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The Incredible Knight Rider is a 2009 American superhero film directed by Danny Cannon, produced by Dave Andron and written by Stuart Beattie, David Elliot, and Paul Lovett. It is based on the 1982 TV series of the same title created by Glen A. Larson, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is the fifth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film stars William Petersen as the voice of KITT, an advanced artificially intelligent, self-aware and nearly indestructible car, and David Hasselhoff, reprising his role as Michael Knight, a high-tech modern crime fighter assisted by KITT. The film also stars Justin Bruening, Taylor Cole, and James Earl Jones. The film tells the story of Michael Knight and his estranged son as they work with KITT to stop a nuclear strike from Hydra until KAAR, a dangerous more advanced robotic version of KITT, emerges.

Development of the film began in 2002, when Revolution Studios announced a partnership with Mayhem Pictures to create a film adaptation of the television series. The film was re-designed to be similar to Revolution's previous project, XXX. Series creator Glen A. Larson was hired to write the first script draft, with the series' lead actor David Hasselhoff attached to advise the project and also have an onscreen role. In April 2003, Revolution Studios hired screenwriters David Elliott and Paul Lovett to pen the film's script. Stuart Beattie joined the project later on. In 2004, Marvel Studios brought the rights to the Knight Rider franchise. During pre-production, the main characters were cast in 2006. Using Red Digital Cinema Camera Company's RED Epic camera, principal photography started in December 2007 in Los Angeles before moving to New York City. The film entered post-production in April 2008. 3ality Technica provided 3D image processing, and Sony Pictures Imageworks handled CGI.

The Incredible Knight Rider premiered on March 18, 2009 in Tokyo, and was released in the United States on March 20. The film was critically acclaimed by critics, praising mostly David Hasselhoff's reprisal of Michael Knight, Justin Bruening and Taylor Cole's performances, the visual style, Henry Jackman's score, the superhero take on the Knight Rider franchise, the superhero portrayal of the KITT character, and William Petersen and James Earl Jones' voice portrayals of KITT and KAAR. The film was a box office success, grossing over $456 million worldwide.

Plot Edit

At night, several power company technicians answer a call at Charles Graiman's home. He is suspicious, as he did not expect them until the next morning. They threaten his daughter if he does not co-operate and Graiman suffers a fatal heart attack. Searching his home for hard drives containing the information they are after (for a defense project named Prometheus), they stumble across a parked Chevrolet Corvette ZO6 in the garage that they unsuccessfully try to stop.

Mike Traceur (Justin Bruening), a 23-year-old ex-Army Ranger, is awakened by his friend Dylan Fass to deal with "Mike's investors" who are attempting to collect a $90,000 gambling debt. Traceur's Shelby Cobra breaks down when he attempts to flee, and the men threaten Fass's life if Traceur does not pay the debt.

After an early morning surf, FBI special agent Carrie Rivai (Sydney Tamiia Poitier) receives a call that Graiman, her longtime friend, is dead and leaves her date, a man she met the night before, to investigate.

Sarah Graiman (Taylor Cole), a 24-year-old Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University, lectures a class on nanotechnology. After the lecture, she receives a phone call from KITT (William Petersen) warning her about the men planning to abduct her. Sarah's pursuers catch her, but she is rescued by KITT. Sarah and KITT track down Traceur, who turns out to be her childhood friend, and whom she was involved with has not seen since he left home at 18. They find him at the Montecito Casino, playing poker to repay his debt. He is resistant when Sarah asks for help, but agrees when she offers to pay his debt. The two set out to find out what happened to Graiman and discover who is after them.

In Yucaipa, California, Stu Pickles is interrupted by Agent Phil Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D., who obtains his latest invention, the "counter-shut-down", a device capable of shutting down anything's "molecular bonded shell" which allows it to endure extreme impacts.

Cast Edit

An advanced artificially intelligent car. The filmmakers added many new features in KITT As an homage to the original KITT's Super Pursuit Mode, the new KITT transforms into Attack Mode - a significantly more aggressive version than the Attack Mode depicted in the movie, which consisted primarily of an extended rear spoiler.
an undercover Los Angeles police detective who, while on a case in Las Vegas, is shot in the face and nearly killed. Wilton Knight, founder of Knight Industries and creator of FLAG, directs his doctors to save Long's life and reconstruct his face.
The son of the original Michael Knight. The producers' first choice for the role was actor Ben Affleck.[4]
The daughter of Charles Graiman and romantic interest of Mike Long.
a human mutate with the ability to communicate with squirrels is surprisingly effective and has allowed her to defeat major supervillains.
  • James Earl Jones as KARR
An evil artificially intelligent automobile.
  • Bruce Davison as Charles Graiman
An inventor and KITT's creator.
  • Paul Campbell as Billy Morgan
  • Smith Cho as Zoe Chae
  • Sydney Tamiia Poitier as FBI Agent Carrie Rivai
  • Yancey Arias as NSA Agent Alex Torres
  • E. G. Daily as Tommy Pickles
  • Tara Charendoff as Dil Pickles
  • Christine Cavanaugh as Chuckie Finster
  • Kath Soucie as Phil and Lil DeVille
  • Cheryl Chase as Angelica Pickles
  • Joe Alaskey as Grandpa Lou
  • Michael Bell as Drew Pickles, Chas Finster and Grandpa Boris
  • Melanie Chartoff as Didi Pickles and Grandma Minka
  • Tress MacNeille as Charlotte Pickles
  • Phil Proctor as Howard DeVille
  • Jack Riley as Stu Pickles
  • Kath Soucie as Betty DeVille
  • Cree Summer as Susie Carmichael
  • Dionne Quan as Kimi Watanabe
  • Julia Kato as Kira Watanabe-Finste

Production Edit

Development Edit

Danny Cannon at NY PaleyFest 2014 for Gotham

The Incredible Knight Rider was director Danny Cannon's first superhero film.

In March 2002, Revolution Studios announced a partnership with Mayhem Pictures to create a film adaptation of the television series. The film would be re-designed to be similar to Revolution's previous project, XXX. Series creator Glen A. Larson was hired to write the first script draft, with the series' lead actor David Hasselhoff attached to advise the project and also have an onscreen role.[5] In April 2003, Revolution Studios hired screenwriters David Elliott and Paul Lovett to pen the film's script.[6] In April 2004, the premise of the film was described as having Hasselhoff reprise his role as Michael Knight, now the mentor to the protagonist as Devon Miles mentored Knight in the television series. The protagonist would be Knight's son, inheriting his father's role and driving the vehicle KITT. Supervising producer David Andron wrote the script under executive producers Doug Liman and Dave Bartis.

Pre-production Edit

In March 2005, Marvel Studios acquired the rights to the franchise and worked to start development from scratch. Danny Cannon, who is known for directing television series episodes, was hired to direct the film. Cannon saw it as an opportunity to explore the world of Marvel Comics, "even though the Knight Rider franchise wasn't made by Marvel". In April 2007, Stuart Beattie, David Elliott, and Paul Lovett were hired to help write the script. In Lovett's storyline, it would have been a retelling of the original Knight Rider series on Michael Knight's recruitment. Elliott and Beattie didn't like where the story was heading, and Lovett quickly agreed. Elliott created a new draft that focused on KITT as the main character, making him a superhero rather than just an artificial intelligent vehicle.

Filming Edit

Filming began on May 19, 2008. Several scenes use the fictional Montecito Resort and Casino, from NBC's series Las Vegas. Similar to Iron Man, Production was based in the former Hughes Company soundstages in Playa Vista, Los Angeles, California.

Release Edit

Marketing Edit

Home media Edit

The Incredible Knight Rider was released to DVD and Blu-ray in the United States and Canada on September 29, 2009 and on October 26, 2009 in the United Kingdom. The home release for both the DVD and Blu-ray format only contain the 2D version of the movie.

The film was also collected in a 10-disc box set titled "Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One – Avengers Assembled" which includes all of the Phase One films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.[7] It was released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment on April 2, 2013.[8]

Reception Edit

Box office Edit

The Incredible Knight Rider earned $251.6 million in North America and $205.3 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $456.9 million.

North America Edit

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $82.4 million in 3,571 theaters in the United States and Canada, debuting at No. 1 at the box office. The film by comparison, dropped 50% in its second weekend.

Outside North America Edit

It also opened in thirty-eight other countries, adding $73.3 million to the total opening.

Critical response Edit

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 91% approval rating with an average rating of 8.3/10 based on 227 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "The Incredible Knight Rider may not be quite the smashing success that fans of NBC's former artificial intelligent car might hope for, but it offers more than enough vehicular action to make up for its occasionally puny narrative." Metacritic gave the film an average score of 81 out of 100, based on 38 reviews. The site characterized reviews as "generally favorable". A CinemaScore poll indicated the majority of viewers were male and graded the film an A-.

Fan reaction Edit

Accolades Edit

Future Edit

References Edit

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