Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 30 May 2020

First 'Parasite' and then 'Harry Potter'? The 8 films that should be turned into TV shows next

We think there's a solid argument for a movie version of 'Mean Girls' or 'Lawrence of Arabia' too...

'Men in Black' and 'Mean Girls' are two films we'd like to see turned into a television series. 
'Men in Black' and 'Mean Girls' are two films we'd like to see turned into a television series. 

Over the past few years, television and movies have crossed over, perhaps more than ever.

Not only are the likes of Westworld, Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Dark Crystal, Dear White People, Jack Ryan and, as of Friday, High Fidelity already series now being broadcast, but there has been news, recently, regarding TV versions of Turner & Hooch, The Mighty Ducks, Parasite and The Goonies.

While most cinephiles become incensed when it’s announced that their favourite films will be given the small-screen treatment, there are actually quite a few movies that could benefit from being turned into TV shows. Here’s our pick of the films that should be next.

The entire 'Harry Potter' franchise (2001-2011)

Sure, the Harry Potter movies helped turn JK Rowling’s books into a pop culture phenomenon, but nine years after they concluded, perhaps we can now all admit they were too rushed and poorly adapted.

That wasn’t necessarily the fault of its creatives, though, as the likes of The Order Of The Phoenix and The Half-Blood Prince were just too vast for single films. That’s an issue that a TV series could quickly solve, though, as these novels could be set over several hours rather than being squeezed into one two and a half hour fantasy adventure.

'Jackie Brown' (1997)

Quentin Tarantino’s adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s 1992 novel Rum Punch is arguably his most under-rated film. But while the legendary filmmaker did a superb job of telling the story of the titular flight attendant who is busted for smuggling money into the US, Leonard’s books have always been so layered and deep that many more stories could easily spring from them. A point that was proven when Out Of Sight inspired its very own well-received TV show Karen Sisco.

'Leon: The Professional' (1994)

Luc Besson’s much beloved story of Jean Reno’s professional hitman reluctantly taking in Natalie Portman’s 12-year-old after her family is murdered, and then teaching her how to become an assassin, quickly became a cult classic after its 1997 release. So much so that Besson has previously admitted that he had written a follow-up script that he hoped Portman would eventually star in. With that now looking unlikely, molding and then expanding both scripts, and taking a deeper look at Leon’s life and history as a hitman, as well as Gary Oldman’s treacherous DEA agent, over the course of several episodes would surely be a much better fit.

'Mean Girls' (2004)

Everyone loves Mean Girls. Not only was it the one time that Lindsay Lohan looked as though she was going to be a genuine star, but in front of the camera it introduced the world to Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried, while it helped propel the career of its writer, Tina Fey, too.

Since it hit cinemas in 2004, a video game and musical have also been released, while a sequel has long been rumoured, too. But, at this point, the best idea would obviously be to remake and turn the coming of age romantic comedy into a television series that would be set over an entire school year, and could also expand upon Rosalind Wiseman’s 2002 self-help book Queen Bees And Wannabes even further. We think Lohan would probably be interested in returning.

'Pinocchio' (1940)

It’s probably hard to imagine how Disney’s 88-minute animated classic could be turned into a television series. However, Pinocchio already has the structure of an epic tale, as everyone’s favourite wooden puppet that turns into a real boy encounters various shady characters, joins a puppet show, travels to the cursed Pleasure Island and narrowly avoids becoming a slave, all while engaging in smoking, gambling, vandalism and drinking.

And, lest we forget, he also saves Geppetto from a whale. If that’s not enough, Carlo Collodi and Eric Mazzanti’s Pinocchio stories, which date back to the early 1880s, have various other narratives that could be used for TV, too

'Public Enemies' (2009)

With Michael Mann directing, and Johnny Depp and Christian Bale playing bank robber John Dillinger and FBI agent Melvin Purvis respectively, it’s unsurprising that Public Enemies was one of the most anticipated movies of 2009. That made it all the more disappointing when the gangster biopic proved underwhelming. The story is too good to be left to waste, though.

Author Bryan Burrough, who wrote the eponymous book on which the film is based, admitted he originally intended for it to be a mini-series – the clearest sign yet it should be adapted for TV. The film also features Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, J Edgar Hoover, Billie Frechette and Homer Van Meter, each of whom led lives equally as interesting as the main two characters, and whose stories are apt for series format.

'Men In Black' (1997)

While the humongous failure of Men In Black: International last summer probably means the franchise is on hold for the foreseeable future, those in control of it should consider readjusting it for the small screen if and when they do decide to return.

Rather than watching its agents tackle intergalactic monsters and creatures that are bent on destroying the Earth and mankind, we should see them dealing with smaller cases in a much more procedural fashion. Watching Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones interact with aliens on the street as they conducted their investigation was one of the most enjoyable aspects of the original 1997 movie, something its loud and bombastic sequels have failed to realise.

'Lawrence Of Arabia' (1962)

The life of T E Lawrence was full of such drama and excitement that David Lean’s glorious biopic Lawrence Of Arabia fully warranted its gargantuan running time of 222 minutes. What’s even more impressive is that you actually want Lean’s film to be even longer, as you feel as though there were many, many more stories left to tell from Lawrence’s life.

Not only would a television series be able to do just that, but the fact that the film is now nearly 50 years old means that a whole new generation could be exposed to Lawrence, while doing so from a modern viewpoint would also help to bring a new perspective to his exploits.

Updated: February 17, 2020 06:28 PM

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