Sometimes I think putting a new TV show together involves a writer spinning in a circle and then flipping open Leonard Maltin’s latest Movie Guide and blindly pointing at an entry. The latest feature film to potentially get stretched out for the small screen is John Moore's 2001 war thriller Behind Enemy Lines, and Fox is the network that it may one day call home. Somebody call Gene Hackman and get him to return to acting for this.
Fox has put in a put pilot commitment for this new version of Behind Enemy Lines, which nearly guarantees that a pilot will get filmed at some point, especially with the name recognition behind it. Putting the potential project together is Jeffrey Nachmanoff, perhaps best known as the creator of CBS’ short-lived thriller Hostages, as well as an executive producer on Chicago Fire and Legends, which he wrote the pilot for.
Thankfully, this won’t be a direct adaptation of the film’s events, and it will follow a brand new story with similar plot points. Behind Enemy Lines will center on an American flight crew engaging on a secret mission when they’re shot down over Latin American jungles. From an aircraft carrier, their commanding officer is doing everything he can to rescue them, while in Washington D.C., a female CIA agent unearths a massive conspiracy that ties everything together. Sounds like a pretty solid plot, and here’s how Nachmanoff describes the goal behind his updated take, according to Deadline.
I responded to the title because the underlying concept is both compelling and politically topical. I’m using the survival story as a jumping off point to explore a multi-thread narrative involving the military, narco traffickers and terrorism. At the center of the show is a character journey about heroism, manhood and redemption. I think Fox is the perfect place to do this kind of muscular and ambitious show.
I’m sure Fox execs just had to hear the “heroism, manhood and redemption” part before they started clicking their pens over dotted lines. And that’s fine, because they’ll probably pour the right amount of money into making it look solid, as will producers Davis Entertainment and Temple Hill’s Wyck Godfrey, both of which produced the film as well.
As far as Nachmanoff’s other work goes on both the big and small screen, he directed the 2001 comedy Hollywood Palms and also wrote and directed the 2008 Don Cheadle thriller Traitor. He co-wrote The Day After Tomorrow with Roland Emmerich and directed episodes of shows such as Homeland, andAllegiance. It’s not the most stunning resume, but he’s clearly at home with over-the-top dramatic thrillers.
Beyond Enemy Lines joins such recent reboots and continuations such as Limitless on CBS, Uncle Buck on ABC and Minority Report, which is also on Fox. We’ll cross the border and let you guys know if Fox decides to move forward with this project.