With the imminent release of The A-Team,
Andrew Moir looks at the other eighties television hits coming to a cinema near
Eighties lunchbox favourite, The A -Team
have been given a 21st century makeover.
The soldiers of fortune aren’t the only American television heroes
making the transition from the small screen to big. As the desperate search for marketable franchises continues,
executives are looking to the golden age of eighties television.
Developing television shows for the silver
screen is nothing new. In the
seventies British audiences were treated to a multitude of sitcom spin-offs
from On the Buses to Porridge. In recent times American cinema has taken
inspiration from influential British mini-series Edge of Darkness and The Singing Detective. However these adaptations failed to
find a mainstream audience, which might explain why the popular space sitcom Red
Dwarf failed to secure finances to make it into the
multiplexes. Studio executives tend turn to what they and the public at large
already know, with a number of the eighties TV hits currently in development.
Before Richard Dean Anderson explored the Universe on Stargate SG-1 he was Angus MacGyver, a
secret agent who relies on his own ingenuity and Swiss Army Knife rather than a
gun. This show was more recently
parodied in oddly belated parody MacGruber, from the Saturday Night Live
stable. A dismal box office
perhaps demonstrated this is one reference not on everybody’s cultural
radar. Bangkok Dangerous scripter
Jason Richman has been attached to write this film.
While running mostly throughout the
nineties, Baywatch never quite escaped it’s 1980s routes – mullets, slow
motion, montages and David Hasselhoff were all on display in the lifeguard
drama. The movie adaptation has
been in development for a number of years. Over the years the show tackled a number of beach related
issues from shark attacks to nuclear weapons and handled them with the depth
and complexity of a daytime soap.
The producers at Paramount want a fresh approach to the source material
and have hired comedy writers Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka to script.
When he was not Captain of the Enterprise William
Shatner was Sergeant Thomas Jefferson “T.J.”
Hooker. Following the murder of
his partner detective Hooker decides to go back into uniform to catch the real
criminals and help train academy hopefuls. He is partnered with young hothead Vince. The show is
responsible for and guilty of a number of cop show clichés. The mismatched partnership clashing
with a by the books Captain has worked well in films past so, with the right
formula, these elements could be a success once again.
For eight seasons Tom Selleck was Private Investigator and Navy veteran Thomas Magnum. Set in Hawaii, Magnum lives in
luxury at the invite of a reclusive millionaire, driving a Ferrari and forever
surrounded by beautiful women.
These elements all feature on the Hollywood blockbuster checklist but
this film has remained in development purgatory for many years. Matthew McConaughey and Ashton Kutcher have been
rumoured to play the lead but more recently one Tom Selleck has expressed
interest in reprising the role.