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'Greatest American Hero' takes off again in a graphic novel and movie

Few things about the '80s are as burned into our geeked-out brains as curly-topped cutie William Katt trying to fly (and land) in his red "magic jammies."

That's right: We're talking Greatest American Hero.

For three cheeky, cheesy and downright awesome seasons, Katt, Robert Culp and Connie Sellecca were the toast of prime-time TV, spinning weekly tales of crime fightin' and evil thwartin' on ABC.

Fueled by one of the ultimate TV theme songs — Joey Scarbury's Believe It or Not (music by the legendary Mike Post) — Greatest American Hero is one of those classics that refuses to fade away.

With the DVD collections selling well, a Hollywood remake in the works, plus a new graphic-novel adaptation of the series tantalizing longtime fans, the 58-year-old Katt called in to the Stuck in the '80s podcast team of Steve Spears and Sean Daly. Here are the high-flying highlights:

We're loving the idea of a Greatest American Hero graphic novel. Do you guys mess with the original story at all?

We answered a few questions that over the years fans have always talked about. One is whatever happened to the lost instruction book that Ralph loses in the desert right away, who finds that book, and what other powers the suit is capable of orchestrating.

Who should play your role as teacher/superhero Ralph Hinkley in the big-screen version of the show?

Years ago, they talked about Owen Wilson, and I think he would have been great. He's a little long in the tooth to do it right now. One of my favorite young actors, if he hadn't already done a great big action/adventure film, would have been Shia LaBeouf. I think the kid is just brilliant.

How was it working with Robert Culp? You guys always had that prickly chemistry.

Originally, Bob Culp and I felt the same about each other. I know he felt I was a pain in the a--, and I felt the same. But two weeks or so into [the first season], I knocked on his trailer door and we metaphorically duked it out and worked it out and we became, honestly, very good friends after that.

So 'fess up: Do you still have your superhero suit in the closet at home?

Back then, I would rather have burned that costume in effigy than take it with me. When I left that set, I ran all the way to my car. And what an idiot I was!

'Greatest American Hero' takes off again in a graphic novel and movie 06/13/09 [Last modified: Saturday, June 13, 2009 4:31am]
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