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Doug Liman on Knight Rider

Published October 9, 2008 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of NBC
Knight Rider Knight Rider

Filmmaker Doug Liman lends his expertise as an executive producer of the new Knight Rider series. Offering more action than the initial TV movie remake, Liman advises everything from story development to editing on the new series.

Return of Knight Rider

"First of all, I just came from the editing room on my way here," said Liman. "I try to just give the people who are working on the show the confidence to take chances because I've always been rewarded personally in my own career by taking chances. So I try to just create an environment where the directors we've hired and the editors we've hired feel some sense of the freedom that I've personally given myself to just go for it."

With day to day work in the hands of Gary Scott Thompson, Liman thinks that Kitt is becoming a full bodied character. "The thing especially with what Gary [Scott Thompson]'s done is he's made KITT into such a complete character. I think these days, animated films are done at such a high level where you watch a Finding Nemo and you fall in love with those characters as much as anyone's fallen in love with a character in one of my movies that's a real live human being. When you watch what Gary's doing, he's made KITT into such a complete character, as complete as a character would be in an animated movie that you actually forget that he's a car."

Of course, in Finding Nemo all the characters are fish. In Knight Rider, Kitt competes with other human characters.

"I'm telling you, you forget it. I honestly think that of all the characters, KITT actually has probably the biggest arc, is in a way the most complete character. I guess it makes sense because the car is at the center of the show. Unlike the TV movie, he's built an arc that will run over the course of the series because he's really embraced the fact that okay, if this is artificial intelligence, KITT is going to be learning."

Perhaps that learning curve gives a hint as to KITT's story arc for the series. "KITT is actually going through all the stages of youth and adolescence so it's actually incredibly entertaining and it's incredibly interesting because this character is going through all the stages that a human being might go through. I don't know when you stop growing. I certainly feel like I'm still growing but this character is going through all those stages of a lifetime in the course of a year or two years."

Knight Rider airs Wednesdays on NBC.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of NBC

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