The Departed TV Series

Director Martin Scorsese finally got the Oscar love he deserved when his work on The Departed allowed him to take home the Academy Award for Best Director, not to mention the film winning Best Picture and screenwriter William Monahan winning Best Adapted Screenplay. And since the film was a remake of the Chinese crime film Infernal Affairs, which was the first in a trilogy of films, some have wondered why we never got a sequel to The Departed.

William Monahan previously revealed details as to what the story would have been for a once-developing sequel, but it’s just not going to happen, mostly because Scorsese just isn’t interested. However, The Departed may still make a comeback on the small screen as the film’s producer Roy Lee revealed that a TV series adaptation of the film is in development. Find out what we know about The Departed TV series so far.

Collider spoke to Roy Lee at DICE 2016 and they talked a bit about why the sequel, which would have brought back some characters who died in the first movie, didn’t come together. In addition to Scorsese’s lack of desire to direct, which would be a big selling point, apparently the idea would have been too expensive. But now this idea to bring The Departed to TV might allow them to explore the sequel storyline.

Here’s what Roy Lee had to say about the developing concept:

The Departed as a concept is amazing. That’s what attracted me to the story, the two moles working on either side of the law, and translating that idea into other settings with new characters, like how Fargo has taken the feel of the Coen Brother’s film. We were having discussions about making Infernal Affairs a television series. A different city, so it’s not anything like The Departed, but essentially The Departed as a TV series.”

My initial reaction to The Departed TV series was more than hesitant, but thinking about the concept and characters used in the same way that FX’s Fargo series has used Joel & Ethan Coen’s movie as a starting point for something great actually makes me think this could be a fantastic idea. And there’s even a chance Monohan’s sequel idea could be utilized for the series.

Back in 2011, here’s what the screenwriter had to say about the sequel storyline:

“My idea actually is to set the film before, during and after the action of the first film, which I think would be extraordinary… Essentially, in the middle section of the thing I’ve intended, you’d see actions that take place during the original Departed, but aren’t on screen in the original Departed. There would be off-screen things that occur at that point in the story. But it would work seamlessly as a movie of its own.”

That could easily be done with this TV series adaptation of the movie while still allowing exploration of entirely new stories and characters. As of now Lee says the focus is on determining if this should be a network show or cable series. If they’re using the Fargo model, I think the cable route is best, with a much shorter season in mind. But the series seems to be early in development, so we’ll have to wait and see how this pans out.

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