We haven't heard any updates on the Starship Troopers TV show in some time. Last year, original writer Ed Neumeier revealed that plans were underway for a possible series based on the 1997 sci-fi flick which is, itself, based on the novel of the same name by Robert A. Heinlein. Now, we have some info from Casper Van Dien, who plays Johnny Rico in the franchise. Not only is the actor eager to return for the show but he was involved in the development process.
I recently had the chance to speak with Casper Van Dien about his upcoming movie The 2nd. We will be sharing the full interview soon but during our conversation, I asked him what was going on with the Starship Troopers show. Here's what he had to say about it.
" I was very involved with it. Sony even asked me to talk to a director that I've worked with. Huge, top-notch director. We were talking and I don't know whatever happened to it. We were in talks for doing it and I would still love to play old man Rico. I would love to come in and be me and play Johnny Rico again. It's been a blast being Johnny Rico, having Starship Troopers, and just seeing the reaction that people have. When people talking about it, I love it. It's been a joy of mine because people are never really that negative about it. They'll yell at me, but they're yelling like, 'Oh, my God, Rico! Come on, you apes! You wanna live forever?' For me, that's always awesome. They get so excited and I love the enthusiasm. I love the appreciation. For the last 24 years, that's what I've been. I've been Johnny Rico. Probably more than Casper. I think I've gotten more recognized for being Johnny Rico than anything. If we got to do the series, I would be on top of the world. Right now, nothing's happening that I know of."
Casper Van Dien first played Johnny Rico in the first Starship Troopers, which was released in 1997. The actor returned in the flesh for Starship Troopers 3: Marauder in 2008, as well as voicing Rico once more in the animated Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars in 2017. Speaking further, Dien reiterated that he is still on board and that other members of the cast, like Jake Busey, would be as well.
"If they want to do it, I'm still on board, and I know the director they were talking to is still excited about the opportunity. I know that the cast that they could come back. I know some of them. I know that Jake Busey would be all over it, and I would love it. He's got a 'death from above' tattoo for real now on his arm. He went out and did it. He's like, 'You gotta go do it, Casper!' I haven't done it yet."
Even though it's been part of his life for so long, Casper Van Dien doesn't mind talking about the movie, telling me, "my wife just bought me four coffee mugs for Starship Troopers," and "I have Starship Troopers posters in my office." What's more, he's still close with many people from the franchise.
"I love all of the guys from Starship. I'm still friends with a lot of people from there. I'm good friends with Ed Neumeier, who wrote it. I'm good friends with Garrett Warren who was a stuntman on it and now is a second unit director. He was the stunt coordinator on Avatar, Logan, The Master. You name it, he does it. Pat Muldoon, we've always been friends. These guys are still in my life."
The good news here is that it seems, if the Starship Troopers TV show does happen, Casper Van Dien will be on board and it will be within the same continuity as the original Starship Troopers. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details are made available. In the meantime, you can catch Dien in The 2nd, which arrives on September 1 from Momentum Pictures.