“Quantum Leap” creator Donald Bellisario has revealed at Los Angeles Comic-Con that he’s a written a script for a potential film revival of that iconic late 1980s/early 1990s sci-fi series.
Running for five seasons and almost 100 episodes, the story starred Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett, a physicist whose experiment in time travel leads to an unexpected effect. In each episode he ‘leaps’ into the body of a new person at a different point in the recent past.
To everyone else, he looks like the person he ‘leapt’ into – which included men and women of different ages and races – but we the audience see him as Sam. Each person he leaps into plays a small but crucial part in history and he spends the episode trying to figure out who he is and correct a historical mistake the person is a part of.
Helping him along the way is his womanizing, cigar-smoking companion Al (Dean Stockwell) who appears to him as a hologram only he can see. Al gets information by a handheld AI unit known as ‘Ziggy’.
“Quantum Leap” regularly drew acclaim and, though not a ratings smash, had a loyal audience. Over the years there’s been rumors of a follow-up, including a potential sequel series following Sam’s daughter on a quest to locate her father and bring him home. Bellasario appeared with Bakula at the convention yesterday and tells EW:
“I just finished writing a Quantum Leap feature. I don’t know what’s going to happen with it, but I did write it. I write things exactly the same way. I just start writing and I let them take me wherever it’s going to take me. I’m entertained the same way the audience is. So I just put Scott and Dean [Stockwell] in my head, kind of rebooted them, and went from there.”
Bakula addressed the backlash against the original series finale which ended with a title card saying that Dr. Beckett never returned home:
“It was a great episode. Last episodes are always controversial. I always say to writers, ‘If you want a challenge more than writing just an hour of television, write an hour of television that is the last hour of television that that show will ever have on; write it so that it could also come back next fall; write it so that it could possibly become a movie of the week; [and] write it so that it could still potentially be a feature film someday. And make everybody happy… If you go back and watch that episode, [Bellisario] checked off all those boxes.”
Whether Bellasario is doing a full reboot or a restart isn’t entirely clear, but either way we may be getting at least one more leap in the near future.