Hollywood and TV have always had an interesting relationship. Whether it be a sequel, prequel, or reboot – bringing TV show properties to the big screen has always been a popular option among studio execs. An existing property with a built in fan base- whats not to love! Movies based on TV have brought popular franchises back into the spotlight, and others have given fans a chance to reconnect with characters who we thought would be long gone.
With Event Cinemas playing Serenity as part of their ‘In The House’ cult film festival this Friday, now seems as good as time as any to take a look at our favourite top 5 films based on TV properties.
The Addams Family (1991)
Naked Gun (1988)
21 Jump Street (2012)
The Fugitive (1993)
Based on the 1960’s TV show of the same name, The Fugitive, was a critical and commercial success upon its release in 1993. Harrison Ford starred as Richard Kimble, a man on the run after being falsely accused for the murder of his own wife. The Fugitive took the core concepts of the show and crafted a solid 2 hour thrill ride. The film was so succesful that a sequel centering around Tommy Lee Jones’s character was released in 1998 – U.S. Marshalls
South Park – Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)
When creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker were tasked with bringing South Park to the big screen – nobody was expecting a full fledged musical. Taking everything we know and love about South Park and turning it up to 11, South Park – Bigger, Longer & Uncut brought the shows mix of social satire and potty mouthed 3rd graders to the next level. Amazingly, the film even earned an academy award nomination for its big number “Blame Canada!” – which Robin Williams performed live at the show!
Browncoats the world over were thrilled when it was announced that Firefly would be headed to the big screen. Mal, Zoe and the crew of Serenity returned to the big screen, allowing Joss Whedon to give his beloved characters a big screen adventure, and to give fans one more chance to travel cross the ‘verse with their favourite antiheroes. Whilst the film was enjoyed by fans and critics alike – like Firefly, nobody came to see it. Poor box office returns cemented the end of the franchise – but fans were happy to get closure on some of the series’ plot lines.
Mission: Impossible (1996)
The film that started a million dollar franchise – 1996’s Mission: Impossible. Taking its cues from the 1960’s TV show and turning its tropes on its head, Mission: Impossible kept audiences guessing from start to finish. Culminating in an stunt heavy sequence on the TGV, audience’s were blown away by this tense spy flick. Interestingly, the original TV show actors all reacted negatively to this remake – especially Peter Graves who portrayed Peter Phelps in the original show (he was unhappy that Graves became the traitor). Fortunately audience’s didn’t agree and turned out in crazy numbers – cementing Tom Cruise as a star for decades to come, and spawning 4 incredibly successful sequels – each of which continues to come up with more crazy stunts for Tom Cruise’s insurance guys to cry about.
Star Trek II – The Wrath of Khan (1982)
Could anything else really top our list? No other show has reached the heights that Star Trek would reach on the big screen – with 13 feature films since 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Whilst The Motion Picture brought Star Trek to life in theatres – it was The Wrath of Khan that cemented the franchise’s big screen chops. A sequel from an early episode of the original series, Wrath of Khan moved away from its 2001-like predecessor and crafted a fun sci-fi adventure, pitting the crew of the Enterprise against its most dangerous enemy. Featuring the best of everything the franchise has to offer, and a heartbreaking ending – Wrath of Khan proved Star Trek belonged on the big screen. KHAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNN
That’s it folks – don’t forget you can see every Browncoats gorram favourite film based on a TV show – Serenity – at Event Cinema’s In The House this Friday at George St cinemas. Hit the image below to buy your tickets.