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Four Movie Franchises That Would Make Great TV Shows

by Bob Sassone, posted May 4th 2010 1:04PM
Matt Damon
A couple of weeks ago I proposed a TV series based on the James Bond character. That got me thinking about other movie franchises that might make for good TV shows. There have been a lot of TV shows and miniseries based on movie franchises, including 'Sherlock Holmes,' 'Planet of the Apes,' 'Terminator,' and even 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars' if you want to include animated shows. Here are four movie franchises that haven't been TV shows yet but I think they really could be.

1. 'The Bourne Identity.' Of course, 'The Bourne Identity' was a TV miniseries before it was a hit film series, but that was a while ago. I can picture a series based on the Jason Bourne character, especially with the success of shows like '24.' It could work two ways: have Bourne have amnesia and have him trying to figure out who he is and who is trying to kill him (a la 'Coronet Blue,' a show I'm sure inspired Robert Ludlum), or maybe have him already know who he is and have him in hiding, having to fight the bad guys trying to kill him every week.

Possible lead: Ben McKenzie, Wentworth Miller, Jared Padalecki

Die Hard

2. 'Die Hard.' Hey, why not? Sure, it would be implausible (even more implausible than the movies) to have John McClane involved in some sort of international crisis or terrorist situation every single week, so maybe he can get a job as a security expert or agent after foiling all of those bad guys over the years? This could be even more '24' than the Bourne series.

Possible lead: Jon Hamm, Matthew Fox, Tim Daly, Kiefer Sutherland.

Back to the Future
3. 'Back to the Future.' This could be a ton of fun. I don't think it should be a 'Quantum Leap' type of show, where Marty McFly gets involved with other people and solving their problems as he tries to get back to the present. This show should focus on Marty himself, finding himself in a different era every week as he tries to put his life and his family's history back together. That could be exciting. A new year, a new problem, a new cliffhanger every week. Yeah, there was a cartoon, but a live-action adventure series would be better.

Possible lead: Michael Cera, Shawn Pyfrom, Freddie Highmore, Anton Yelchin, Carter Jenkins. And hey, why not get Christopher Lloyd to reprise his role as Doc Brown?

Ocean's 11
4. 'Ocean's 11'. I know, I know, there has already been a series or two that is similar to the 'Ocean's 11' films, including 'Hustle.' But I'd like to see an American-based caper show with the same light, sly tone of 'Ocean's 11,' 'Ocean's 12,' and 'Ocean's 13.' It might be hard for the gang to rob a new Las Vegas casino every week (I think authorities would get suspicious), but maybe Danny, Rusty, and the gang could actually work for the authorities, setting up a new bad guy every week a la 'It Takes A Thief.'

Possible leads: Jon Hamm, Bradley Whitford, Zachary Levi, Kevin Connolly, Lennie James, Jennifer Garner, Dominic Monaghan. And Elliott Gould can play Reuben again.

Those are just some ideas. Who would you cast in the above shows?

[Follow Bob on Twitter.]

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Re: #4,

Have you watched "Leverage" at all?

May 05 2010 at 8:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah, "Ocean's 11" would make a great TV series. I can see a smart, witty, well-crafted heist show being able to *Leverage* the audience that has been built for the Ocean's movies. In fact, they might be able to *Leverage* the A-Team audience by making each plot sort of combine both franchises in a way. Hey, you know who would be good in the lead? Timothy Hutton. And you know what would be a great network to air it on? Brace yourself: TNT. Apparently, they know drama.

Shame such a show doesn't exist.

May 04 2010 at 5:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brett Alan

I think your Ocean's 11 idea ought to star, oh, let's say, Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Beth Riesgraf, and Aldis Hodge. B^}

May 04 2010 at 2:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Brett Alan's comment

I can't wait for the new season of Leverage! Great show that definitely fills the requirements of an "Oceans' 11" series.

May 04 2010 at 3:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh yeah! I'm anxiously awaiting one of my 2 favorite teams of grifters. The other being the folks in "Hustle."

May 04 2010 at 4:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've long thought Harry Potter should be a TV series. It's got a built-in seven-season arc, and instead of having to cut out so much and/or make absurdly long movies, they'd have time to not only explore all of the book/movie plotlines but also expand things as needed.

The possibilities are vast. Who wouldn't want to see an episode centered around Crab and Goyle (sp?), for example?

May 04 2010 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kensington's comment

I agree completely. I have thought the same thing many times. And it would totally be a success! The question is whether the general public can consider anyone other than Daniel Radcliffe to be the live-action Harry. I think yes, but only if they waited a few years. If they did it right (and possibly only HBO-sized budgets and 13-episode seasons could truly afford it, probably), it would be a guaranteed hit, and it would keep Harry Potter culturally relevant after the last movie comes out, so that the franchise can keep living.

Either that, or I also thought it'd be cool if someone bought the rights to the universe and did a Hogwarts TV show of the sort of teen-drama variety that's really popular these days. It'd be a hit, but I doubt Rowling would sign off on it, even if she did get very strong oversight over the whole thing.

May 04 2010 at 8:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

BTTF? no way...

May 04 2010 at 1:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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