Movies are rebooted all the time, and not only on the big screen. This remake fever has also stretched the land of basic and cable television. Not only are former shows being rebooted (24, Arrested Development, Broadchurch), but movies also tend to find their way to the small screen. The results of this transition may range from the disastrous (Bill & Ted, Ferris Bueller, My Big Fat Greek Life) to the legendary (MASH, Buffy).
I’m not implying that the following movies ever need to be remade, but if they were at any point, I believe that TV would be the best medium to launch these high-profile franchises.
5 – Equilibrium
Dystopian societies dominate young adult fiction and their corresponding big screen adaptations, but these societies are rarely seen on TV. The world of Libria, from the 2003 movie Equilibrium, takes a page from George Orwell’s fictional nation of Oceania. The movie starring Christian Bale is a little-seen cult action favorite. It borrows Matrix-like gunplay and mixes it with the fear-mongering environment of the aforementioned 1984.
The TV version of the show could show young Cleric Preston as he advances through his “gun kata” training to be a member of Libria’s version of the thought police. In this society, everyone is under the mandatory influence of emotion-deadening drugs. He and his partner will spend the first few episodes maintaining peace and the status quo, but it won’t take long before his situation is personally affected when his partner stops taking his required doses. The format of the show would follow the pattern of the first season and a half of Alias as Cleric Preston eventually needs to hide the fact that he starts to feel emotion, but slowly infiltrates the government in power and doesn’t want his family to be put at risk.
4 – World War Z
Let’s face it, no matter what you thought of the movie (I disliked it), it had nothing to do with Max Brooks great zombie novel. The book is not about U.N. specialist Brad Pitt and his adventures in saving the world with sickness. Instead, it’s comprised of a collection of short stories/interviews conducted by a journalist 10 years after the end of the zombie rampage. If you are a zombie fan in any way (casual Walking Dead fans, I’m looking at you), you need to read it now.
This show would need to be on cable, not just because of the bloody content, but because it would need to have a large budget and take itself seriously. HBO would work best. Each episode of this series would stand alone and consist of one interview/event at a time. With a WWZ series, we would finally get to see the Battle of Yonkers, the underwater zombies and Tatsumi descending his apartment building with a katana in tow. It would be great to see the different directors, writers and actors that would sign on to make these mini-movies. I really feel like this needs to happen.
3 – When Harry Met Sally
Sitcoms are still a big deal for some reason. If there’s one thing that CBS viewers love, it’s laugh tracks (and crime procedurals). A movie that is built to be a long-running series is the 1989 comedy When Harry Met Sally. The movie’s story spans through 12 years from the first time they met to when they actually ended up together.
The TV version would show the two of them meeting for the first time and having magnetic chemistry but also having little tolerance for the other. The episodes would randomly show either Harry and his friends or Sally and her friends living their lives. Every once in a while, typically in season finales, Harry and Sally would cross each others’ paths and comedic drama would ensue. While you know that these two characters would eventually end up, it would be a satisfying ending for everyone involved, unlike How I Met Your Mother.
2 – Inception
Inception is an amazing stand-alone movie that should never be touched again. But… if it ever is, I think it would make for a great series or miniseries. In the movie, Dom Cobb and his team of extractors reverse-engineer their typical methods of stealing ideas and attempt to create memories and ideas in their mark.
The Showtime TV series would show what was only implied in the movie. Inception described a subplot of competing companies trying to commit corporate espionage and using Dom’s team to do that. That is the series I want to see. Throughout each season, Dom and his gang will get in over their heads with very powerful people. Meanwhile, he will frequently be haunted by visions of his dead wife, Mal. As long as this series doesn’t end with a spinning top, I’d be very happy with a TV adaptation.
1 – Harry Potter
Before you go crazy, hear me out. It’s my thought that Harry Potter was written to be a seven season TV series rather than a movie franchise. Ask any superfan about their movie gripes and they’ll go on and on about what was left out. With a 12 episode-per-season stretch, nothing would be left out. Each plot and subplot would get its own due time. Yes, even Hermione’s Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare.
The transition of time for the child actors would work out perfectly. With a new season every year, the actors would naturally age in alignment with their characters. We wouldn’t have to see a 25 year old Daniel Radcliffe playing an 18 year old Harry. Also, if you think about the way Rowling wrote the books, she seemed to be writing them for the TV format. There’s always a clear reintroduction of the characters at each beginning. The drama is foreshadowed early on, then nothing happens except for quidditch matches and there’s a definite season finale at the end of each book.
A Harry Potter series could finally give Rowling the chance to right the wrong of putting Ron and Hermione together. Also, maybe the series could do what Rowling never dared to in the final season and kill off some main characters instead of taking the easy way out.
As always, Hollywood producers, I’ll await your calls.