How Have We Survived Without An 'American Gladiators' Movie? : Monkey See Let us take a moment and speculate about what the upcoming American Gladiators movie might look like.
NPR logo How Have We Survived Without An 'American Gladiators' Movie?

How Have We Survived Without An 'American Gladiators' Movie?

American Gladiators: It's clear that you can't make the movie without the padded jousting weapons, right? NBC hide caption

toggle caption

Movie adaptations of TV shows aren't notoriously reliable sources of money at the box office. In fact, they're often sources of spectacularly memorable bad ideas. Remember 1994's Car 54, Where Are You?, starring David Johansen, a.k.a. Buster Poindexter, of "Hot Hot Hot" fame?

But then, of course, they occasionally do a little better.

Still, I suspect that even the Brendan Fraser Dudley Do-Right movie may have been a better idea than the just-announced film version of American Gladiators.

In case you are (tragically) not familiar with the Gladiators format, it's basically a game show where the contestants face off against the show's resident "Gladiators," giant in-house bruisers with names like "Nitro."

Less than one minute into this video, which is the first-ever episode of the show in full, you will see two people jousting with what appear to be giant Q-Tips. And then there's some wrestling, and a guy kicking another guy off a pedestal.

Now...what, exactly, is a movie version going to entail? According to Variety, the idea is "an action story that takes place inside the world [show creator Johnny] Ferraro has created."

My guess is that the "world" at issue is the "world" of giant muscular dudes fighting wiry pharmaceutical salespeople, meaning that the movie will go something like this.

The plot, predicted, after the jump...

There exists a government program to manufacture giant muscular dudes. There is a disgraced scientist played by maybe...Peter Coyote, who's been drummed out of the program after being framed for espionage, but really, they kicked him out for his ethical objections, and now he hides out in a remote cabin and makes decorative windmills.

And then somebody like...oh, let's say Milo Ventimiglia from Heroes...plays a young reporter who learns about the army and comes to get Coyote, and they gather an army of wiry pharmaceutical salespeople to save the world. There is a training montage. There may be two training montages. The Q-Tips are futuristic metal jousting weapons, and the fight scenes all take place outdoors, at night, on the wet shiny streets of an urban dystopia.

Somewhere along the line, there is a cameo by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Or maybe Mickey Rourke. Or both.

I am really, really, really close, I bet.

And it's too bad, because what would really make a good movie would be the actual world of American Gladiators, which would be a hilarious comedy about the backstage shenanigans involved in getting a bunch of extremely athletic performers to remain pumped up about the prospect of knocking smaller guys off pedestals with Q-Tips. Compelling!