Eighties A.I. Icon Is Getting A Reboot

By James Brizuela | Published

1980s max headroom

Max Headroom became a cultural phenomenon in the 1980s. The alleged artificial intelligence icon rose to prominence after being introduced to the world as a computer-generated host in a TV movie called Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future. Headroom would go on to be featured in New Coke ads, a music video show host, and held a show on ABC from 1987 to 1988. The two-season series began to show that people were done seeing the glitchy and quippy program. However, now the program is returning in a brand-new series that will see Matt Frewer return to portray the character.

Max Headroom may have stopped being popular in the 1980s after so much exposure, but he became a cultural icon, often appearing in more contemporary shows like Bojack Horseman and Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. He was also featured in the Selena Gomez music video for “Love You Like A Love Song.” It seems that the popularity from the 1980s is seeing enough of a resurgence to bring the character back in full form. The new series is going to be produced for AMC Networks in partnership with Elijah Woods and Daniel Noah’s production company, SpectreVision. Wood’s company famously produced Mandy, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and The Greasy Strangler.

Christopher Cantwell has been tasked with writing this adaptation and is serving as the showrunner for the series. Cantwell co-created Halt and Catch Fire, and his newest series that he served as executive producer for, Paper Girls, is set to debut on Amazon Prime Video today. Lisa Whalen and Matt Frewer will serve as executive producers on the series alongside Wood and Noah. We wonder if the new series will see Max Headroom tackle current issues and music. Think of Headroom as a sort of artificial intelligent Beavis & Butthead, but far less grotesque in delivering humor.

AMC is certainly a network that has been ramping up its horror genre content. It is the home for The Walking Dead and the newest Anne Rice adaptation of Interview with the Vampire and Mayfair Witches, so it is a bit odd that it would be bringing on a Max Headroom series, though the company might be wanting to branch more into the realm of science fiction. Even more interesting is the reboot series is said to be a drama. Maybe Headroom is taking on the role of a father figure in the new reimagining. He did take on topical events in the 1980s via the ABC series, though his origin had been altered a bit. Maybe he could be the personality of a father that was turned into an A.I. program. This is just speculation, and if it is used, we want our cut.

So far, the Max Headroom series has only been announced with Matt Frewer returning to portray the character. We are not entirely sure when the series will be available, though, after acting announcements, production on most shows happens within a few months of those announcements. We could be seeing this new-look Max Headroom series sometime in late 2023.