'The Avengers,' 'Beverly Hills Cop' are Latest Movies Moving to the TV Screen
When Joss Whedon signed on the dotted line to return for Marvel’s The Avengers 2, part of his deal included a developmental angle for a Marvel-related television series. Details on that potential project were vague, but they are starting to crystallize.
Whedon, Deadline reports, will write and shepherd a TV show for ABC networks that will be based on S.H.I.E.L.D., the global peacekeeping organization led by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) that recruited the members of the Avengers for this summer’s blockbuster film.
Whedon’s roots are in television, having developed beloved cult programs like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly. And it will be curious to see how involved he becomes in the TV series. Will he write and direct? Could he lure movie stars like Jackson, Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans to lend a hand on select episodes?
Naturally, the show can exist as a bridge between the various films Marvel has on its radar, from Thor: The Dark World to the inevitable Avengers 2. Backstories that had to be forced into movies like Iron Man 2 can be developed on the TV side of things. It’s actually a genius move, so long as Marvel’s fans make time to follow the stories as they develop on television.
It’s not, however, a wholly original idea. We have been hearing multiple reports of movie properties looking for new life on the smaller screen. Just yesterday, Vulture reported that Eddie Murphy was shopping a TV version of his iconic Beverly Hills Cop franchise that would be guided by The Shield creator Shawn Ryan. Murphy even expressed interest in participating in the new series, playing an older Axel Foley who is now police chief, passing assignments to his police officer son.
Obviously, we’re in a new age of entertainment where television shows like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead are elevating the level of storytelling so that movies and TV aren’t quite as far apart as they used to be. Ron Howard, for instance, shopped a package deal for a Dark Tower adaptation at Universal that would have relied on multiple feature films AND full television seasons. And shows like Lost and 24 still flirt with the idea of producing feature-length film stories.
What do you think of these projects that tie film and TV together? Are you excited to see S.H.I.E.L.D. adventures on ABC? Could Beverly Hills Cop survive as a weekly television show? And what other movie properties would you like to see in your TV Guide each week? Share your thoughts below.
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Sean O'ConnellFandango Bloggers
Sean is a film reviewer for The Washington Post and daily contributor to Fandango.