The A Team: Globe Photos
October 12, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

”The show was one of those things that just had its own smell,” TV producer Stephen J. Cannell said of his creation, The A-Team, in a 2000 EW interview. ”It lived in its own world.” For at least eight years, that world has been movie-development limbo, which has seen a big-screen adaptation of the popular 1980s action series go through at least two studios and two scripts. Now it’s at 20th Century Fox, where, Variety reports, it’s moving ahead with a new screenplay (by Bruce Feirstein, a writer on several of the Pierce Brosnan-era James Bond movies) and Cannell producing.

Cannell says the movie version of the 1983-87 NBC series — which starred Mr. T, George Peppard, Dirk Benedict, and Dwight Schultz as Vietnam veterans-turned-reckless action heroes — won’t be as cartoonish. ”Not to denigrate the TV show, but nobody ever died,” Cannell told Variety. ”We drove cars off cliffs and people got out and walked away. We’re not going to do that [in the movie]. In this the tone is more dangerous — you can really die. It’s very tense and exciting.”

No word yet on who’ll play the all-new, younger quartet of heroes, but you can expect a certain Mohawked actor to make a cameo appearance. ”Mr. T and I had lunch last week, and I’d really like to have him in the movie, although we haven’t begun casting.” Note to Feirstein: Start thinking up your ”I pity the fool?” witticisms now.

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