Hot on the heels of this past week’s story that Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller is looking to continue the recently axed ABC series as a film comes word that two other shows are flirting with the same idea.
At this past week’s Television Critics Association winter press tour, writer/producer Rob Thomas was supposed to be hyping up journalists on his new, upcoming TV projects – a rehash of his shortlived 1990’s series Cupid for ABC – but was able to find time to talk about the future of his old series Veronica Mars. He told the assembled critics that since ABC had reduced their episode order of Cupid from 13 to 8, he now has some time to work on a script for a theatrical version of his cult hit. The fact that there isn’t a studio backing the project is not a concern for Thomas. The Mars television series was produced by the powerful movie producer Joel Silver, who, Thomas reports, wants to see a feature film as much as Thomas does.
I mean, Joel Silver does have a certain pile of money that he can decide on and he called me asking if we, you know, ‘Can we do this now?’ So I know that Kristen wants to do it. I want to do it. Joel wants to do it, and now I suddenly find myself with enough time to write that script. So that’s my — for me, that’s the next project.
Meanwhile, in an interview with iF Magazine, Jon Turteltaub, who executive produced CBS’ life-in-a-small-town-after-a-limited-nuclear-war drama Jericho, has stated that a feature length continuation of the show is being developed.
We’re developing a feature for Jericho… It would not require you to have seen the TV show, but it get into life after an event like this on a national scale. It would be the bigger, full on American version of what’s going on beyond the town in Jericho.
Jericho premiered in the fall of 2006, but was canceled at the end of its first season. A fan write-in campaign got the show a shortened second season, but it wasn’t enough to save the series. Turtletaub goes on to state that the series has been pulling decent ratings where it has been rerunning on Sunday nights on the CW network and that continued success in that timeslot might be a factor on a big screen version going forward.
Of all the projects we’ve reported on, both here and before, I think that Veronica Mars has the best chance of succeeding as a film, as it seems to be the one project that lends itself the best to a stand alone feature. (having Joel Silver in your corner doesn’t hurt either.)
Many of the creators behind the other projects have stated that they are hoping to use a film to wrap up storylines left dangling by the premature cancellation of their shows. Being able to set those storylines up and then resolve within self-contained film could be a hard, but necessary, thing to do, as the movie will have to depend on a wider audience than just the original show’s core fanbase to make it a success. Joss Whedon did manage to do that trick fairly well when he used the morion picture Serenity to close out many plot threads that remained at the time of his series Firefly‘s cancellation. And while it didn’t do big business at the boxoffice, it received plenty of good critical notice and continues to be a seller on DVD.