Classic Movies That Are Being Turned Into TV Shows

As television started to become more like film, the natural next step was for actual films to be adapted into television shows. Over the past few years, we’ve seen plenty of examples of this, including FargoWestworldThe ExorcistMinority Report, and Lethal Weapon.

Movies being turned into TV shows isn’t a brand new thing; this used to happen with cartoons like Back to the Future: The Animated Series and The Real Ghostbusters. But now, the television versions of movies can be live-action and have such high production values that they’re often as good as the films themselves.

Here’s a look at some classic movies that are becoming TV shows in the future. (This will not count projects that are new adaptations of source material previously adapted into a movie, such as Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings and HBO’s Watchmen.)

1. Stripes

Bill Murray and Harold Ramis in Stripes

Bill Murray and Harold Ramis in Stripes | Columbia Pictures

Before Ghostbusters, Bill Murray and Ivan Reitman teamed up on the military comedy Stripes. In it, Murray plays a guy who, after losing everything, decides to join the army with a buddy of his, played by Harold Ramis.

The movie was fairly popular at the time, but it never got a sequel. That’s why it was so surprising when, nearly 40 years later, CBS suddenly decided to turn Stripes into a TV show.

According to Variety, the new Stripes will be produced by Trevor Moore, Sam Brown, and Zach Cregger, the guys behind The Whitest Kids U’Know. Reitman will produce, but Murray will not be involved at all.

Next: This classic Arnold Schwarzenegger action film will soon become a TV show.

2. True Lies

Arnold Schwarzenegger in True Lies

Arnold Schwarzenegger in True Lies | Lightstorm Entertainment

In the 1994 James Cameron action flick True Lies, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a man whose wife believes him to be an ordinary computer salesman but who actually leads a secret life as a spy. His work life collides with his home life when terrorists kidnap him and his wife.

For some time, there was talk of a sequel, but it never happened. In 2017, though, Fox ordered a pilot for a True Lies TV show. Marc Guggenheim, the co-creator of Arrow, will write the pilot, while McG (Terminator Salvation) will direct. McG previously directed the pilot for Lethal Weapon, another Fox TV series based on a popular action movie.

Cameron himself will produce through his company.

Next: Spike is producing this new version of a beloved dark comedy. 

3. Heathers

Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk, Kim Walker, and Winona Ryder in Heathers

Heathers | Cinemarque Entertainment

In the black comedy Heathers from 1988, a high school girl (Winona Ryder) and her psychopathic boyfriend (Christian Slater) kill the members of a school clique. It did not do very well at the box office when it first came out, but it has since become a cult favorite.

Now, Spike is turning Heathers into a TV series. Victoria Cox stars as the character originally portrayed by Winona Ryder, while Jasmine Mathews, Brendan Scannell, and Melanie Field will play other members of the clique.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the thinking is that the show will be an anthology, with each season following a different group of “Heathers.”

Next: This is another remake of a classic comedy that is being produced by Spike. 

4. First Wives Club

Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, and Bette Midler in The First Wives Club

The First Wives Club | Paramount Pictures

Heathers isn’t the only remake of a classic movie that Spike is working on. They’ll also be producing a TV show based on First Wives Club. In this 1996 comedy, Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, and Bette Midler star as three divorcees who attempt to get revenge on their ex-husbands, who left them for younger women.

According to Deadline, the TV version will be produced by Karen Rosenfelt (The Twilight Saga). Tracy Oliver, who co-wrote the hit 2017 comedy Girls Trip, will write the screenplay.

TV Land previously passed on the pilot of the First Wives Club, but it’s currently moving forward with Paramount.

Next: Kevin Bacon is returning to play a character from his past with this TV continuation. 

5. Tremors

Kevin Bacon and Fred Wars in Tremors

Kevin Bacon and Fred Wars in Tremors | Stampede Entertainment

After the four sequels, it’s easy to forget that the original Tremors is actually a fantastic monster flick. The original was followed by a series of direct-to-DVD films, which have their highlights but are nowhere as good as the first one. And none of them starred Kevin Bacon.

But now, Kevin Bacon is actually returning to Tremors with a TV show. According to Variety, SyFy has ordered a pilot, which would pick up 25 years after the original movie with the graboids returning and with Kevin Bacon’s Valentine McKee needing to fight them once again. However, to do so, he’ll have to overcome “age, alcohol and a delusional hero complex.”

That sounds a lot like Ash vs. Evil Dead, a great show in which Bruce Campbell returns to play an iconic character from his past. If Tremors can approach that level of greatness, it could be a lot of fun.

Next: Amazon is working on this new version of an Oscar-winning Martin Scorsese film. 

6. The Departed

Matt Damon looking at Jack Nicholson in The Departed

Jack Nicholson and Matt Damon in The Departed | Warner Bros.

In Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, based on the Hong Kong thriller Internal Affairs, an Irish Mob boss plants a mole (Matt Damon) within the police department, while the police simultaneously have an officer (Leonardo DiCaprio) attempt to infiltrate that organization. The movie was quite successful, winning several Oscars, including Best Picture. But although the original Hong Kong movie got two sequels, The Departed never did.

However, now Amazon is working on a new series based on the Oscar-winning film. The show will be set in Chicago instead of Boston, with a cop infiltrating a Latino gang that has a mole in the police department.

It might sound strange to be turning such a beloved crime film into a TV show. But it worked out with Fargo, so who’s to say it couldn’t with The Departed? 

Next: Paramount is turning this 1999 football movie into a new show.

7. Varsity Blues

James Van Der Beek in Varsity Blues

James Van Der Beek in Varsity Blues | Paramount Pictures

Brian Robbins’ 1999 film Varsity Blues tells the story of a high-school football team that must be led by a backup quarterback after a player is injured. James Van Der Beek starred in the lead role, while Jon Voight played the coach and Paul Walker played the original quarterback.

According to The Hollywood ReporterVarsity Blues is now being turned into a TV show. Peter Iliff, who wrote the original movie, will write the TV adaptation.

The new version of Varsity Blues will end up on a surprising network: CMT, the country music channel owned by Viacom.

Next: This Hugh Grant comedy is returning on Hulu and being written by Mindy Kaling.

8. Four Weddings and a Funeral

Andie McDowell and Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral

Andie McDowell and Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral | PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

The 1994 film Four Weddings and a Funeral follows a bachelor, played by Hugh Grant, who unexpectedly finds love over the course of several social events.

According to Deadline, Mindy Kaling will write and executive produce a TV version for Hulu. It’s an anthology series, with each season having a different storyline. But it’s unclear how unrelated the storylines will be. Deadline reports that there’s an idea to have each season set in a different location but with the lead character being the same, which wouldn’t exactly make it an anthology at all.

Richard Curtis, writer of the original movie, will produce.

Next: This hilarious 1999 sci-fi comedy is returning with a reboot that will mix the old cast with a new one.

9. Galaxy Quest

Galaxy Quest

Galaxy Quest | DreamWorks Pictures

The 1999 comedy Galaxy Quest follows the stars of a fictional Star Trek-style TV show, who become involved in an actual space adventure. Now, the movie itself is becoming a TV show.

According to Deadline, the new Galaxy Quest is being written by Paul Scheer (The League). It won’t be a reboot, as Scheer told Slashfilm that his show will “continue the story of our original characters and have consequences from the first film.” Scheer also said that the show will address the way that science fiction has changed since the movie came out.

“I really wanted to capture the difference between the original cast of Star Trek and the J.J. Abrams cast of Star Trek,” he said. “I think that, to me, is my entry point. Sci-fi heroes are rock stars now.”

Next: NBC is rebooting this Robert Redford/Dan Aykroyd movie from 1992. 

10. Sneakers


Sneakers | Universal Studios

In the 1992 crime-comedy Sneakers, the NSA hires a group of security specialists to steal a piece of technology. It starred Robert Redford, Ben Kingsley, Sidney Poitier, David Strathairn, Dan Aykroyd, and River Phoenix.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC is currently working on a TV show based on Sneakers. Tom Szentgyorgyi (The Mentalist) will write this new version, while the writers of the original are serving as producers.

Next: The CW is bringing this vampire movie onto the small screen.

11. The Lost Boys

Corey Feldman, Corey Haim, and Jamison Newlander in The Lost Boys

Corey Feldman, Corey Haim, and Jamison Newlander in The Lost Boys | Warner Bros.

From Joel Schumacher, the 1987 film The Lost Boys tells the story of two brothers who move to California from Arizona, only to discover their new town is full of vampires. It was only decades later that the film got sequels, but both of them were direct-to-DVD and pretty terrible. 

Now, the CW is working on a Lost Boys TV show. According to Deadline, Rob Thomas, the creator of Veronica Mars and iZombie, will produce. The idea is quite ambitious, as The CW is already seeing it as a seven-season long show taking place over the course of 70 years, with the setting and main villain changing every year.

For the CW, this could serve as a replacement for The Vampire Diaries, which aired its final episode in 2017.

Next: This Will Smith movie is coming to TV but as a sequel, not a reboot. 

12. Enemy of the State

Will Smith and Gene Hackman in Enemy of the State

Will Smith and Gene Hackman in Enemy of the State | Touchstone Pictures

Tony Scott’s Enemy of the State stars Will Smith as a lawyer who receives evidence that an NSA official (Jon Voight) had a Congressman assassinated. The lawyer is subsequently framed for murder.

According to The Hollywood ReporterEnemy of the State is returning, but this one isn’t a reboot. It’s actually a sequel that takes place two decades later. In it, an NSA spy leaks classified information, and so a female attorney partners up with an FBI agent in order to stop a conspiracy. Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of the movie, will produce this follow-up for ABC.

Morgan Foehl (Blackhat) will write the script. Unfortunately, Will Smith is not involved at all.

Next: This classic silent film is being brought to TV by the creator of Mr. Robot.

13. Metropolis


Metropolis | UFA

Jumping back to the silent era, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis is one of the classic science fiction films of all time. It takes place in a dystopian city in which the son of the city’s ruler falls in love with an average working-class girl. The film was groundbreaking for a number of reasons, including its incredible visuals.

Mr. Robot‘s Sam Esmail will soon be taking on the intimidating task of remaking Metropolis, but as a TV show. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new Metropolis will be a miniseries with the same basic plot as the original.

In 2016, it was reported that the miniseries wouldn’t be launched for another two to three years, meaning we should hear more about it later in 2018.

Next: TNT is turning this modern classic into a TV series.

14. Snowpiercer

Chris Evans in Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer | Moho Film

A more modern film that’s getting the TV adaptation treatment is Snowpiercer, the 2013 Bong Joon-ho movie. The film takes place in a post-apocalyptic future in which all remaining humans live aboard a train divided up by social class.

Now, TNT has ordered a TV show based on the film. According to Variety, this adaptation will star Jennifer Connelly. It’s evidently set earlier on in the timeline, taking place just seven years after the Earth has frozen over (whereas the movie took place about 20 years later).

Scott Derrickson (Doctor Strange) will direct the pilot, while Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) will write it.

Next: This 1992 thriller starring Bridget Fonda will be remade on NBC.

15. Single White Female

Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh in Single White Female

Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh in Single White Female | Columbia Pictures

The 1992 thriller Single White Female starred Bridget Fonda as a woman who finds a new roommate (Jennifer Jason Leigh), only for the roommate to begin acting strangely and exhibiting psychopathic behavior.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC is currently developing a reboot of the film. Technically, the original movie was based on a book, but this project is being described as a movie reboot and not a re-adaptation. While the original took place in New York, this one will move the setting to San Francisco.

Eric Garcia (Repo Men) will write and executive produce the show.

Read more: Popular TV Shows Ending For Good in 2018

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