10 Movies We’d Love To See As TV Shows Source:

It’s not that they didn’t work as movies. In fact, every film on this list was considered a success, or is now considered a cult classic. But there is something so episodic about the story line, or the available story lines branching from the original source, that it would be great to see the lives of these characters, or these imagined worlds, in a little—or a lot—more detail. There are so many movies that could translate well to television shows, but the following 10 were softly calling: “Pitch us.”

10. Brooklyn (2015)

Brooklyn is the new kid on this block. This may be the most charming film of 2015, and there’s no mistaking why it has been nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award. Not to spark the film vs. digital argument, but that may be the only thing about Brooklyn that could have been improved upon. Set in the early 1950s, it would have been so nice to have seen it shot on film. Some of the day exteriors are missing that something. Even so, its charm is undeniable. The story is simple and sweet, and the performances are well-crafted, it’s a Nick Hornby script—formulaic, but lures you in every time, like a mouse to cheese. Brooklyn is a beautiful coming of age story starring Saoirse Ronan (pronounced “Sertia” like inertia), and after seeing the coming of age, it’s only natural to want the next 10 years of the story. Source:

9. Dark City (1998)

Dark City was overshadowed by some movie schlock in 1998, yet it holds up well 18 years later. A dark, science fantasy/thriller, Dark City presents an underworld that is similar to the funk in Fritz Lange’s Metropolis, with far more sinister characters controlling the world above through metaphysical manipulation. Nothing is as it seems. Rufus Sewell stars alongside Keifer Sutherland in one of Keifer’s best and most understated roles. It’s the story of a man who believes he may have committed murder(s), and who is left to try and piece together memories that simply won’t materialize. This film would be a premium cut for an HBO or Showtime TV drama. Netflix could give it a go as well. Ideally, we’d see how things came to be, as well as more back story within an elaborating episodic. Source:

8. Looper (2012)

Looper was a dandy. Many people didn’t see it coming, and thought it might slide into the “Yeah, it was alright” category. But it was great. People went to theaters multiple times to take it in. There is so much you can do with a story built upon the device of time travel. We’ll suspend our disbelief for offerings like this one. Rian Johnson did a knock out job working in the science fiction (fantasy) genre, especially with the niche genre of time travel sci fi. A TV version of Looper would allow more of that future world to be seen, or the creative team could delve deeper into the development of the technology, and play with ideas like quark energy, and string theory—really mess with minds, and start more conversations about the world of quantum mechanics. Source:

7. Dredd (2012)

It has been touched upon more than once in the realm of feature films, and in less than a 20 year period. Fans of the comic seemed enjoyed the second offering, yet many filmmakers found it hard to watch. We’re speaking of the 2012 version, of course. The 1995 Sylvester Stallone offering hurt to watch. This comic adaptation would be perfect for the small screen. The source material is plentiful, and with the right creative team, it could be done exceptionally well. The tonality of the 2012 version was closer to being on point, but it would need a more commercial feel to lure seasons from studio heads. Karl Urban worked in the role of Judge Dredd, as did Olivia Thirlby in the role of Anderson. Alex Garland crushed the hopes of fans, when he stated a sequel wouldn’t be made. However, maybe pitching it to the right TV producer would change things? Source:

6. True Romance (1993)

How could this cult classic work as a television series? The whole Elvis obsession thing works in a number of ways, as do the lives of all the oddly charming villains. True Romance was a deliciously violent comedy of errors. (RIP, James Gandolfini and Dennis Hopper.) Who doesn’t want more of Alabama Whitman? (It was a treat to see Patricia Arquette win the Oscar in 2015 for her work in Boyhood.) Back to task: True Romance. Quentin Tarantino is a movie guy, but it would be so very cool to see an episodic series that was born of his mind. He could chase so many rabbits down so many holes. Episodes could be dedicated to characters like Floyd (Brad Pitt) and Drexl Spivey (Gary Oldman). The drugs. The movie business. The burnouts. The gypsies. True Romance, on HBO. It works. Source:

5. Legends of the Fall (1994)

Legends of the Fall has the perfect makings for a television show. The film itself was three acts of episodic activity, jumping from place to place and character to character. Flesh that stuff out, writers, and you’ve got yourself a real winner for the small screen. The 1920s Prohibition Era flicks always boast a magnetic energy, and so would a show. The same could be said for Lawless, which we’ll consider an honorable mention. The benefit of a Legends of the Fall television series would be a small cast of contract players, and any number of parallels between the lives of characters, as they weave in and out of the lives of guest stars, and a few recurring characters. You can’t go wrong with horses, war, international travels, bootleg liquor and Montana, which would be shot in Canada for the sake of production costs, of course. Source:

4. Groundhog Day (1993)

In the realm of shows that could literally go on forever, how about Groundhog Day as a television comedy? Before you say no, it could be done as a 22-minute, traditional, A-story, B-story sitcom. Imagine the mileage a creative writer could get out of writing what ifs for every episode. It would really mess with the perception of time. Even the characters unaware that the day-to-day is not day-to-day, rather day, would grow and change based on new experiences in each episode. Or perhaps writers could play with episodes so they wouldn’t necessarily equate to an episode per day? The day where Phil Connors stays in his room and refuses to leave could be a very interesting episode. That would leave Rita to do the groundhog reporting. It’s a stretch, but NBC would probably go for it! Source:

3. Interstellar (2014)

The world presented in Interstellar was a mere scratch on the surface. It was a foray into real science fiction that served to be divisive. People claimed to understand what Christopher Nolan was stating with the film, but did they really know what he was stating? He was putting some pretty heavy stuff out there, and not only in the realm of theoretical physics. A television series of Interstellar would never happen, but the continuation, as well as the elaboration of several story lines would be an incredible adventure. That’s the benefit of TV shows; they have the time to dive a little deeper, so long as they score good enough ratings to get more than a season. We’ll loosen the grip on this one, but hope for something in the same vein that can focus more on other story elements. Source:

2. The Truman Show (1998)

The Truman Show served as one of the early opportunities for Jim Carrey to really strut his stuff in the dramatic realm. The feature film also provided for a very quick catch-us-up, offering just enough exposition to get the audience up to speed, and the status quo. Truman Burbank is a fella who was created for one purpose, to be watched by everyone. He is the titular character of a faux reality show starring himself with a bunch of actors hired to play characters in his life. The catch: he thinks everything is real. If you haven’t seen it, we won’t spoil it. It would be fun to build upon this story. Seasons could address the different chapters in his life, and if it ran long enough, you could see a pre-pubescent boy become a man. Source:

1. Sicario (2015)

Another new kid on the block, and a film that would be a near perfect episodic, this film resonates. Yes, Sicario fans, you’re well aware that Taylor Sheridan is already building out the world for a sequel piece that may serve as something of a prequel. Whatever the case, that’s pretty exciting. This was a non-traditional, narrative screenplay. Dismissing the tired, three-act formula, Taylor opted to shoot for five acts of peaks and valleys, and a risky focus on two characters. For a lot of critics, it probably didn’t work, but that’s because they critique what they know. The film had its fair share of detractors, but for an indie (produced by Black Label Media) to score some Oscar nods, it’s saying something! Imagining this beast as an hour-long television drama with great action sequences? It’d run for a long time. Source:
James Sheldon

James Sheldon

James Sheldon has been writing about music, movies, and TV for Goliath since 2016.