Classic films such as Fatal Attraction and The Italian Job are set to become TV shows on newly rebranded streamer Paramount+. After kicking off its foray into the streaming world in 2014 as CBS All Access, the service expanded its range of content as well as its markets, leading to the Paramount+ name change, which officially takes effect next month.
As part of that name change, Paramount is looking to build its content and take advantage of its vast wealth of licensed material. In recent years, numerous streaming services and networks have taken to adapting hit films as TV shows. While this approach is indeed a common one, it’s arguably very risky. In the past several years alone, programs such as The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Treadstone, Lethal Weapon and Taken have all been cancelled, yet that still doesn’t seem to be enough to dissuade producers from taking a chance. Among the failures, there have been some bright spots, like Fargo and The Mandalorian (despite the latter title not being exclusively based on one film in particular), and with even more adaptations on their way, the next few years will be very telling for the future of turning films into television programs.
As it prepares to officially unveil its rebranded service next month, Paramount+ is making it clear that it doesn’t intend to let its properties go to waste. There’s an ample reserve of classic films that belong to the famed studio, and as such, its streaming service is preparing to create some new TV adaptations. As per a report from THR, at least five classic films will be given the television treatment, bringing the likes of The Italian Job, Flashdance, Fatal Attraction, The Parallax View and Love Story to TV screens in coming years.
All of the previously mentioned films found some degree of acclaim upon their release, with Fatal Attraction being nominated for six Oscars and Love Story winning the Oscar for Best Original Score at the 1971 Academy Awards. However, dismantling these stories into something that fits the mould of a TV show is no small challenge. Out of the five titles previously mentioned, it might seem to some that it’s The Italian Job which has the best chance for survival. Originally released in 1969, the film was rebooted in 2003 and found considerable success at the box office. The TV series will reportedly feature the grandchildren of Charlie Corker discovering his safe deposit box and setting out on an international adventure to lay claim to the hidden Italian bullion.
But while classic films like Fatal Attraction and The Italian Job kept cinema audiences coming back for more, their success at the box office doesn’t guarantee success on TV. One of the main reasons why film-to-TV adaptations endure so many problems is that fans of the films don’t like seeing the worlds they’ve grown to love being altered. Sometimes these alterations are for the better, but when it comes to fan favorites, change is all too often a dirty word.