Adaptations of TV shows on the silver screen is nothing new (1966'sBatman
with the original caped crusader, Adam West, and 1955'sMarty
with Ernest Borgnine are two early ones that come to mind) and I wouldn't expect them to stop anytime soon, with TV to movie flicks like
andSex in the City
having spawned successful franchises. Like comic book and literary adaptations, Hollywood knows they can make a quick buck off a built-in audience of established properties. But are any of them any good? Sure, there's more bad ones than you can shake aTV Guide
at (Wild Wild West, Bewitched, The Flintstones, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Brady Bunch
...the boys in Hollywood were going crazy with these in the '90s and 00's) and others lend themselves to the guilty pleasures category (Miami Vice, Starsky & Hutch, TMNT, Land of the Lost, Charlie's Angels, The Saint
) but has Tinsletown actually transferred something from the small screen to the big successfully? In honor of21 Jump Stree
t out this weekend (which is supposedly one of the good ones) here's 11 examples I think say yes.
The Simpsons Movie 18 years in the making, The Simpsons Movie had fans fearful that everyone's favorite dysfunctional yet lovable animated family would be a nuclear meltdown disaster on the big screen. We had watched them from our living rooms every week, crashing into their own in various, hilarious ways...would the experience be the same in the theater? Thankfully, the answer was a resounding Doh!...I mean yes. Best. Animated. Show. Adaptation. Ever. Side Note: That could have had something to do with the fact that every writer in the show's history (sans Conan O'Brien) had a hand in the script, with 158 drafts total.
South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut Yet another example of an animated show working on both the big and small screen...this one with more profanity (Fun Fact: Bigger, Longer, Uncut boasts the record for most profanity in an animated film. Come on, Pixar! Slackers.) Just when we thought Trey Parker and Matt Stone couldn't shock us anymore/make us laugh any harder, they gave us "Uncle Fucka" and a lot of other moments I'm not allowed to mention.
Star Trek The aforementioned Star Trek movie franchise has given us 11 films total, but it wasn't until boy wonder JJ Abrams got his nerdy hands on it in 2009 did it make it downright cool to be a Trekkie. To the point that you saw a lot of Star Wars fans trading in their lightsabers and force waves for phasers and that "Live Long and Prosper" hand thingy.
The Twilight Zone: The Movie By far the most inventive adaptation, Twilight Zone: The Movie took the anthology route with a little help from the likes of Joe Dante, John Landis, George Miller, and Steven Spielberg. But it was Miller's segment "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" written by Richard Matheson that still haunts our nightmares at 0 feet when we're sleeping in our beds. You can't deny that every time you look out of your window at the wing of your airplane that "There's something on the wing!" creeps its way into your mind.
Serenity Geek God Joss Whedon may have seen his series Firefly short lived, but it was beloved by a core and supportive group of Brown Coats to the point that it got him in the director's chair for Serenity, a modest yet impressive sci-fi flick that evokes the feeling you have when you watch the original Star Wars. Serenity is what George Lucas was going for with his prequels...to bad they crashed and burned in a pod race.
The Fugitive Harrison Ford has played some of the most iconic heroes in cinema history, and has delivered some of the most memorable lines to go with them, but the delivery of "I didn't kill my wife!" before he goes over a waterfall (and lives to gruffly deliver a bunch of other awesome lines about a one-armed dude) has to be up there with the best. The Academy thought this TV adaptation was so good, they even gave an Oscar to Tommy Lee Jones for his performance. That's gotta count for something right?
The X-Files: Fight the Future The X-Files was known for it's over-arching mythology concerning the search for truth in the existence of extraterrestrials. The show did a great job of keeping us right there on the investigation alongside Mulder and Scully, and Fight the Future took it to a whole other level. For episodic series with this type of backstory, The X-Files is a prime example of how to essentially make a 2-hour episode with a lot more money and a lot more "holy shit" moments.
Wayne's World SNL has attempted to transform many of their sketches into feature length comedies. Tried and failed that is, with a list longer than this in downright awful and unfunny films. But with two dudes from Aurora, Illinois who made a cable access show about Metal and babes in their basement, they finally discovered a way to party on, not once but twice. Schwing!
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Mission:Impossible III Yet another thing JJ Abrams has made cooler than the original, the M:I movie series has seen it's fair share of impressive directors (Brian De Palma, John Woo) but Abrams captured the '60s campy vibe of the series while still making it a legitimate action flick, not to mention created a unforgettable villain out of Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
PS: This list will self-destruct in 10 seconds.
And last but not least...The Muppets Seriously, it's The Muppets. They're adorable on any size screen.