the warriors tv series

While everyone tends to turn their noses up at movie remakes, the world seems to be at peace with films journeying to the small screen. Sure, we occasionally have to put up with shows like that ill-fated new take on Rush Hour, but that’s a small price to pay for the likes of Friday Night Lights and Fargo, shows that use a familiar name to build something big and beautiful and carefully constructed for serialized storytelling. It’s reached the point where a television version of a beloved movie feels like a creatively safer proposition than a big screen remake.

So the news that Walter Hill’s classic film The Warriors is being developed as a television series for Hulu doesn’t fill me with instant dread, especially since it’s in the capable hands of Joe and Anthony Russo.

Deadline reports that the Russo brothers, who have been killing it over at Marvel with Captain America: The Winter Solider and Captain America: Civil War, are developing The Warriors as a one-hour drama series with Paramount TV and Hulu. The exact shape of the show is unknown and it’s not clear if the Russos will helm the pilot (after all, they are a little busy with Avengers: Infinity War), but they are collaborating with writer Frank Baldwin on the project.

Although it generated mixed reactions upon release in 1979, The Warriors has spent the past 37 years building a strong cult following and the premise remains indelible: a New York City street gang attends a rally organized by Cyrus, the leader of the most powerful gang in the city, who proposes that the various gangs unite into one unstoppable force. His vision is cut short by an assassin’s bullet, the Warriors are wrongfully accused of the murder, and our antiheroes must begin a very long and very violent journey home, crossing the city at night while every other gang in the city tries to hunt them down.

Since the film is based around a terrific “one bad night” premise, a TV adaptation will have to find ways to expand The Warriors into an ongoing narrative. However, it’s easy to see why the Russos are interested in this material. The film may be based on a novel by Sol Yurick, but it can’t help but feel like a comic book movie, with its outrageous villains and colorful costumes and pulpy, two-fisted storytelling. With the film, Walter Hill could only hint at the larger, crazier world at the fringes of his direct, lean story. A show could build that universe into something more immersive.

This series represents a return to the small screen for the Russos, who made their name directing episodes of Arrested Development and Community before moving in to the superhero realm. This project is still early in development and anything could happen (planned remakes by Tony Scott and the Crank team of Neveldine and Taylor fell through), but the pedigree here is strong enough that I’d like to see what this show looks like. After all, who would say no to a bold and colorful crime saga set in a New York City drawn from our darkest nightmares?

Cool Posts From Around the Web: