Ralph Hinkley won't be flying into movie theatres anytime soon, it seems. Eric Christian Olsen, who had been attached to play Hinkley in the film adaptation of The Greatest American Hero told Moviehole that while he was attached to the film, financial issues have put the film on the back burner, and taken him away from the role.
"I booked that movie", Olsen said, "I went in for it right after Fired Up. They were like 'This is our guy' but they didn't have financing in place. But yeah, I booked it - but because the budget was so huge they couldn't get the money."
"It was a really funny script - about a reluctant hero who gets in way over his head - and it had a lot of really cool stunts", Olsen continued, discussing the film which was going to be directed by Stephen Herek (Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure) "I had a blast working with all of those guys. Then we get a phone call just as we were starting the deal to say they hadn't got the financing. I'm not attached anymore."
Olsen is a bit disappointed that The Greatest American Hero never got to the point where he was able to be fitted for the infamous red, white and black suit that gives Hinkley his powers. "Nope, never got to that place - only got to reading the original contracts; no super suit," but he does remain hopeful that he might get to play a superhero at some point in the future. "We'll see what happens - there's a couple I've almost done", says Olsen.
In the original The Greatest American Hero television show, William Katt played Hinkley, a schoolteacher who discovers an alien super-suit and becomes, almost against his will, a superhero. Robert Culp played his FBI handler, while Connie Sellecca played Hinkley's love interest. The Greatest American Hero ran from 1981-1983 on ABC, and still holds a soft spot in the heart of many superhero fans.