From Big Screen to Small

photo: Facebook/FargoFX

Terminator, Fargo and other Hollywood hits that were turned into TV shows. Some were good, others not so…  

Making the giant leap from the silver screen to TV is always a challenge for TV producers. Can they re-create movie magic week in week out and stay true to the original or even take it to new heights? From cult classics to sci-fi favourites, these are the hits, misses, and new series in the pipeline.

Thumbs Up 


Fargo is a cult classic from the Coen brothers that wowed audiences upon its release in 1996 with its mix of black humour and violence. Re-creating the special atmosphere and drama of the two-time Oscar-winning movie seemed a tall order, but executive producer Noah Hawley’s effort arrived on the small screen to critical acclaim. Starring Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman, it has proved worthy of the name. 

© N-GEN // YouTube


Although the 2013 TV series is not directly related to the movies, Hannibal is based on the same literary work by Thomas Harris. In addition, both productions are brought to life through talented actors in the role of Hannibal Lector. While Sir Anthony Hopkins excelled in the cinema version, Mads Mikkelsen is just as impressive in the television adaptation. 

Mads Mikkelsen is Hannibal

In a certain way our job is both very social and very anti-social. When we're working, we're surrounded by people non-stop. We wouldn't be able to do the job at all if that weren't the case. At the same time, as an actor, you're going through a process that's exclusive to you.


There have been four further films since The Terminator blew our minds in 1984. These Hollywood blockbusters generally failed to live up to the original, but the same cannot be said about the TV adaptation. Starring Lena Headey of Game of Thrones fame, Thomas Dekker and Summer Glau, the series continued Sarah and John’s story as they attempted to destroy Skynet and prevent Armageddon. 

© Warner Bros. // YouTube

Thumbs Down


The original inspired teenagers around the world to fake the perfect sick day, creating one of the most iconic characters of all time in the process. The same cannot be said about the TV show. Leading man Charlie Schlatter lacked Matthew Broderick’s charm and magnentism. Perhaps talking to the camera isn’t as easy as it looks? 

© JustinInAtlanta // YouTube


If you can get past Jean-Claude Van Damme’s hair in the sci-fi film Timecop, you’ll find an enjoyable albeit farfetched tale. However, most were in agreement that the TV version’s take on things was a bit of a mess. It has the same premise of time travel but it’s weakened by a patchy script.

© CampMovieCamp // YouTube


The show continued the escapades of Bill S. Preston Esq. and Ted “Theodore” Logan, but the two leads couldn’t match the excellence of Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter. It aired for seven episodes and was no more. “No way!”

© haskin1979 // YouTube

Still to come 

A Shutter Island TV show is on Martin Scorsese’s list of things-to-do. It will be set before the events of the film but there’s no Leonardo DiCaprio.

Lethal Weapon has been greenlit at FOX and will star Clayne Crawford as Riggs and Damon Wayans as Murtaugh. Can they match the leading pair of Danny Glover and Mel Gibson?

Taken is heading to the small screen courtesy of NBC and will be set before the events of the film. You’ll find out just how Liam Neeson’s Bryan Mills acquired his particular set of skills.

Tremors was a flawless B-movie that had great leads in Fred Ward and Kevin Bacon. The latter will be returning to his roots in the TV series.

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04 2016 The Red Bulletin

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