A new body--and voice--for KNIGHT RIDER's KITT

The new KITT made its public debut Wednesday, as NBC announced the premiere date for "Knight Rider".
During a Wednesday morning (Dec 12) press event held at NBC's Burbank Studios, the network unveiled the customized Ford Mustang that's been cast as the new KITT in the two-hour movie event, "Knight Rider".

In fact, three Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KRs will play Knight Industries Three Thousand--the KITT Hero, the KITT Attack, and the driverless KITT Remote--and all three were rolled out for a photo op, reports E!Online's JOAL RYAN.

The KITT Hero delivered the movie's four stars--Justin Bruening ("All My Children"), Deanna Russo ("NCIS"), Sydney Tamiia Poitier ("Veronica Mars") and Bruce Davison (X-Men).

"Quite honestly, we thought this was the coolest looking car," said executive producer Dave Bartis, who added that the Pontiac Trans Am, which played faithful KITT to David Hasselhoff's iconic Michael Knight in the original 1982-86 series, is "gone."

"'Knight Rider' enthusiasts probably are disappointed it's not an old Pontiac Trans Am," Jalopnik editor in chief Ray Wert wrote in an e-mail Wednesday, "but the reality is there was a need to sell that marketing opportunity."

None of the new models featured a strip of blinking red lights, like "old" KITT, but the producers said that, through post-production effects, the new KITT will have the ability to change colors and shift shapes.

According to the press release, KITT's "artificial intelligence makes it the ideal crime-fighting partner: logical, precise and possessing infinite knowledge." Yet, it's going to sound like a comedian. Funnyman Will Arnett ("Arrested Development"), who has been doing voice over work for years, will supply KITT's voice in the new movie, succeeding William Daniels, who advised Michael Knight in the original series.

In the new TV feature, 24-year-old Ph.D candidate Sarah Graiman (Russo) receives a mysterious call from KITT warning her that her father Charles (Davison), who invented the first KITT and the new one, is in serious danger.

Sarah and KITT locate her childhood friend, Mike Tracer (Bruening), a jaded ex-Army Ranger, who eventually agrees to help find Charles. Along the way, FBI Agent Carrie Rivai (Poitier) is recruited to aid in the search.

Bartis ("The O.C.") and Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) serve as executive producers. Steve Shill ("Dexter", "The Tudors") directs from a script by David Andron.

While Hasselhoff was not present for the press conference, he will be for the new movie, since Michael Knight is the father of Bruening's Tracer. Bruening said Hasselhoff didn't give him driving tips so much as he gave him relationship tips.

"That's your best friend in the end," Bruening said Hasselhoff advised of KITT. "It's just [your character]. Alone on the road. With a car. That talks."

"Knight Rider" will air as a two-hour movie event Sunday, February 17 (9-11 p.m. ET), on NBC.

[Thanks to Collider.com's FROSTY for the link and additional info.]
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