The credibility of television has expanded in unprecedented ways over the course of the last few years. What was once considered a secondary medium to film has now started to carve out a niche for itself as a primary method of storytelling. From premium cable networks to streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, everyone wants to get in on the action. When compared to the silver screen, it's a platform that offers far more room for character depth and exploration, and that's something fans have come to appreciate.
Networks have begun to notice this, and as such, more and more TV series have made the jump to the small screen.This coming season alone will see titles like Lethal Weapon and The Exorcist (to name a couple) get the serialized treatment in the TV world, and more will undoubtedly follow in time. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of eight film franchises that definitely deserve an introduction to the realm of television. Take a look at our choices and let us know what film franchises you think deserve a series of their very own! Now let's get started with one of the scariest entries on the list...
Arguably no other contemporary horror franchise has more potential for a full-fledged TV series than James Wan's The Conjuring series. Using the case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren as a loose guide, a show following this pair could cover a wide array of hauntings, paranormal phenomena, and general spookiness that lurks within our world. One look at the "trophy room" of paranormal artifacts that they keep in their house during both Conjuring films will instantly tell you that there's plenty of stories left to tell. It's a series tailor-made for both episodic and serialized storytelling, with Ed and Lorraine as the constant to carry us through the overarching narrative. They would lose very little in the translation as well, as the best scares to come out of The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2, and even Annabelle were the low-budget frights that could easily be pulled off on a TV budget.
The legal drama series has become somewhat played out in recent years, which means it's the perfect time for something as subversive as Legally Blonde to revitalize it in a major way. A serialized endeavor centering on everyone's favorite Valley girl turned high-powered attorney could seriously turn the entire genre on its head, and once more endear audiences to the exuberant charm of Elle Woods. Of course, this wouldn't be the first time that Legally Blonde made the jump to television. A reality show titled, Legally Blonde --- The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods, aired for one season on MTV back in 2008, but this would offer audiences the first real chance to consistently immerse themselves in Elle's world week after week. It's the sort of empowering yet flamboyant project that we could see becoming a major hit for a network like The CW if given the proper treatment.
The Daniel Craig era of James Bond films did something amazing with the 2006 reboot, Casino Royale: it humanized the longtime super spy by grounding him in the real world. However, the recent release of Spectre proved to be a detrimental relapse back into the realm of bizarre supervillains, gadgets, and plots for world domination. We don't need that from this character anymore. The franchise needs to move beyond the camp of its early years, and take more time to actually examine the character as a man -- not as a superhero. A grounded TV series willing to embrace the gritty life of James Bond could return the iconic secret agent to his former luster by taking an in-depth look into what makes the actual man behind the martini tick. We're asking for the darkness of a series like Daredevil, combined with the modern, British sensibility of BBC's Sherlock.
The fact that an Expendables TV series has not yet come to fruition continues to baffle me to this day. Centering on a group of top-notch mercenaries with unique and deadly skill sets, the film series follows "The Expendables" as they embark on suicide missions that rely on their combined years of experience, custom-made equipment, and brotherly bond to get the job done. The biggest issue with the films is the fact there's never been enough time to explore each member of the ensemble, and as such we've only really been able to properly get to know Sylvester Stallone's Barney Ross in three outings. Opening up The Expendables universe in a TV series offers far more room to flesh out the titular ensemble of killers, and give each and every personality an opportunity to shine. Let's be honest, none of these actors are too big for the small screen anymore.
For 12 hours all emergency services are suspended, and all crime is legal. Simple, yet terrifying. That's the overarching premise of The Purge's universe, and it would make for an absolutely perfect series on a streaming platform like Netflix. In 24-esque fashion, 12 one-hour episodes, a Purge series could follow various survivors in real time over the course of a season as they attempt to stay alive during an entire night of chaos. It's perfectly designed for the anthology treatment, with a different season taking the action to a different city to follow a new array of survivors every year, while examining a different facet of American society each time. The Purge movies presented us with an awesome concept, but a series could take that idea to the next level.
Comedy in movies often works best when the stakes are high. In the world of TV it's often the exact opposite, and no one does low-stakes, non sequitur television comedy better than Seth MacFarlane. The best scenes in the Ted movies are the ones with minimal connection to an overarching plot; we like watching vignettes of Ted and John hang out with one another, getting into trouble, and seldom getting out of it. A Ted series could thrive on the small screen because -- unlike in the movies -- the characters don't actually have to learn anything by the time an episode ends, and they can remain the same, consistently lazy slackers that we have come to know and love week after week. People already draw the parallels between the Ted series and Family Guy; it's time the creative forces behind the series embraced that.
Author J.K. Rowling has done something amazing with the creation of the Harry Potter universe: she's established a living, breathing world that feels accessible even without the titular protagonist's involvement. There's plenty more left to explore in the Wizard World (as evidenced by the upcoming release of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them) and it's a world perfectly suited for the TV treatment. A series set within the Harry Potter universe could take the action away from the United Kingdom and shed light onto the lives of wizards all around the globe; perhaps we could even get glimpses of seldom seen schools like Ilvermorny and Durmstrang, instead of Hogwarts. If the success of shows like Game of Thrones, Grimm, and Once Upon A Time has taught us anything, it's that fantasy currently has unprecedented widespread appeal worth capitalizing on.
Ignoring the second and third movies, The Wachowskis introduced us to an awesome universe worth exploring deeper when they brought The Matrix to the silver screen in 1999. If we strip away more fantasy-oriented story elements like Neo, The One, and the prophecy, a Matrix TV series could make for an amazing sci-fi underdog story about a rag tag group of resistance fighters taking on a machine empire. It could take place prior to the events of the original trilogy, or we could see an entirely new iteration of The Matrix altogether; we just think it's time to go a little more in-depth into the world of black leather, kung-fu, and bullet time.
Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.
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