According to Deadline, Emmy winner Ben Stiller and Oscar winner Cate Blanchett have teamed up to develop a film adaptation of The Champions, based on the 1960s British sci-fi espionage series of the same name. Stiller and Blanchett are set to lead and produce the project, with the Zoolander star also attached to direct.
“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,” Blanchett said in a statement. “I’ve long wanted to work with Ben – the director and the actor. He is one of the most engaged and versatile directors working today. Anyone who can make both Zoolander and Escape at Dannemora is a creative force to be reckoned with.”
Stiller added, “I’m a huge fan of Cate’s for a very long time. I’m hoping this project will help people to finally take her seriously as an actress.”
The Champions is a production by ITV Studios America, New Republic Pictures, Dirty Films, and Red Hour Productions. It will be produced by Brian Oliver & Bradley Fischer for New Republic, along with Andrew Upton and Coco Francini of Dirty Films.
The story centers around three UN agents as their plane suddenly crashes in the Himalayas. They are then rescued by an advanced civilization secretly living in Tibet who grant them enhanced intellectual and physical abilities. When the agents return to the outside world, they use their new superhuman powers to become Champions of Law, Order, and Justice.
The original series ran on-air for 30 episodes from 1968 to 1969. Created by Dennis Spooner, and Monty Berman, it was led by Stuart Damon, Alexandra Bastedo, William Gaunt, and Anthony Nicholls.