American assassin Remo Williams is heading for television.
The long-running Remo Williams, The Destroyer action novel series is being developed for television according to a new report from Deadline. Better Call Saul executive producer Gordon Smith is behind this new iteration of the character as part of of his overall deal with Sony Pictures Television. As of now, there are no creatives attached to the project.
The books center on a former Newark police officer named Remo Williams. He is framed for a murder he didn’t commit and then executed, only to discover that he has death has been faked and he has been recruited by the extra-government agency CURE, which had been established to act outside of the law in the United States’s interests. Remo is trained by Chiun, a South Korean master of Sinanju, the martial arts discipline from which all other styles are derived from, to be an unstoppable assassin.
The Destroyer book series launched in 1971, amongst a crowded field of men’s adventures novels. Although creators Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir originally played the first several books in the series as straightforward action stories, the series slowly drifted into more comedic and satirical territory as way of standing out. Murphy and Sapir co-wrote a majority of the books through the early 1990s, with a number of ghost authors – most notably pulp historian Will Wurray – taking the reigns afterwards.
Remo Williams came to the silver screen in 1985 as Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins starring Fred Ward in the title role. As the title indicated, it was hoped to be the launching pad of a new film franchise. Even with James Bond franchise director Guy Hamilton behind the camera here, the film didn’t spark much interest with the public and no follow-up films were forthcoming. More recently Shane Black was working on a new big screen adaptation of the books, though it is unclear now if that project is dead or still ongoing.
A previous attempt to turn the Destroyer books into a television series happened in 1988, when CBS commissioned a pilot for a one hour series. The attempt starred Jeffrey Meek as Remo and Roddy McDowall as Chiun. The network passed on picking the show up to series and burned the pilot off with a one-off airing that summer.