, and “Absolutely Fabulous” (called “Lush Life”) were just plain awful. The US “Office” is pretty good, and had Ricky Gervais actually involved in the production.

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