One doesn’t need to look far to find a big to small screen adaptation these days, whether currently airing or on the upcoming schedule. One network that has proven to be quite fond of such series is FOX, which currently plays host to TV shows based on the 1973 horror classic The Exorcist, and the 1987 action classic Lethal Weapon.
The next story set to make the jump to FOX airwaves is 2001 war movie Behind Enemy Lines, which starred Owen Wilson as Lieutenant Chris Burnett, a naval flight officer who was shot down over Bosnia after seeing evidence of genocide being conducted by a Bosnian Serb paramilitary commander. The remainder of the film focused on Burnett’s attempts to be rescued from the titular location. Gene Hackman also starred, as an American rear admiral. While generally loathed by critics, Behind Enemy Lines performed quite respectably at the box office, bringing in over $90 million worldwide on a budget of $40 million.
Following this success, Behind Enemy Lines went on to receive 3 direct-to-video sequels, none of which featured the original cast, characters, or setting. The third film even had the odd distinction of being produced by WWE Studios, and starring former WWE wrestler Ken “Mr. Kennedy” Anderson in the lead role. Joe Manganiello (who is set to play Deathstroke in Ben Affleck’s upcoming Batman film) also appeared. The franchise has been dormant since 2014, but Variety now reports that FOX has officially ordered a pilot for a Behind Enemy Lines TV series, albeit one only loosely based on the film.
Behind Enemy Lines’ TV incarnation is being described as a “military soap thriller,” and will present the story of a group of soldiers trapped behind enemy lines from three different perspectives. The first perspective covered will obviously be that of the trapped soldiers themselves, with the other two viewpoints being those of the officers and servicemembers on a nearby aircraft carrier, and those of a team of intelligence officers back in Washington, D.C that are working to stage a rescue operation.
Described as “distinctly patriotic”, the pilot for Behind Enemy Lines’ TV series is being penned by Nikki Toscano, a producer on the soon to premiere revival 24: Legacy. Hollywood veteran McG will direct the pilot, after previously having helmed the pilots of FOX’s aforementioned Lethal Weapon adaptation and NBC’s Chuck. If picked up to series, Behind Enemy Lines would likely air during the upcoming 2017-2018 TV season.