Production companies continue to mine their rich stores of properties for new potential adaptations. One such company, Nickelodeon, appears to have uncovered buried treasure with their plans for a Legends of the Hidden Temple movie. The mid-1990s game show famously featured a talking stone head named Olmec and host Kirk Fogg guiding teams of kids outfitted with color/animal-themed t-shirts through a series of mental and physical challenges, all related to whatever historical/mythological story acted as the backbone of the episode. Now, that idea will come back to the network as a reimagined TV movie, and it’s bringing some familiar faces with it.
Nickelodeon announced today that Fogg has joined the cast of Legends of the Hidden Temple, which stars Isabela Moner, Colin Critchley and Jet Jurgensmeyer. It’s unclear just what his role will be in the movie, but he’s expected to be a “key figure” who will pay homage to his previous role as a host and guide on the game show.
Here’s what Fogg had to say about returning to Legends:
“When Nickelodeon asked me to be a part of the Legends of the Hidden Temple movie, I immediately went to the closet and pulled out my blue denim shirt, which has been protected by a powerful golden force field since 1995. “Legends is truly a legend, and I’m honored to be a part of it again. I’m sure the Ancient Olmec had something to do with this; that rock head is pretty sneaky.”
Since Legends of the Hidden Temple, Fogg has appeared in over 300 commercials, and in 2006 he produced and directed his first feature film Distortion. Olmec, however, has likely suffered his share of weathering, though he’s presumably sporting a healthy covering of moss. Look for their return on Legends of the Hidden Temple in the fall.
As for what the TV movie is going to be about, here’s the official synopsis:
The Legends of the Hidden Temple TV movie follows three siblings who break away from a lackluster tour in a jungle, finding themselves immersed in a high-stakes adventure comprised of obstacles that they must complete in order to escape alive. The TV movie will feature elements from the original game show including: Olmec, a talking head who knows the secrets behind the temple; The Steps of Knowledge, the entrance to the temple and launching pad for the mission; and cameos from a green monkey, red jaguar, and silver snakes, among others.
No mentions of the Temple Guards yet, but they have to be in there, right? The movie itself will be directed by Joe Menendez (From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series) and was written by Jonny Umansky and Zach Hyatt, and Alex Reid.
Unfortunately, the voice of Olmec himself, Dee Bradley Baker, will not be involved with the TV movie. I reached out to the acclaimed and accomplished actor over social media regarding the Legends of the Hidden Temple news and got this response:
— Dee Bradley Baker (@deebradleybaker) March 23, 2016
This is unfortunate news for a number of reasons. Not only are voice actors disproportionately ignored or undervalued compared to their on-screen counterparts in general, this move also robs Baker of a chance to relive the magic of the 1990s game show days. Aside from the puppeteers who presumably worked Olmec’s eyes and mouth, Baker’s voice brought the stone-faced character to life. To hear that the Voice of Olmec 1.0 didn’t even get a chance to audition for the Voice of Olmec 2.0 is very disappointing. If you’re going to capitalize on the nostalgia factor, Nickelodeon et. al., you’d better go all in.
Let us know what you think about this project in the comments below!