Film Rant: Moving Film to TV

I remember back when I was growing up that the rule was if you had a successful TV show you had to follow it up with feature film. This is apparent in films like The X-Files, Police Squad!, Firefly, Sex and the City. The list is endless especially considering that we still haven’t left the age of giving every possible old TV show a modern film remake (did we really need a Mod Squad movie?)

But it would appear with in this new golden age of TV that things are beginning to reverse. It’s becoming more and more popular to take movies (some released as early as 2002) and give them the full television treatment. Although this is nothing new, (M*A*S*H* was a film that spawned a TV show) the list of TV shows based off films coming out within the next 2 years is pretty extensive.

This year I caught two such series. Fargo, an amazing series that garnered an Emmy for Outstanding Miniseries and From Dusk Till Dawn, which is a TV show based off a film.

This got me thinking about what movies I would like to see as a TV series as well as some casting choices to fill their most iconic roles.

Star Trek: The Next Next Generation

TNNG

Ok, before I get my Platinum Nerd card taken away from me, yes I’m perfectly aware that Star Trek was a TV series before it was a movie and that there actually is a new Star Trek series that tries to capture the look and feel of the original. But I argue that since JJ Abram’s rebooted the series it’s through that continuity that a new series should be born and what better way than through The Next Next Generation.

Whether die-hard Trek fans like it or not, the Abrams films are highly popular, and as such, should be the new direction of the series. What makes the idea of a rebooted TNG so appealing is that it can continue on from the timeline that Abram’s has created while simultaneously explaining some perplexing things that I feel exist in the new films.

Like for instance, what the hell is this?

Not an android!

Not an android!

That’s 0718 a Lieutenant that served on the USS Enterprise in Star Trek: Into Darkness. It has been explained that 0718 is NOT an android or a robot, but a human who integrated himself with cybernetic parts and coincidently changed his name to a model number, because that’s not at all common of androids or robots.

It seems clear to me that these new films have a heightened level of technology that simply didn’t exist in the original series like the ability to teleport from planet to planet and resurrection blood. It would stand to reason that these new technological advancements should have an impact on characters like Data who appear 70 years after the last voyage of Kirk and his fleet.

This could open up all new story possibilities. What could result is a future where technology can create a Data that is virtually indistinguishable from actual humans. Data’s interactions with others would present a new conflict in a world where the definition of humanity is blurred. Furthermore, his search to become more human and less android could take new turn if people were threatened by the possibility of his kind replacing them someday.

Think less this:

Celebrity City

And more this:

#6

In this future the threat of technology is more apparent as a result of Scotty creating new warp systems and the synthesizing of Kahn DNA.

Who should play Picard?

For me the answer is simple. Cory Stoll.

Corey Stoll Picard

Cory Stoll isn’t particularly well-known, but he has an impressive resumé. You may know him from the ill-fated Law and Order: LA where he murdered Tom Selleck and stole his mustache.

L&O Cory Stoll

But you film fans probably recognize him most from his portrayal of Ernest Hemingway in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.

Make it so.

Make it so.

In my opinion Stoll can bring just a little swag to Picard that modern fans of the movies will appreciate. I mean why should Kirk get all the green chicks?   Maybe we can finally have a Picard who’ll forgo tea time and make a damn move on Beverly Crusher already.

The Legolas Power Hour

300891id5a_TheHobbit_TDOS_Legolas_BusShelter_48inW_x_70inH.indd

I don’t care how many people claim to hate Legolas, the fact of the matter remains, when a giant battle sequence occurs in any of The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings films every subconscious in that entire theater is begging for Legolas to show up. You know it, I know it and more importantly Peter Jackson knows it. Why else would he include him in the new Hobbit films, complete with his own storyline?

Let’s be honest, as hilarious as it is to see a Gimli repeatedly herpa derp his way across a battlefield, the joke can wear thin after a while.   The real excitement comes from that volley of arrows expertly aimed through eyes so deep you want to swim in them. Don’t lie, you felt it too.

Shhh, I hear fanboys calling.

Shhh, I hear fanboys calling.

What I propose is a retelling of the entire events of The Hobbit and LOTR in a series of hour-long television episodes told through the eyes of our favorite arrow-slinging elf. This would allow Jackson to accomplish two things that he didn’t manage to pull off in the films.

One, create a series that encompasses every possible scenario from the books, no matter how inconsequential.

Two, manage to jam Legolas into every possible frame.

By my calculations, I predict Jackson will be able to accomplish this in just under 17 seasons.

Who should play Legolas?

Who else? Orlando Bloom! I mean, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Plus, I’m sure he can take some time out of granting the collective wish of the entire planet with his fists to get back to some acting.

The Adventures of Jack and Wang and Jack

Adventures of Wang and Jack

As a child one my favorite movies was John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China. It had everything an American kid could ask for in the 80’s. Jim Henson-like puppetry? Got it. Martial Arts? All day. To top it all off it’s told from the perspective of a tongue in cheek, all-American braggart by the name of Jack Burton who’s the combination of John Wayne, Indiana Jones and Ash Williams all rolled into one. Despite all of this, Jack is not the most capable character in the film; that honor goes to Wang, whose girlfriend is kidnapped, spurring on the conflict.  As a result, Jack is really just the sidekick of a high-flying, confident, ass kicking asian, making the film like Green Hornet in reverse, but with monsters.

What’s interesting about the film is that its structure leaves something to be desired. Even as a kid I was curious how all the characters seemed to know each other. It’s clear from their opening scene that Jack and Wang are close friends who both possess take no shit attitudes. One would assume that these two couldn’t have possibly have gotten along unless their friendship was forged in fires of countless adventures. Even Eddie, Wang’s friend, mentions how much Wang talks about Jack. Beyond that, Wang knows Gracie Law, a lawyer (obviously, her name is Law) who has a reputation for getting into trouble. Gracie is clearly close to Wang and his family, as shown early in the film when she walks right through the backdoor of the Wang family restaurant without anyone so much as raising an eyebrow. Not to mention everyone in Chinatown knows Egg Shen, a man with mystical powers whose name Carpenter clearly got off a Chinese take out menu.

The point is, everyone in this film has history together and none of it is ever explained.

What I propose is a television series that focuses on the origin of Wang and Jack’s friendship and the adventures that follow. The pilot could involve Jack making a routine delivery to San Francisco in his infamous truck, “The Pork Chop Express”, where he meets Wang for the first time. From there, Jack’s job as a trucker can allow the two to go from state to state, righting wrongs and saving the day.

But here’s the kicker.

In following with the theme of the movie, although Jack is driving the truck and the story, ironically he’s just along for the ride. All of the conflicts the two face will be a result of Wang’s sense of justice and his need to do right, as where Jack only goes along to fulfill his own self-interests (eg, Money, women, ego, The Pork Chop Express).

Who should play Jack Burton?

Who could possibly follow Kurt Russel? It’s like his entire face is just one giant cocked eyebrow. The guy started his career playing Elvis for god’s sake… at age TEN!

Luckily though, I managed to use some of those top-notch researching skills I learned in college to find a replacement. By Google searching images of “All American Actors” and carefully deliberating for five seconds, I finally settled on the fifth or sixth picture down.

Behold, I give you Adam Mayfield!

New Jack Burton

Who is he? I’m sure that’s a question Adam’s agent is still trying to answer. He used to be on All My Children and most recently some series with Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth, that’s absolutely not 90210. Other than that, his only claim to fame is that a virtual nobody with a film blog just named him the new Jack Burton. Don’t believe me? Check out this Taco Bell commercial.

Look into that man’s furrowed brow and tell me you don’t want a quesadilla. He’s a perfect fit, because much like that quesadilla Jack Burton’s entire being is held together by one key element, a whole lot of cheese.

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