Clockwise from left: Rogue Pictures/Everett Collection; New Line/Everett Collection; 20thCentFox/Everett Collection
With Limitless and Minority Report in the fall TV mix and The Notebook in development at The CW, it’s clear that the small screen is increasingly looking to the big screen for material. Click through the gallery to see eight movies we think would translate perfectly to television.
Kill Bill A bride, left for dead on her wedding day. Her loved ones, slaughtered before her eyes. A team of assassins (her former coworkers) plainly responsible. Quentin Tarantino’s two-part vengeance epic sports the kind of premise – and red-hot wrath – that could fuel 100 episodes, complete with dissonantly poppy soundtrack and geysers of spaghetti-sauce blood. Sure, you could get it all over with in two movies and four hours. But perhaps revenge is a dish best served weekly.
New Line/Everett Collection
Dumb and Dumber
In a TV landscape increasingly dominated by darkness and dystopia, sometimes you just want to watch somebody’s tongue get stuck to a chairlift. Not that it wouldn’t be a tall order: we’re assuming Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels wouldn’t be up for another reprise, and their goofy, doofy chemistry is the kind that rolls around only rarely. But could it be that there's another pair of actors out there fit to assume the orange and blue tuxedos? We’re telling you there’s a chance
Never Been Kissed How this one hasn’t already been optioned by The CW we’ll never know: a 20-something reporter (and former teenage nerd) goes undercover at a high school to find out what’s up with kids these days, only to fall in with the in crowd and fall in love with her English teacher. Swap one long-form exposé for an ongoing anonymous column and Drew Barrymore for an equally effervescent up-and-comer and you’ve got yourself a hit teen show– and all without having to resort to vampires. Okay, maybe one vampire.
Mission: Impossible We know, we know: it was a television show before it ever was a movie. But that hardly disqualifies it from contention in Hollywood, where recycling is not only great for the environment but just plain good business sense. With its tight action sequences, cheeky wit, and cool-as-hell gadgetry (why hasn’t the self-destructing tape been invented yet, anyway?), Mission: Impossible would be a welcome re-addition to our TV buffet.
Gattaca With bleak, alternate-universe shows like The Walking Dead, The 100, and The Leftovers dominating primetime and The Hunger Games – a franchise that’s literally about children killing each other for sport - ruling the box office every fall, it’s clear that we’ve developed an appetite for dystopia. It would be nice if we could all get together and decide we’re into, say, musicals instead. But things being as they are, may we suggest Gattaca? The 1997 film imagined a society divided up into genetic castes, and starred Ethan Hawke as a genetically inferior “in-valid” who tries to escape his fate by assuming another’s identity. The idea has only gotten more harrowing with the passage of time, and television is the perfect medium for a patient exploration of a world at once fantastical and chillingly familiar.
Mary Evans/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection
The Wedding Singer Musical numbers? Check. Romance? Check. Incredible, indelible 80s fashions? CHECK. We’d follow the goodhearted, feather-haired Robbie Hart for as many episodes as it takes for him to croon his way into the heart of true love Julia Sullivan – and hopefully a gig as the new lead singer of… whatever hair band has the next lead singer vacancy.
Focus Features/Everett Collection
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Sure, Charlie Kaufman’s 2004 wistful fever dream of a movie isn’t the most obvious candidate for television adaptation. TV is, traditionally, a linear medium; Eternal Sunshine zags and zigs and has what might best be described as a casual relationship with chronology. Some of the most popular shows on TV right now are The Big Bang Theory
and multiple incarnations of NCIS
; Eternal Sunshine
is a sci-fi romance meditation on the nature of heartbreak and memory. But TV is only getting weirder, more permissive, more broadly defined. We imagine Eternal Sunshine
as a sort of heartbreak procedural: every week, the memory-extraction team at Lacuna, Inc. tackling a new case, assembling a love story even as they systematically delete it. Hate the idea? Forget we even mentioned it
CasablancaNazis, star-crossed love, a bar where all the main characters regularly gather? This beloved classic has all the makings of appointment television. AMC should get Warner Bros. on the horn – it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.