With Spooks hitting our screens from TV to cinema with Spooks: The Greater Good (out 8th May), the TV spin-off movie deserves some scrutiny.
Series from Twin Peaks to Maverick have made the leap – not always in their favour – but with Downton Abbey just announced as getting the silver screen treatment our friends at Empire have drawn up a list of their top TV to movie theatre hits.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
You may know that Henry Cavill is coming in Guy Ritchie’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. this summer, but ‘sixties super spies Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin have long set mums’ hearts a flame. While the original Solo Robert Vaughn was last seen in Hustle and Coronation Street, David McCallum (Kuryakin) stays true to his crime fighting roots as a medical examiner in NCIS. Just watch out for U.N.C.L.E.’s enemy organisation, T.H.R.U.S.H. – the Technological Hierarchy for the Removal of Undesirables and the Subjugation of Humanity.
In a film that feels like a series of music videos stapled together it’s hard to know if the film is a feminist ploy or a teenage dream. Either way you are guaranteed glitz, female bonding, and a discussion about Demi Moore’s alleged plastic surgery.
Sex and the City
It’s a shame that a series which renewed so many concepts of female independence then created a film where a woman’s happy ending was to rely on a man for validation and dye her hair the wrong shade of brown. If you’re going to mope around about a chap at least look chic while it’s happening. Let’s not talk about the sequel.
So well-loved are the incredibly British reprobates that audiences could barely wait to see what school leavers Will, Simon, Jay and Neil would do on the lash in Malia. The sequel sees them take a gap year trip to Australia, and will put you off water theme parks for life. Look out for Divergent’s Theo James as Carli’s new boy toy in the first movie.
It often feels like the place where mainstream nerdery began. The ‘nineties saw school files peppered with pictures of Mulder and Scully so a spin-off film (or two) was inevitable. Scully (Gillian Anderson) the sensible voice of reason versus Mulder’s (David Duchovny) impassioned if slightly crazy belief that aliens were out there, somewhere. The actors and creator Chris Carter have said they are talking about reuniting for new episodes this summer– it’s out there, somewhere.
The Muppets have been everywhere through the medium of film. Their happy little series hatched in the ‘seventies has had adventures in space, Manhattan, at Christmas, on an island, and finally they got the reboot they so needed in 2011 with Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller’s beautifully paced The Muppets film, helped along by Flight of the Concord’s Bret McKenzie’s musical skills. Anyone remember the Dracula musical puppet show at the end of Forgetting Sarah Marshall? Seems like this was the job Jason Segal was born to do.
It’s hard to think of a greater cult space franchise. In fact the eternal Trekkie versus Star Wars feud is what keeps film blogs in business to be honest. Star Trek’s humble three season beginnings with wonky doors and polo necks spawned a dynasty of interstellar adventures. We’ll have to wait until next year for more movie madness, though rumours are afoot of Idris Elba stepping into the frame. Can anyone better the Cumberbatch from 2013’s Into Darkness? Make it So.
It took them long enough but The Simpsons team finally made a film from the beloved series in 2007. The script was rewritten over a hundred times to create a pleasantly environmental story starkly similar to Stephen King’s Under the Dome series. Ultimately it’s all about the heart of Springfield and its community – aww… just look out for Spiderpig!
21 Jump Street
Johnny Depp had to come from somewhere, and indeed his teen idol status was cemented by this police procedural ‘eighties TV series. But it was the comedic U-turn in tone of Channing Tatum and Jonah Hills’ reboot film in 2012 that led to the property being a viable franchise. We’ve since had 22 Jump Street and potentially another sequel and a Men in Black crossover. As you do.
Ali G Indahouse
Ali G (short for Allegory) spun out of Channel 4’s The 11 O’clock Show into his own comedy show in 2000. A parody of DJ Tim Westwood and various posing suburban, privileged kids, he was the self-proclaimed “voice of da yoof”. Sacha Baron Cohen announced he has retired the character (along with Borat). Such was the stain on Staines from Ali G’s fictitious existence that they changed the town’s name to Staines-upon-Thames.
To book tickets for Spooks: The Greater Good visit empirecinemas.co.uk