Sex and the City, The Flintstones, Dukes of Hazard, The Honeymooners and Bewitched. Those are five reasons why making a movie out of a beloved television series is a bad idea. Need more examples? Because I could go on! And yet: the idea of making a film that already has a major built-in fan base is often too alluring for Hollywood to pass up. In other words: ka-ching! Ahead, five television shows that could be turned into movies but really shouldn't bother.
Friday Night Lights
After Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) received his much-deserved Emmy for Outstanding Actor in a Dramatic Series on Sunday, questions began to rise again about whether or not Friday Night Lights should be made into a movie ... again, because it already was a movie. The short answer: no.
Why not? Seriously? (Spoiler alert.) Coach and Mrs. Coach moved to Philadelphia, Matt and Julie are living in Chicago and the East Dillon Panthers won their championship. The show is over. (Spoiler over.) Why do we need to go back to these characters? Can't we let Connie Britton move on? She has been playing Mrs. Coach since the Friday Night Lights movie! I'd like to see her branch out. Maybe stop saying "y'all" before every other sentence. Friday Night Lights rode into the sunset in fine dramatic fashion. It was beautiful and touching and made Dillon, Tex. a place we will never forget. Making a movie will only dilute that memory.
Do I even have to defend this one? Will Vince really get married? Will Turtle be successful? Who gives a shit?
The entire cast is reuniting for The New Yorker Fest (tickets on sale Wednesday!). An Arrested Development movie must not be too far away, right? How about we don't. It's fun to think about sitting down in a theater filled with Arrested Development fanatics and laugh to GOB's "come on!" and a few characters making "a huge mistake," but the possibility is very real that the film flops and ruins the memory of this beloved sitcom for generations to come. Josh Wedon's Serenity was a sequel to Firefly, his low-rated TV show with a huge cult following, and it did miserably at the box office. It broke even if you include foreign gross numbers. An Arrested Development movie will suffer the same fate.
Fans were furious at the cut to black ending and Meadow's poor parallel parking at the end of the series finale. James Gandolfini and series creator David Chase are teaming up once again for the soon-to-be-released film Twilight Zones. As the release date for that movie grows near, expect a lot of rumors of a Sopranos movie in the works. It's time to stop believing. At this point a Sopranos movie will be on par with The Godfather: Part III.
Jack Bauer and what I hope is the worst government-employed agency on Earth, CTU, try to save the world from another terrorist attack. Is it safe to say that the death of Osama bin Laden killed this TV show's chances of making it as a feature film? This idea wasn't terrible after seasons 2 and 3, but after a while, you just can't shock audiences if all your lead characters die except Jack.
Here's an idea for all the producers out there: direct-to-DVD movies. Remember those? However, here's the twist: make a good direct-to-DVD movie, for once. Change the perception of direct-to-DVD movies from "bad acting" and "hack job" to something more respectable. If Peter Berg and his extremely talented crew can shoot a show as beautiful as Friday Night Lights for Direct TV's channel 101, then why not bring them in to make people rethink what their idea of direct-to-DVD movies are? Directors will not get a $100-million budget, but if this is all about a labor of love, do you really need a big payroll? How much could an Arrested Development movie budget possibly be? Have the cast get points on the back-end (this is possibly one of my favorite phrases to turn) and hope your fan base propels the DVD to number No. 1 on Amazon and air the movie on a special night during sweeps week a few months later. Fans of the aforementioned shows should realize that a direct-to-DVD approach is an easier hill to climb than waiting for a studio to green-light their cult favorite into a theatrical motion picture.