Not content to have three solid films adapting Stieg Larsson’s trilogy of books, starting with Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, the makers of Millennium went back to their project and expanded them with new footage to create a TV miniseries.
This got us thinking about other movies that would benefit from extra running time and the ability to explore subplots that television brings. Imagine these classics being expanded into hour-long episodes with the same actors, directors and creative team behind the wheel...
Back to the Future had so much more of Hill Valley to explore
We saw the oxymoronically named Hill Valley in 1885, 1955, 2015 and a few versions of 1985, which means there are plenty of eras left for us to see Marty McFly get the better of a Tannen and narrowly avoid sleeping with family members. Ideally they would have retained the services of Crispin Glover, ditched Clara Clayton as a character and not had Michael J Fox playing every ancestor and descendant. Imagine Marty hoverboarding away from stampeding dinosaurs or stopping the 1995 assassination of Mayor Goldie Wilson!
Imagine a world where we got Catch-22 instead of M*A*S*H
Alan Arkin got dudded. The cinematic adaptation of Joseph Heller’s masterpiece should have been a box office-smashing triumph, but another anti-war satire got all the circa-1970 plaudits. Forget Alan Alda’s maudlin turn as Donald Sutherland’s character Hawkeye in M*A*S*H – the circular absurdity and endless repetitions of Catch-22 are far more suited to television’s episodic structure. They could have even mirrored the book by having each season be a retread of the same events, with more detail and darkness shaded in each time.
Ringu was made for weekly viewing
You watch a videotape and immediately receive a phone call saying you’ll die in seven days. There’s a way out, of course, and that’s the perfect hook for weekly episodes of this Japanese horror series. Ideally they’d find the perfect balance between the uncanny horror of Sadako, investigators racing against time to discover her secret and people tricking their friends and family into watching the video. Then, a week later, it begins all over again.
The Goonies was ripe for further adventures in search of treasure and romance
At the end of The Goonies, Data mentions an encounter with a giant octopus that didn’t happen. In a TV version, the gang could have spent more time in search of One-Eyed Willie’s treasure, running away from the Fratellis – and that octopus could have had its proper due as a mid-season villain. Plus, the friendship between Sloth and Chunk could have evolved more organically, and Mikey could have accidentally kissed his brother’s girlfriend every episode as a running joke.
The Lord of the Rings probably has enough footage to cover six seasons and a movie
This one’s easy – all we need to do is get Peter Jackson to release every minute of footage he shot for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, including all the deleted scenes and extra features, and re-edit it all into six years’ worth of episodes. Maybe we can even throw in some Hobbit flashbacks to keep the story moving. Whatever’s left over can be repackaged as a two-hour movie that ties up all the loose ends, narrated by Tom Bombadil.
Millennium is available to stream now on SBS On Demand: