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Fox Picks Up The Rights To Produce New Bananaman Series


UK readers of a certain vintage may remember the 80's British cartoon series Bananaman that aired on Children's BBC. The character first appeared in comic-strip form, starring in strips published in comics Nutty, Dandy and most recently The Beano, created by writers Steve Bright and Dave Donaldson and artist John Geering.  The animated version was originally aired on the BBC between 1983-1986, with many repeat runs in later years.  It also aired in Australia and the US. The series put a distinctly British spin on American superhero adventures, starring a schoolboy named Eric who transformed into an adult superhero every time he ate a banana. In superhero form, he is incredibly powerful... and dumb as a rock.

Fox has acquired the rights to the character from Beano Studios and is teaming up with animation studio Bento Box (Bob's Burgers, Central Park) to create a new animated series. Although being produced in the US, Fox say they are on the hunt for British writers. Casting is not being discussed at this stage, but the original animated version featured Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden, also known as The Goodies, stars of a popular comedy series of the same name. So it could be that Fox will hire a fresh bunch of actors from contemporary British comedy to fill out the voice cast.

Should the new series come to fruition it's suspected that the series could be destined for Disney Plus. Disney is currently looking to commission more international originals, so it would be a good fit for that.

It's not something that much of the youth of today will be familiar with but now would seem to be a good time for a fresh take on Bananaman. Superheroes have become a much more significant part of pop culture in the thirty plus years since this aired, so writers could bring it bang up to date. With years of Marvel, DC and many other superheroes and villains from years of comics, films and TV to draw on, it's an idea packed with potential. 

A stage musical adaptation of the character ran in London from late 2017 to early 2018. Back in 2014 a feature film adaptation was teased but is presumed cancelled.