There has been a lot of shows lately that are adaptations, prequels or sequels to stand-alone films, which I personally think is great. Bates Motel is on A&E and Amazon just picked up the rights to a Zombieland pilot, both sure to set all of our nerd senses to tingling. All this got me thinking: there are so many other movies that could certainly benefit from being made into a television series, and here’s my list of the geekiest, most spectacular of the bunch. And yeah, I know a lot of these have already been adapted into animated series, but I’m talking big-budget, live-action primetime here folks.
10. Back to the Future
This was one of those that had an animated series that I’m not counting, but COME ON! Wouldn’t you love to see a modern day Marty McFly tagging along with Doc Brown across all different kinds of history? The possibilities are endless. This even has potential to be (dare I say it) the American Doctor Who! Imagine the two traveling through time solving mysteries or something while picking up companions and having cultural differences from the other people in the town. It’s basically Back to the Future Part III over and over again. It’s almost completely unnecessary to the overall plot of the series, but so much fun that you forgive it anyways.
This one is essentially a given once the film series stops being a thing. I mean, it’s already a comic book series, so the world for the television series is essentially already set up. I haven’t personally read comics (bad geek, I know) but I would assume that the makers of the movies would leave the series open enough for some additional materials. The movie has garnered a cult following with people who are probably too young to be watching it, and an MTV series would probably be the perfect vehicle to capitalize on this. Before all you purist naysayers immediately object to this being on MTV, think about the channel’s current programming. They create relatively consistent (and violent) original scripted shows, and this would catapult the Kick-Ass canon to further cult success. Food for thought.
8. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Hey, you remember that Jude Law movie about robots attacking vintage New York you didn’t see? Well it was awesome. And if you cut down on some of the more unnecessary special effects, it could make for a brilliant, less-costly TV show. When you watch the movie you get the impression that there were meant to be sequels, but literally no one saw this movie so it was kind of impractical. But seriously. Cast two young show-runners in Law and Paltrow’s respective roles, my nominations being Dylan O’Brien (sidekick from Teen Wolf) and Ashley Benson (recently seen being a psycho slut in Spring Breakers), and there you go: ratings gold. There could be quirky one-liners, dramatic villains and sinfully cheesy season arcs, and everything would be perfect.
7. Starship Troopers
I’m honestly surprised that SyFy Channel hasn’t jumped on this sooner. There was apparently an animated series devoted to the giant bug killing universe, but IMDb only lists 14 episodes, so that barely counts. But seriously, can you imagine a shit-tastic cable series with D-list former soap opera stars slaying poorly made CGI bugs? Wait. Let it sink in for a bit more. Thaaaat’s right. Now we’re on the same page. There were tons of straight to DVD sequels that have helped to expand this universe to something other than “the one where Neil Patrick Harris is a metaphor for Naziism” and has created a lot of “hate watch” fandom. Starship Troopers is one of the quintessential college “let’s get drunk to this” movies and a TV show would simply make all of our alcoholic endeavors so much richer.
6. Men in Black
Yeah. There was an animated one of this too. Deal. While I am admittedly not a huge fan of the series, I would watch the shit out of it if it was a TV show. It seems like a premise that would serve much better as a serial anyways. My main problem with Men in Black is that the villains are never given enough time to have much emotional impact, and even if they were are too comical to really be taken seriously. I think that the MiB world would benefit strongly from a series pretty similar to Buffy, where characters are given time to grow and each season introduces a “big bad” who is the main villain throughout most of the series. If your nerd senses aren’t tingling from that description then you may want to get them checked.
5. Being John Malkovich
This one is admittedly a little out of left field, but hear me out! So in the original film, John Cusack finds a portal that has the ability to transport one into the mind of John Malkovich. Pretty weird idea that doesn’t seem like it would work in a movie much less a TV show, right? Wrong. So in this writer’s view for the show, the portal is re-opened for whatever reason, preferably NOT by Charlie Sheen as referenced in the end of the film, only to discover that it can be manipulated to enter any celebrities mind. Get a good team of writers on board and you’ve got a brilliant series that is cancelled mid-season and establishes a cult following. BOOM. You’re welcome, Fox.
4. Children of Men
I mean… it’s essentially already an AMC show. Let’s get real. Conflicted male protagonist with secrets (ahem, Mad Men) whose sole goal is to protect incompetent and sometimes pregnant women with hopes of saving the world (ahem, Walking Dead). That aside I do think that the film would make for an interesting mini-series, if not a full blown series. There are a lot of really interesting political things brought up, and the series could follow the beginning of the infertility problem with the population (if you haven’t seen it it’s about a society of people that can’t have babies) and further the movie’s somewhat cliffhanger of an ending. A low tech sci-fi show about dystopian societies are right up basic cable’s alley, and can you say Emmy material???
The primary reaction to this one is probably “How the fuck do you make that into a series?” Oh trust me my friends, its very possible. Through various sequels, prequels and whatever the hell you would consider Alien vs. Predator, the Alien saga has built up quite an impressive universe for itself, not to mention a killer fan base. There are a lot of questions about the nature of The Company that were left unanswered by Prometheus, which was too preoccupied with being a stand-alone film to actually give the fans what they wanted, and a TV series is the perfect way to do that. If we are all insistent on not taking Prometheus back and pretending it didn’t exist, it can take up immediately after that film and be concerned with the more political sides of the Alien saga, while still having some aspects of sci-fi terror to keep things interesting. Seeing that HBO has a thing for stylized, dry (if a little boring at time *ahem Game of Thrones*) fantasy works, this would be a perfect addition to their line-up.
2. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
If this was a series, childhood Paul would literally die of happiness. The real people/cartoon mix may be a little too difficult on the CGI count to be able to actually be a TV series but you have to admit it would be intriguing. I could work really well as a half hour sitcom if the raunchiness was amped up a bit from the original film. And by a bit I mean to like Family Guy levels. Yeah, the original was a kids movie and this would go against the original spirit of the film and blah blah blah but imagine the awesomeness of a PG-13 Roger Rabbit series? The movie was already pretty dark and a series would be the perfect thing to not only further the film’s cult following, but also to make the best damned animated/live-action cross over television series there is!
1. Blade Runner
This. Really though. This. Just let this sink in for a while. Blade Runner has one of the most cinematically unexplored sci-fi universes, which confounds me because it’s fascinating. I guess there really wasn’t a desire to make a sequel, because the storyline of the film is pretty neatly wrapped up. There are so many great characters and such a rich history in the world, and it could be a very Battlestar Galactica-esque series, which I’m not just saying because I’m hoping for an Edward James Olmos cameo. It would probably work best if it were a prequel series to the film, telling the story of how the replicants came to be, their rise to prominence and their sub-sequential fall from glory. And the best part is, there would be almost complete creative control because the film is based on a short story that doesn’t give much more information than the film does. So in other words, this is my favorite show that isn’t actually a show yet.
That pretty neatly wraps up my list. Here’s hoping a few of these come to fruition before I die. And here’s hoping that Zombieland pilot doesn’t suck balls. Stay nerdy my friends. Stay nerdy.