Revivals of ‘90s series are an old hat now thanks to hits like Fuller House and The X-Files. But the news that Nickelodeon was reviving the beloved ‘90s game show Legends of the Hidden Temple, but as a TV movie, turned a few heads.
“I was like, ‘They’re making a movie? How’s that going to work?'” Legends of the Temple: The Movie star Isabela Moner told the Comic-Con crowd Saturday at the movie’s panel, where the trailer (below) had its world premiere.
Executive producer Michael Sammaciccia said it was a natural next step. “It’s a very cinematic game show. The DNA of this game show is unlike any other game show,” he said. “It’s not like we set out to make a Price Is Right movie.”
The movie centers on three siblings who visit a Hidden Temple theme park and fall through the floor of an old temple ruin and discover it’s real. Sammaciccia described the movie as an “action-adventure ride.”
The original game show’s host, Kirk Fogg, appears in the movie. “Its like Jumanji in a way,” he said. “It’s that same game show competitive feel to this movie.”
Fogg admitted “I came in with some apprehension” when he was first pitched the idea of a movie. However, the script changed his mind. “When they sent me the script, I was like, ‘Alright, somebody who liked the show wrote the movie,’ ” he said. “All the iconic stuff’s inside of there.”
Sammaciccia said the creative team was “diligent” about including references to the game show, including the steps of knowledge and the shrine of the silver monkey – the scene that Moner said took four hours to shoot. “We’re going to pepper in all the references you expect to see,” Sammaciccia said.
Narrator Dee Bradley Baker, who voiced Olmec on the show, also is on board: “Fans of old will really enjoy it. I think they’re all going to have fun with it,” he said, but also noted that those unfamiliar with the game show will be able to dive into the movie as well. “I think it does a great job of giving everyone a thrill.”
Moner, however, said the movie is “unlike any other Nickelodeon thing” and called the project “unbelievably scary.”
The film is directed by Joe Menendez, a Nickelodeon alum whose most recent credits include the TV series From Dusk Till Dawn.
“We really did raise the bar in a TV movie landscape and that’s what it ended up feeling like,” Sammaciccia said. “We always thought, ‘Let’s do something bigger, let’s raise the bar creatively.’… Let’s get into the darker side of what the source material requires. You don’t want a Legends of the Hidden Temple movie that’s soft.”
Legends of the Hidden Temple: The Movie premieres in November on Nickelodeon.