Movies Being Adapted Into TV Shows

TV companies are going crazy trying to mine film libraries for the next big television series, because why come up with an original untested idea without an established brand name title, right? I almost included the movie to television series trend in my 9 Current Movie and Television Trends I Hate article last month, but I decided it was too soon to make that judgement.

While I’m already tired of seeing the announcements, I really loved Fargo (and I really mean LOVED — it’s my favorite television series of the year), I’m still enjoying Friday Night Lights/Parenthood showrunner Jason Katims‘ About a Boy, and I know many people who really dig Hannibal, Bates Motel, and From Dusk till Dawn: The Series. So it’s hard for me to condemn it at this point.  And yes there are also GothamConstantine and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but I consider those shows comic book adaptations.

You might be shocked to learn that there are currently over 30 television shows in development right now based on big screen movies. Which are good ideas? Which sound horrible? After the jump, I attempt to rank all of the movies being adapted into TV shows, by concept from worst to most promising ideas.

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Westworld HBO series

The last time we talked about Westworld, the proposed HBO series that revamps the idea of a theme park for adults in which the automaton attractions run wild, it seemed like a series order was all but assured. Now HBO has issued that series order, which comes complete with a teasing image and Vine video. The cast of the show is great (Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel WoodJames Marsden, Thandie Newton, Miranda Otto and Jeffrey Wright), the creators number among them Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, and plans for the show suggest that it will explore the intersection between technology and morality.

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Jonathan Nolan

A couple weeks back I got a chance to talk to Jonathan Nolan, the brother of filmmaker Christopher Nolan and co-screenwriter of Interstellar. Jonah started developing Interstellar as a project for Steven Spielberg to direct, before getting sucked into the television world showrunning Person Of Interest for Bad Robot. Jonathan has also been making the transition into directing, helming the pilot of the HBO/Bad Robot television adaptation of Michael Crichton’s Westworld (which we talk about briefly). Read all this and more in our Jonathan Nolan interstellar interview, after the jump.

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Illusionist TV series

A day rarely goes by of late without news on a new film-to-TV development. The latest news is of an Illusionist TV series, based on the 2006 film from director Neil Burger and stars Ed Norton, Paul Giamatti and Jessica Biel. A couple things will be changed, as is so often the case with these film to television transfers, but the core idea is pretty great. Additionally, there’s news on the Westworld show that HBO has been considering. Read More »

HBO Westworld cast

Not long ago, the announcement of a TV series that adapts or jumps off from a noted film would have elicited nothing but eyerolls. After shows like Fargo and Hannibal, however, even the most skeptical onlooker must realize that it’s better to keep an open mind. And when HBO is involved? The “benefit of the doubt” requirement goes way up.

HBO is making a series adaptation of Westworld, based on the 1973 feature film by Michael Crichton. In the movie, visitors to an advanced theme park for adults found their lives threatened when the androids populating the park break down and change behavior thanks to a virus-like problem. Miranda Otto (The Lord of the Rings, Rake) has just joined the cast, along with recent signee Thandie Newton (Rogue, E.R.). Read More »

The Hunger Games Catching Fire - Jeffrey Wright as Beetee

HBO is quickly filling slots on its upcoming sci-fi show Westworld with some top end talent. The show, produced by J.J. Abrams, Jerry Weintraub, Bryan Burk and writers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, is based on the 1973 film written and directed by Michael Crichton. It’s about robots at a theme park that run amok, an idea the author evolved two decades later for Jurassic Park.

Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood were already cast as two of the show’s leads and now six more actors have joined. Best known among them are Jeffrey Wright (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and Rodrigo Santoro (300) along with Shannon Woodward, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Angela Sarafyan and Simon Quarterman. Read who each actor plays on the Westworld TV show Read More »

Westworld-1

You probably know what Westworld is, because Michael Chritchton’s movie cast Yul Brynner (above) as a gunslinger robot that went amok at a theme park, and the images of Brynner are among the most famous in sci-fi.

You know who J.J. Abrams is, because he’s had his hands in everything from Lost to Mission: Impossible to Star Trek to Star Wars. And you know who Jonah Nolan is, because he worked on the scripts for films such as The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, and Interstellar, and created the show Person of Interest.

Now they’re all coming together (with producer Jerry Weintraub, who produced, among many other films, the three Steven Soderbergh Ocean’s movies, in which he also cameoed) to make a new Westworld for HBO. Read More »

Wright Beverly

Both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz were born out of a basin of movie history. Each film is drenched in movie reference, be it visual or a line of dialogue, which adds a whole other layer of enjoyment on top of the individual stories. For the third film in The Cornetto Trilogy, writer/director Edgar Wright gets away from that. The World’s End is a movie obviously influenced by the history of film, but in a much less overt way. If anything, it’s overtly referencing Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, making it a great end to the trilogy.

The World’s End has plenty of influence though and, for his third screening series at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles, CA, Wright has picked 14 films, on seven double features, that all had some inspiration in his latest work. The screening series is called The World’s End Is Nigh and it takes place August 9 through August 22, the eve of The World’s End. Check out the full line up below. Read More »

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