Thursday, October 1, 2009

Television to Film

It has become somewhat popular in recent years to take classic television shows and revamp them for modern audiences in the form of a film. Obviously it's an easy ploy for the studios. You already have these franchises with a built in fanbase. If the films are well received it could reap millions upon millions of dollars.

A few years ago we got Bewitched, and this past summer we got Star Trek and Land of the Lost. In the coming years we are more than likely going to see more and more classic television series revamped for the big screen, with rumors already circulating about an I Dream of Genie film, a T.J. Hooker film, and a film version of the cult vampire classic Dark Shadows(which is clearly trying to capitalize off of Johnny Depp's and vampire's recent upsurge in popularity). While I am greatly looking forward to the sequel to this past summer's Star Trek, the two upcoming films based off of old TV shows that baffle the most are The A-Team and The Green Hornet.

Believe it or not I had never seen The A-Team till about three months ago. When I saw it I recognized that it did have potential to at least be a fun, and entertaining action/comedy. Of course what is baffling about this project that hits theaters next summer is the casting of Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson as the members of the storied team. It confuses one about the route in which they're trying to take with this film. Liam Neeson is a dramatic actor, while Bradley Cooper is for the most part a comedic performer, and Sharlto Copley's only role so far as the lead in this past summer's District 9, which kind of contradicts any style that this film is going for. Will this film be campy like the original, or serious and dramatic? Personally I hope that it retains the campy feel of the original. The A-Team is escapist entertainment, so keep it as such. Now onto the film that really makes me scratch my head trying to figure out.

Next Christmas we are going to be treated to a film version of the classic pulp crime fighter, The Green Hornet. The film is written by Superbad scribes Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, starring Rogen as the masked crime fighter, while Michel Gondry directs. Already none of this adds up. Throw in Cameron Diaz as the love interest, Asian singer and actor Jay Chou replacing Bruce Lee as Kato, and Christoph Waltz from Tarrantino's latest as the villain, and you have this odd collection of cast and crew members. The original Green Hornet was dark and edgy, and while I have no doubt that this film will be action packed, the last thing I want this film to be is a warm and fuzzy buddy comedy. Perhaps the film retains the dark comedy and edge that makes The Green Hornet television series so unique? I really hope so, but till then we can just remember the original classic.

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