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Small screen to big screen

The success of the recent Sex and the City movie has, evidently, got others thinking about making big-screen adaptations of their small-screen hits and TBI finds that if you pick a successful TV series there is invariably a mine of gossip about a feature film version.

Taking a TV show and making it into a movie isn’t a new idea. See Miami Vice, Starsky and Hutch, Charlie’s Angels (times two), Mission Impossible (times three), and Star Trek (incredibly, times ten) and numerous others. But could we be about to see a new wave of TV-to-movie projects spurred by the success of Sarah Jessica Parker and co?

Well, the cast of Friends are, depending upon the reports you believe, looking enviously at their SATC counterparts and there is talk of the Central Perk gang getting back together for a feature – with each getting a reported $10 million.

That said, David Schwimmer, Ross in Friends, was reported in the British press as saying "Talk to me again in 20 years," when asked about a reunion, adding: "If I’m on really hard times, maybe I’ll be pitching [a feature]". But that was back in 2005 and the gossip columns have since variously said Schwimmer and the other Friends are up for the movie. But then a Warners’ PR was quoted earlier this month as saying that there is no truth in the movie rumours.

Meanwhile, that crazy fool Mr T will be ‘not gettin on no plane’ again in Universal’s A-Team movie. It is in pre-production with John ‘Boyz n the Hood‘ Singleton directing. Rumours abound and film sites have Bruce Willis pegged as Hannibal, Woody Harrelson as Murdoch and Ice Cube as B.A.

Dallas the movie has also been announced and is expected in 2009. Ben Stiller has reportedly replaced John Travolta as ruthless Texas oilman J.R. in the Fox feature, which is now being billed as a comedy.

Straight cartoon series to movies abound – with The Simpsons the most successful recently. Notable entries in the animated-TV-series-to-live-action-movie projects include 1994’s The Flinstones and the two Scooby Doo movies from 2002 and 2004. Now, a Warner Bros live-action movie version of Hanna-Barbera toon The Jetsons is in the works with Robert Rodriguez (Spy Kids, Sin City) directing.

Elsewhere, fans of Joss Whedon’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer are still debating the merits or otherwise of a Buffy movie. It started out life on the big screen back in 1992 with Kristy Swanson starring as the vampire slaying hero, but the TV Buffy, Sarah Michelle Gellar, has given out mixed messages re a new film.

Whedon has already translated a TV series to the big screen with his 2002/2003 TV season sci-fi series Firefly becoming the 2005 Universal movie Serenity. He has since discounted the idea of a follow up Serenity movie.

The roster of possible TV-series-to-movie-projects includes Entourage. "Ultimately it would be fun to do a movie," star turn Jeremy Piven told MTV.

Gossip also surrounds a movie version of The Sopranos. Stories about a feature did the rounds earlier this year although the source for a lot of these was Nick D’Urso, manager of the Satin Dolls strip joint, which doubles as the Sopranos’ Bada Bing club.

What is certain is that the HBO show’s creator David Chase inked a deal with Paramount Pictures earlier this year to make his first feature. What is also certain is that project will be an original drama and not The Sopranos The Movie.