When Jonah Hill’s reboot of 21 Jump Street hits theatres this weekend, it joins a long list of big screen adaptations of small screen hits.
Everything from sci-fi shows like The X-Files to comedies like The Addams Family and even reality and games shows (Jackass and The Gong Show) have made the leap from TV to theatres.
Hill describes the new 21 Jump Street as an “R-rated, insane, Bad-Boys-meets-John Hughes-type movie.”
I don’t remember the TV show the movie is based on as being that edgy but if William Shatner’s cop show T.J. Hooker can be turned into an adult-friendly flick called T.J. Hookers, I suppose anything is possible.
Probably the most spun-off TV franchise is Star Trek. Between the original show and the TV offshoots, 11 films have gone where no film series has gone before.
The 2009 J.J. Abrams reboot with Chris Pine as James T. Kirk was a special effects extravaganza but the Wrath of Khan seems to tickle Trekkies the most. Based on the 1967 episode Space Seed, it’s believed to be the first time a movie was made as a sequel to a specific episode.
Ricardo Montalbán took a break from Fantasy Island to take the role, but had one request: he was a gym devotee and wanted costumes that would show off his muscular chest.
The original pilot for the hip spy show The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was actually shot with a theatrical release in mind. Although the show would air in black-and-white on NBC, the pilot was shot in colour with some racier scenes added in. The tame version aired on television, while the sexier edit played in theatres as To Trap a Spy.
Finally, sketch comedy shows have also been a fertile breeding ground for movies. Saturday Night Live has spawned a dozen films, giving us characters like Wayne and Garth and the Coneheads.
Years before SNL was even on television legendary comedy troupe Monty Python used cinema as a way to court a new worldwide audience for their TV show. And Now for Something Completely Different contains re-filmed skits from the first two seasons of their show, including the classic Nudge, Nudge, and Dead Parrot sketches.
The movie is best summed up in the words of Sergeant-Major (played by Graham Chapman). “Now, I would just like to point out that this film is displaying a distinct tendency to become silly.”