Heat Vision and Jack was a proposed 1999 comedy/sci-fi television show directed by Ben Stiller and starring Jack Black, Owen Wilson, and Ron Silver. Christine Taylor and Vincent Schiavelli guest starred in the pilot episode, the only episode filmed. While the Fox Network didn't pick up the show, the pilot gained a cult status and an online following. The show was written and executive produced by Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab, of Scud: The Disposable Assassin, Channel 101, Dead Alewives, and The Sarah Silverman Program fame. It was recently featured as a part of the mockumentary "Tropic Thunder - Rain of Madness", only stating that the character of "Jeff Portnoy" played the role of Jack Austin. According to a March 27, 2007 interview with Rob Schrab, a script for the Heat Vision and Jack feature film was in the works. However, this is now on indefinite hiatus.
The rights have been passed onto an agency who are planning an animated adaption.
- Jack Austin, a former astronaut. He was exposed to inappropriate levels of solar energy, giving him superintelligence. He appears to lose this intelligence at night, requiring only Earth-normal levels of daylight to reactivate it. His catchphrases are "I know EVERYTHING!" and "Knowledge is power... for real." Played by Jack Black.
- Heat Vision, a talking motorcycle. He was created when Jack's unemployed roommate Doug was shot by a ray, causing him to merge with his motorcycle. He is capable of speech and can fight by ramming into opponents. He is unable to use doorknobs and is unable to right himself if pushed over. Voiced by Owen Wilson.
- Ron Silver, the main villain. He works for NASA, and will stop at nothing to capture or kill Jack Austin, but he also dabbles in acting, perhaps as a diversion, perhaps as a cover. He appears to be invulnerable, shrugging off the threat of being shot and later displaying great annoyance but no injury or pain when he actually is shot. Played by himself.
- An unnamed sheriff, played by guest star Christine Taylor. Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor, now husband and wife, met on the set of Heat Vision and Jack.
- A cook named Frank, who becomes possessed by an alien broadcast and thereafter calls himself Paragon. Played by Vincent Schiavelli.
The pilot opens with a monologue of Ben Stiller talking about his canceled show and the Emmy award he won and sarcastically criticizing George Lucas. The show then opens and explains how Heat Vision came into existence and Jack's new powers which he got while in space, a homage to the Fantastic Four. The opening credits visually reference both The Six Million Dollar Man and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
- A police officer says to Ron Silver: "I just rented Timecop. You were the bad guy in Timecop."
- Stiller has a cameo role as the DJ in a strip club where Paragon attacks multiple strippers and club patrons
- The credits have a number of tongue in cheek inside jokes including:
- The initial episode's title as Episode 14: The Eyes of Paragon.
- Ron Silver's opening credit reads "And Introducing Ron Silver as Himself"
- Jack's last name and profession are a reference to Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar man.
- Heat Vision is seen watching an episode of Doctor Who that featured the Daleks, Genesis of the Daleks.