ITV Studios America, New Republic Pictures and Cate Blanchett’s Dirty Films have teamed up to adapt “The Champions,” based on the 1960s television series from Dennis Spooner, the companies announced on Thursday. Blanchett will star alongside Ben Stiller.
Stiller is also set to direct and produce the adaptation through his Red Hour Productions banner.
Brian Oliver and Bradley Fischer of New Republic will produce the project alongside Blanchett, Andrew Upton and Coco Francini of Dirty Films.
The official synopsis is as follows: After a plane carrying three UN agents crashes in the Himalayas, “The Champions” follows the agents as they are 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 Champions” marks the next project under the New Republic and Dirty Films first look deal. They previously announced “Queen Bitch and the High Horse, QUEEN BITCH & THE HIGH HORSE, written by Eric Matthew Brown, which will be directed by Bert and Bertie.
“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 on behalf of Dirty Films. “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.”
“I’m a huge fan of Cate’s for a very long time,” Stiller added. “I’m hoping this project will help people to finally take her seriously as an actress.”
Bradley Fischer, New Republic President added: “New Republic Pictures is thrilled to be teaming up with Ben Stiller and Cate Blanchett – an irresistible cinematic spy duo if ever there were one – along with our friends at ITV and Dirty Films, as we reimagine ITV’s fun and iconic 1960’s espionage franchise, ‘The Champions.’ Literally can’t wait.”
Philippe Maigret, President, ITV Studios America added: ““There’s no doubt that we have a superhuman team on board to bring this riveting series to life for a new audience.”
Founded by Brian Oliver and led by Fischer and Oliver, New Republic Pictures launched in May 2018 and financed the Elton John biopic “Rocketman,” which was the first film in its first-look co-financing and distribution deal with Paramount. It partnered with Amblin Partners and Universal Pictures’ three-time Oscar-winning film “1917” from director Sam Mendes, which has grossed over $368 million worldwide to date.
Blanchett is repped by CAA and Wolf Kasteler Public Relations. Stiller is repped by UTA, ID, and Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman..