Say what you will about Kevin Smith tackling a TV adaptation of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension; there’s no denying his passion for the material. So much so, in fact, that Smith has now distanced himself from the project over MGM’s lawsuit with the original writer and director.

Where last week saw MGM filing suit against Buckaroo Banzai writer Earl Mac Rauch and director Walter Richter over ownership claims and their statute of limitations, it seems the conflict has gotten to Smith personally. The Mallrats and Flash director took to Facebook to (at least temporarily) bow out of the Amazon series, noting he hadn’t previously been aware of the lawsuit:

Whether that’s right or not is not for me to say. You’ve got two parties that maintain they own something, so I’m not jumping in that legal battle. They’ll figure out who owns it, and apparently, they’re going to court. But my point is, I’m not going to court. I love the people at MGM, they’ve treated me insanely well all across this project … the folks at Amazon have been lovely as well. […]

But the only reason I love Buckaroo Banzai is because of those two guys, because of Earl Mac Rauch and W.D. Richter … without those two dudes, I don’t fall in love with that property … I’m not saying anyone is wrong in this situation. What I’m saying, respectively to all parties involved, I’m out.

For those unfamiliar with the 1984 film, Buckaroo Banzai follows Banzai (Peter Weller) as his Jet Car experiment unwittingly opens a dimensional gateway to a battle between alien races the Red and Black Lectroids. In addition to Weller, the cast also featured John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin, Clancy Brown, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd and others.

Should MGM resolve its issues with Mac Rauch and Richter amicably, to the point either would agree to collaborate with Smith as previously suggested, the project might yet endure. In the meantime, you can watch the original Buckaroo Banzai trailer below, and stay tuned for more updates.

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