Fans of the cult-classic movie The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension have long anticipated the arrival of its promised sequel, which always seemed like pipedream due to the film's financial failures. Screenwriter E.M. Rauch however is finally bringing it to life with Dark Horse announcing the publication of Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League, et al: A Compendium of Evils! Previously teased as the original film came to its conclusion, the existence of this tale was previously hinted at as a book in the original novelization of Buckaroo Banzai, which was also penned by E.M. Rauch. The novel is "told by the Reno Kid,"
The official description for the book reads: "Still mourning the losses of his beloved Penny Priddy and his surrogate father Professor Hikita, Buckaroo Banzai must also contend with the constant threat of attack from his immortal nemesis Hanoi Xan, ruthless leader of the World Crime League. To make matters worse, Planet 10 warrior queen John Emdall has sent her Lectroid legions against Earth with a brutal ultimatum. Or is her true target Buckaroo Banzai? As the apocalyptic threats continue to mount, only Buckaroo and his Hong Kong Cavaliers stand in the way of global destruction—or in the words of one of the movie’s iconic lines: 'Laugh-a while you can, monkey boy!'" Find the full cover below!
Dark Horse reveals that the "544-page hardcover prose novel" will be released on August 10, 2021, some thirty seven years after Buckaroo Banzai was released in theaters. Even with the sequel, the future of Buckaroo Banzai has been a tricky one as the legality of ownership has resulted in multiple lawsuits being filed (the primary reason that filmmaker Kevin Smith previously walked away from a planned Buckaroo Banzai TV series).
"The other big insanity for Buckaroo is that the paper trail for the rights is almost impossible to follow," director W.D. Richter previously told MovieFone in 2013 (via Giant Freakin Robot). "Warner Bros. wants to do an adult animated version of Buckaroo. PolyGram sold it to MGM as a big bundle — all these films move around. And then, finally, you’re sitting at a studio that you found out purchased part of someone’s library and they are reluctant to do anything with the title because they don’t know for a fact that David [Begelman], who was a notorious double dealer, might not have sold the international rights in perpetuity to some guy in Bangkok. And even if they are enthusiastic about doing a sequel, they’ll say, ‘our legal department is saying we don’t have a clear chain of title here, so we’re not going to stick our heads up, invest money, and then discover that some guy says, “Oh, by the way, I have all the international rights.'”
Though no public reports have emerged about the lawsuits between Richter, Rauch and MGM, that this Buckaroo Banzai novel is being published at all seems to indicate at least part of the rights to the character were figured out, though his ability to appear on screen remains a mystery.