From film to TV we have seen a drastic change in the telling of epic tales over the last decade thanks to“Game of Thrones”. TV is no longer considered a second tier medium for actors and time, money, and more investment. What we have coming in the future looks to be a place to explore epic tales in the TV medium and I am excited about the possibilities.
Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are only a of the few franchises to take an epic book series and translate it well into film. The problem is, in most cases there just isn’t enough time on the big screen to really tell an epic novel series as it was intended. Even LOTR with it’s extended editions are upwards of 12 hours long and it took 8 Harry Potter movies to get it done.
When Game of Thrones appeared on HBO no one expected it to explode the way it did, but taking the time to tell GRRM’s story was exactly what it needed. 8 seasons and a lot of us still feel like we needed MORE time to tell the story. So TV may very well be the medium to explore these kind of epic stories. With the budgets offered and quality writers signing up, it’s completely reasonable.
Just look at some of the big titles coming out in the next year:
- The Wheel of Time
- Lord of the Rings
- Star Wars: The Mandalorian
- The Dark Tower
- The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
- The Nevers
- The Vampire Chronicles
- The Witcher
- The Sandman
- The Chronicles of Narnia
From Film to TV
It also begs the question of what film would have been better if they had been able to be fleshed out in a TV series? Dredd is a perfect film, but that universe would do well as a series. Men in Black would have been a great TV series. Pretty much any video game adaptation into film would have worked better as a series. (Hence YAY Witcher!)
The Book of Eli would have been a great series and fun with a steampunk edge. World War Z would make a great series and they ruined the amazing book. The Netflix original “Bright” felt like an episode or pilot of a TV series. Chronicle would have made a great TV series. And as much as I enjoyed the first Jack Reacher film, the sequel tells me maybe a TV series was the way to go. The source material goes on and on. The possibilities are endless.
There’s a lot of good and bad on TV right now. Westworld has been another great expansion of a thought provoking science fiction even after the concept of a one season arc. Time will tell how it manifests. But then we saw a great novel series like “The Shannara Chronicles” ruined by MTV. Not every great attempt will end in a “Game of Thrones”, but it does give me hope and as I’ve mentioned numerous times I still am holding out for a “Master’s of the Universe” series on a GOT platform.
All of this being said, I think the magic key to a successful epic tale via film or TV is having Sean Bean play a pivotal role early on, only to catch the death train in the first season/movie. Right?