The forgotten first TV versions of your favorite films

Everyone wants a second chance, and it’s even more so for Hollywood execs who own film rights to made-for-TV movies that sit on the shelf gathering dust. Sometimes directors and writers get a chance to reinterpret their old idea that the world has moved away from. Scripts identical in every respect to their much less famous derivatives.

This might make you wonder: do we really need another biopic about Elvis Presley, Napoleon or Liberace? With all the talk of Stanley Kubrick giving up his Napoleon film, we’re forgetting a little about the obvious reason he never actually made that film: the market was already saturated with Napoleon films. Well it turns out it doesn’t matter. Reusing ideas (often the same exact script) has proven to be a viable strategy for film studios afraid to take a risk.

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For years television has been the proving ground for tomorrow’s screenplays, and on rare occasions it has been the place where a damaged intellectual property ruined by a bad film adaptation could be restored – if you just look at dune.

We all know that muppets And Sex and the Cityoriginated in television, but the TV-to-cinema pipeline extends well beyond simply converting a hugely popular ongoing sitcom or drama into a ninety-minute film. Capitalizing on a well-known IP is one thing, but tearing up an old script and trying to make it a classic is a little more difficult.

substance over style

LA Takedown Scott Plank
Ajar Inc.
Compañía Iberoamericana de TV
Movies film productions
Worldwide international network

The next big blockbuster movie franchise may already be here. Never underestimate the importance of a cameraman. Thanks to Doug Liman’s dedication to the divisive “shakey-cam,” the 2002 film directed by Matt Damon shot Jason Bourne’s IP into the stratosphere. A generation earlier, Richard Chamberlain first took on the role of the amnesiac protagonist in the also-titled two-parter on ABC The Bourne Identity. Both were in the tradition of Robert Ludlum’s bestseller from the year 1980, whereby the television film is more based on the film traditions of the time, i.e. it had a camera tripod but no real fight choreography. I guess you can only have one or the other.

You can see the similarities between 1989 LA Takedown and 1995s Heat, Even the dialogue is identical. This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone following Michael Mann’s career, as the writer/director returned to remake his own late ’80s TV movie with a bigger budget, better sets, and more affordable stars. It’s obvious he cared about this story and felt it needed an update to do it justice and a slight change in the ending. The remake is undoubtedly better, with an insanely good cast and some extremely entertaining Al Pacino ad-libs, although the original is by no means bad but clearly needs a facelift.

Related: 20 outdated horror movies that could use a remake

Remakes, redos and re-imaginings

Sidney Lumet's 12 Angry Men
Orion Nova Productions

Sometimes it’s a matter of style, but even a modest upgrade can make a big difference. Money doesn’t solve every problem, but it definitely gets you closer. By casting recognizable actors and beautifying a paltry set, the mundane can become a classic. Sidney Lumet, himself a former television director, took part in Reginald Rose’s film studio one Screenplay for the episode “Twelve Angry Men” to new heights. Yes, that 12 angry men. Fortunately, the motion picture drama was presented with Henry Fonda and without regular visits from a Westinghouse salesman.

Check out IMDb and you might have a stroke when you find out what role Taron Egerton could be starring in Billionaire Boys Club two years before his birth. This anomaly is simply the 1987 TV miniseries Billionaire Boys Club stares at Judd Nelson, the hot young star of his generation (ask your mom). This 2018 true-crime thriller remake performed terribly, if not on the film itself but on extenuating circumstances. The TV mini-series is a lot cheaper, but it tops the movie with its sax-heavy, super cheesy soundtrack that really captures the seedy vibe and unbalanced style choices of the ’80s.

Related: Evil Dead Rise: Is It a Sequel, a Remake, or a Standalone Movie?

Too early?

The Handmaid's Tale 1990
bioscope film
Cineman Entertainment Group
Cinétudes films
Daniel Wilson Productions
Master Partner Odyssey

A TV show or miniseries may come at the wrong time to achieve its full potential. police squad! was completely ignored by TV viewers in the early ’80s but became an iconic comedy hit when Hollywood easily adapted it into film Naked Gun. The show’s sense of humor hasn’t changed in five years, but the audience’s sensibilities have. Days of Wine and Roses And Marty When they first hit TV screens as TV movies in the ’50s, they were only on the radar for a short time Marty winning an Oscar, and Blake Edward’s feature film version of Days of Wine and Roses selected for preservation in the US Library of Congress.

There used to be no TV equivalent of Netflix or HBO, and no one took it seriously, no matter how good the script, and required a writer to work out their movie pitch on TV before Hollywood risked their money on it. Thankfully, TV movies are now accepted enough to win an Oscar. We’ve come a long way.

In rare cases, the opposite can also happen. Which brings us to it The story of the maid Movie. yes, movie In 1990, an R-rated adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s book came and went with little fanfare, despite being written by Harold Pinter and featuring a star-studded cast. Why did the movie Flounder in 1990 and the Hulu TV show works 30 years later? We’re only guessing as the general plot and characters remain, but it likely has something to do with contemporary politics. timing is everything.

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