Watchmen And 5 Other Franchises That Should Return To Theaters After Their TV Shows

Watchmen HBO

In the golden age of television, more and more movies are getting signed on for TV adaptations. Some of these adaptations haven't lived up to the hype of their originals, but there have been more than a few recent ones that have been just as good, if not better than the original ideas they were constructed from.

And if these shows are doing things that the movie didn't better, it only makes sense that they should return to theaters with whatever new ideas or characters they've brought to the table. Here are some ones I think are no brainers that would also return to theaters with something that their respective predecessors lacked.

Watchmen HBO


When it was announced that Damn Lindelof would be developing a sequel series to the twisted superhero classic Watchmen, there was some skepticism. Now, following the series widespread critical acclaim and largely positive reception from fans, there are people clamoring for Season 2. The odds of another season happening are seemingly growing slimmer by the day, but does that mean a feature film follow up is off the table?

I don't think so, and if the Watchmen franchise ever does return to the silver screen, I think it would be foolish not to acknowledge the stories and concepts introduced by the HBO series. Not only was Watchmen brought up to date and given a meaningful update to its world, but it told a provocative and inclusive story that audiences by and large really liked. Plus, a follow-up movie could bring back the incredible Regina King as the lead, which is a win whether we're talking television or movies.

Snowpiercer TNT


Bong Joon-Ho's Snowpiercer is a must-watch for anyone familiar with his work, or any fans of post-apocalyptic scenarios. When it was revealed a series was in development, I was pretty skeptical, especially knowing that there was little to no chance that Chris Evans would be involved. Still, a show with star power like Daveed Diggs and Jennifer Connelly is worth anyone's attention, so I tuned in with low expectations assuming that nothing could outclass the original.

While I won't say TNT's Snowpiercer is better than the original film just yet, it has been very promising in Season 1. The show has a solid cast all-around, so much so that I do think it wouldn't be crazy to see this series eyeball a movie after it gets a few seasons. Especially at the rate the show is expanding the lore of the series, it's making me realize there are plenty of tales to tell on a train beyond someone getting murdered.

Treadstone USA


Look, I know there's a solid chance there will be another Bourne movie following the cancellation of Treadstone. I'm not picking this one for the easy "told ya so," but rather as an opportunity to say that Treadstone was a quality addition to the franchise that shouldn't be retconned or ignored the next time Bourne heads to theaters.

Specifically, I was a fan of the way the show retconned the origin of Jason Bourne, and told the story of Operation: Treadstone's origins back in 1973. The project was CIA, but it was inspired in large part by the Soviet Union's original program, Project: Cicada. The program, which was copied by various government organizations worldwide, created a series of "sleepers" similar to Jason Bourne just waiting to be activated for missions. It was a story element that, frankly, should've been a part of the franchise from the start, and could easily be re-introduced alongside one or two characters if and when Bourne returns to theaters.

Black Dynamite Adult Swim

Black Dynamite

For those unfamiliar with Black Dynamite, this 2009 comedy is Michael Jai White's love letter to the blaxploitation era. The movie, which is shot intentionally to look like a movie from the era, follows Black Dynamite as he works to uncover a nefarious plot against the black community. The movie didn't blow out the box office by any means, but it has become a cult favorite thanks to the off-kilter comedy and the follow-up Adult Swim series.

There's been talk of a Black Dynamite sequel since the first movie's release, but sadly, no progress towards a true follow-up since the television show has been made. There's also been talk of a spiritual successor called The Outlaw Johnny Black, though even then, buzz about its progress has stilled in recent months. I'd love to see the character of Black Dynamite or another follow-up to the movie's concept maybe more than any pick on this list, though sadly, it feels unlikely at the moment.

Westworld HBO


Westworld the movie and Westworld the show are only tangentially related, with only a few shared elements in regards to their plot. Beyond that, they may as well be two entirely different projects, which would be all the more reason to bring HBO's Westworld to the movies with its own epic tale to tell.

This is especially the case after the events of Season 3, which (spoiler alert for anyone not caught up), teases a world doomed for destruction unless Bernard can find a way to save humanity. The show has gone a lot deeper with its concept than even the movie's creator, Michael Crichton, may have taken it, considering his original intended statement was to be a warning against corporate greed (via Vulture). I know HBO shows get proposed for movies (twice in this list now) a lot, but if there's one that I think truly deserved it above all else to close out its story, it's Westworld.

Kyle Chandler Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights the movie was effective in capturing and effectively explaining the phenomena that is high school football, but the television series showed there's just so much more to draw from the well than what the movie showed. Friday Night Lights the show exposed the unique experience of being a notable small-town athlete, how obsession over sports can overshadow larger issues, and made every American wish Kyle Chandler was their coach in something growing up.

Now, nearly a decade after the show's ending, I often wonder if it's time to go back to that well once more. There are so many new things that have come to light in the world of football and adjustments to teen living that I have to believe a modern reboot would captivate movie audiences once again. Then, of course, we'd probably get another show and re-live this wondrous cycle all over again.

Got another franchise that should return to theaters after coming to television? List it in the comments, and as always, be sure to stick with CinemaBlend to stay up to date on all the latest and greatest things happening in television and movies.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.