From Your Telly to the Big Screen — 7 Movies Based on TV Shows
The relationship between books and their film adaptations is well-known, but what happens when a TV show, loved by millions of viewers in their living rooms, gets switched up to the silver screen? Read on for audience reactions to seven movies whose plots were taken from television.
“21 Jump Street”
The TV show that launched Johnny Depp’s career, “21 Jump Street” holds a nostalgic significance for many people who grew up in the ’80s. The show followed a group of undercover cops who posed as high school students, and the same general plot theme is used in the 2012 big-screen remake. The film features Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill who star as inept but determined officers-in-training. Written in the buddy-comedy tradition, and with a true teen flick feel, this TV adaptation is one that had critics talking for the right reasons. While most aficionados of the TV series expected a disaster, the general consensus was positive and a sequel is set to hit theatres next year.
While the big-screen version of the hit ’80s action TV show captures the boisterous spirit of the original, it seems to have stopped short of becoming a memorable remake. The feature-length revival, starring Hollywood heavyweights Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper, follows the exploits of a team of former soldiers who are set up for a crime they didn’t commit. The film had a mediocre performance at the box office, leading the studio to shelve any plans for a sequel.
“The Addams Family”
Based closely on the ’60s TV series, “The Addams Family” film proved to be one of the more successful TV shows-turned-movies released in the 1990s. The film re-introduces the world to the Addamses, a ghoulish, freaky family who embrace the morbid side of life. The feature was applauded for its choice of key cast (Anjelica Huston and Raul Julia are the two main leads) but it was Christina Ricci’s performance as Wednesday that had audiences raving most. A popular and financial success, the film went on to become the seventh highest grossing film of 1991 and was followed by a sequel in 1993.
Based on the popular British comedy series “Mr. Bean” starring Rowan Atkinson, Bean follows the bumbling title character as he travels to the United States, entrusted with a priceless artwork. In typical Mr. Bean fashion, many mishaps and accidents naturally ensue. While the film received mixed reviews from critics, fans of the TV series seemed to happily follow the likable character’s cross to the big screen, which saw the movie become a commercial success worldwide.
“Sex and the City”
The “Sex and the City” movie is based on the romantic comedy/drama series of the same name. The famous TV series revolved around four female friends and their lives as single women navigating sex, love and careers in New York City. The movie’s plot took off from where the show ended and revolves around the “will they or won’t they” wedding drama of the lead character, Carrie, and her love interest. A highly anticipated film that was a commercial success, the movie broke records at the box office and received the biggest opening ever for an R-rated comedy. Two more films in the franchise have since been released, but they have received increasingly scathing reviews from critics and fans alike.
Based on the ’80s children’s TV cartoon series of the same name (which was itself based on a toy line), “Transformers” is a 2007 action film with Steven Spielberg as executive producer. Starring Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, the movie sees two teenagers become involved in a war between different factions of alien robots who can transform themselves into machinery. Despite mixed critical reaction to the film, the remake was a box office success and made stars of its two lead actors. Two more films in the franchise have since been released, and a fourth is in production.
Steve Carell stars in this film based on the popular ’60s television spy parody. The remake also stars established actors Anne Hathaway and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Stepping into the iconic shoes of TV’s bumbling spy Maxwell Smart, Carell adeptly brings this television legend to the big screen. The film’s plot centres on Max’s dreams of being promoted to field agent, which quickly become realised when all other agents are compromised, leaving Max to save the day. While critically the film received mix reviews, the box office told a different story, ranking it number one in its opening weekend.
With plenty of memorable films and movie franchises getting their roots from popular, long-running TV programmes, isn’t it easy to see that film studios love to use top-rated shows as inspiration?
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum Image From Flickr’s Creative Commons by Guillaume Paumier
About the Author: Stacey Blake is a lifestyle writer with a passion for travel and films. She loves to keep up to date with the latest reviews and DVD releases and regularly heads to dvdland.com.au for inspiration.