Ah, Michael Bay, how we love to hate to love you. Although it is hard to argue with his films’ successes, Michael Bay is one of the most polarizing directors and producers of our time. His movies are usually light on story and heavy on the action, with lots of explosions, attractive women, and sometimes downright offensive humor. Some people claim that audiences shouldn’t complain and should just accept Bay’s films for what they are: thoughtless action spectacles and nothing more. Others believe that everything the director touches turns out to be human excrement and refuse to indulge in his explosion-porn fantasies.
Say what you will about Bay, but many of his movies do turn out to be entertaining. The first Transformers was decent, and movies like The Rock and the Bad Boys series were instant action classics. Michael Bay has given his treatment to some classic properties like Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This got us thinking, what other classic TV shows could Bay adapt? Whether it’s because they’d be awesome or so laughably bad they’d be entertaining, here are 18 Classic TV Shows That Deserve The Michael Bay Treatment!
Kicking off this list is the most obvious one: Voltron follows the escapades of a team of astronauts, each of whom pilot their own giant mech. When needed, the five mechs merge together to form Voltron, the defender of the universe, to lay the smack down on evil aliens. Although there have been a few variations on the Voltron vehicles, most interpretations show them as different colored lions. Bay would be the perfect choice to helm a live-action Voltron movie.
For starters, the series shares a lot of similarities with Transformers; both shows featured giant transforming robots that used oversized swords and guns to fight off their enemies. Bay also seems to be infatuated with the human companions of the Autobots (although it may just be due to SFX costs). In a Voltron film, he wouldn’t have to worry about any sentient robots to develop a story around. Instead, he could focus solely on their pilots! Not to mention, the action has never been the issue with the Transformers films; we trust Bay could make the Voltron vs. alien fights just as awesome as the Optimus Prime fight in Revenge of the Fallen or the battle of Chicago in Dark of the Moon.
17. The A-Team
Yeah, yeah, we know this one was kind of already done back in 2010 with Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper. But that movie bombed pretty bad and its memory has quickly faded away. If Michael Bay had made the film, people would definitely remember it, even if it was for the wrong reasons. The exploits of ex-military group “The A-Team” would be right up Bay’s alley.
The casting of the team members themselves would be a match made in heaven for Bay’s usual pack of actors. Shia Labeouf could be Howling Mad Murdock, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson could be B.A., Josh Duhamel would be Face, and Ed Harris could be Hannibal (although we’d also accept Nicholas Cage). Admit it, you’d watch! Even back in the ‘80s the action in The A-Team was ridiculously over the top. Combine that with Michael Bay’s always-excellent portrayal of the military, and you’ve got yourself an action classic.
16. Magnum P.I.
Magnum P.I. was the epitome of macho-ness in the 1980s. Starring legendary male sex symbol Tom Selleck, the show followed Thomas Magnum, a private investigator located in the tropical paradise of Hawaii. For eight years Magnum solved cases with his acquaintance Johnathan Higgins, whose by-the-book methods conflicted with the laid-back ways of the titular character.
Tropical setting, overly-macho manlinees, bikini-clad women, gunfights, and cool cars. Is there another entry on this list that screams for the Michael Bay treatment as much as Magnum P.I.? A Bay version would up the ante on the action for sure, putting Magnum in epic car chases filled with large explosions. Of course, the movie would have to feature one of Bay’s leading ladies (perhaps Megan Fox) as the main love interest and have Tom Selleck himself in some sort of ham-fisted cameo. As for Higgins, the character would fill the role of the stuck up and annoying sidekick that so many Michael Bay films feature.
15. Gilligan’s Island
Hear us out on this one! The idea of a Michael Bay version of Gilligan’s Island might sound a little too crazy to fathom, but it could be done. Anyone who’s seen Pain and Gain or the Bad Boys films knows that the director can be funny. Imagine this style of humor placed around the goofy characters of the TV show as they partake in an action-packed adventure.
Gilligan’s Island was a show that had a new story every week. One episode the crew would have their island invaded by a runaway lion and the next they would have to deal with an ancient voodoo curse. The sky was the limit with the plot of the show, which gives a film version endless ways to go with its direction. A Bay version of the show would look something like a Lost movie, filled with mysteries that make no sense and large action set pieces, but injected with some of the director’s signature humor.
Much like Voltron, lesser-known ‘80s cartoon M.A.S.K. seems like it is a match made in heaven for a Transformers-like adaptation. If G.I. Joe and Transformers had a baby, it would be something like this show. In fact, M.A.S.K. has often been accused of being a rip off of both of these shows, and for good reason! The premise was that super soldier team Mobile Armored Strike Command (M.A.S.K.) used their transforming vehicles and advanced weapons technology to do battle against the evil organization V.E.N.O.M. In addition to the futuristic weapons and giant robots, both teams had multiple masks that granted them super powers.
Holy cow, could Michael Bay have a field day with this! Not only could he use his big robot battles from Transformers, but he could use his love of the military to memorable action scenes. Bay would absolutely love to go wild with the special effects of the different mask powers, something that would be a visual treat to the audience, if nothing else.
The short-lived yet still beloved series Airwolf had a surprisingly deep plot. The CIA, with the help of a genius scientist, create a high tech military helicopter codenamed “Airwolf.” During its initial weapon’s test, the copter is stolen by its creator, taken to Libya, and used to commit acts of aggression against the United States. Pilot Stringfield Hawke is recruited for a secret mission in order to get the superweapon back; he retrieves Airwolf. Instead of returning it to the U.S. Government, Hawke uses it as leverage- He says he will return the helicopter when his MIA brother is found. In the meantime, Hawke and his partner Santini fly secret missions in exchange for protection.
Of course, Michael Bay and deep plots don’t really seem to go together. What does go together is Michael Bay and high tech vehicle action! Airwolf’s plot may be deep, but it’s not exactly complex; if Bay can handle something as complicated (although dumbed down) like Benghazi, this series’ story should be easy to adapt. On top of this, the militarized action of the show would translate extremely well into a style similar to The Rock or Bad Boys.
12. Quantum Leap
Please put your pitchforks away. Yes, we know that Quantum Leap is one of the first great sci-fi shows, and that the mere thought of Michael Bay touching the property makes many peoples’ skin crawl. But let’s face it, the show was a cult hit, not a monetary one. And what do studios love to do lately? Take less successful old shows and turn them into crappy movies!
The series follows Dr. Samuel Beckett, a brilliant scientist who becomes stuck in the past due to a time travel experiment gone wrong. Beckett spends the rest of the series “leaping” through the lives of different people, taking on their identity as he tries to right their wrongs in an effort to get back home. The series ends on a down note, as the audience is notified that Sam Beckett was actually never able to return home. If somebody has to make an awful Quantum Leap film, at least let Michael Bay make it entertaining! Think about it, we could have ol’ Marky Mark playing Dr. Beckett. And of course instead of focusing the story on different people that Beckett has to help, the movie would follow the Doctor as he traveled to different significant points in history. While there, he would have to make sure that the past that we all know comes into fruition; he would be responsible for turning the tide at Gettysburg, rescuing people off of the Titanic, defending Jerusalem during the 2nd Crusade, and so on. It sounds awful, but it might just be so awful it’s good.
Based on his past endeavors, we know that Michael Bay can do World War II movies. Although he is now presented in a non-specified time period, Popeye the Sailor was used extensively during the Second World War as a way to promote the United States military (including some extremely racist propaganda videos). Therein lies the idea that it could be a good Michael Bay movie; he has already shown that he can tell a decent (arguably) story framed in the conflict of the war, and a Popeye film would be no different.
Picture it – Popeye could be out on the Pacific on an aircraft carrier, where he begins to take a liking to one of the female workers, Olive Oyl. The woman would also draw the attention of Brutus, the ship’s second mate. When Olive returns Popeye’s affections and not his own, Brutus would go into a jealous rage. Wanting to rid the world of everyone’s favorite one-eyed sailor, the villain turns traitor and tips off the Japanese fleet to the ships location. As the enemy arrives, he swipes Olive and takes her aboard an escape vessel. Now, Popeye must fend off the attacking Imperial Army as well as reclaim his true love from Brutus. A sappy love story, non-stop military action, and a villain with unclear and unrational motivations? This is a perfect Michael Bay film waiting to happen! Yes, this is another show that already saw a film adaptation – but the less said about that, the better.
Please don’t leave. We promise, we’re halfway done! The thought of Michael Bay getting his grubby hands on a beloved ‘90s property like Digimon is downright nauseating. But let’s face it, this is a tough one to pull off. Much like the upcoming Pokemon movie the prospect of a live action Digimon is daunting for any director; short of something like The Jungle Book a mix of CGI characters and real actors is hard for audiences to take seriously. Here’s where Bay comes in.
Yes, Bay has gotten criticism for his paper thin characters and downright bad dialogue. But you know what he does do right? He makes believable CGI characters. Optimus Prime and Bumblebee are two of the shining spots of the Transformers series mostly because their personalities are spot on to their cartoon counterparts. Even characters like Skids and Mudflap, who are godawful and somewhat offensive, are still memorable. There’s no doubt in our mind that Bay’s work with the Autobots could translate really well into the world of the Digidestined.
9. Galaxy Rangers
This entry on our list is one that just needs to be made, period. The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers was a revolutionary TV show for its time. It was one of the first western cartoons to be drawn in an Anime style, which set it apart from other popular shows like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or G.I. Joe. The story was set in the distant future, where humans have discovered interstellar travel and have established colonies across the galaxy. With expansion of territory came expansion of criminal activity, and the Galaxy Rangers were created to keep the peace. Traveling across the galaxy sporting a wild west motif and superpowers, the Galaxy Rangers faced off against intergalactic outlaws and the evil Crown Empire for three years.
Just the thought of there being a movie about space cowboys is enough to make us giddy. While earlier endeavors within the genre have failed, we think that a Galaxy Rangers film would open up a whole new world of possibilities for genre mixing. Studios like to play it safe with new IPs. What is a more “safe” option for this kind of film than Michael Bay? His films practically print money and he knows the action sci-fi genre down to a tee. His plots are straightforward and easy to follow while still having just enough substance to keep audiences engaged. Give him the reigns to a Galaxy Rangers movie and you’d have an instant hit on your hands!
8. Xena: Warrior Princess
Created by the now-famous Sam Raimi, Xena: Warrior Princess was a popular fantasy adventure that, along with The Adventures of Hercules, dominated the syndication charts throughout the ‘90s. The show starred Lucy Lawless as Xena, a warrior who used her skills to protect the weak and innocent as a way to make up for her past sins. She was joined by her faithful companion Gabrielle. Together, the two adventurers traveled across the land facing off against gods, warlords, and mythical creatures.
If you wonder what a Bay version of Xena would look like, look no further than the recent batch of Swords and Sandals films (300, The Legend of Hercules, Clash of the Titans, etc.). Sure, most of these films were more style over substance, but that’s exactly what makes Michael Bay a perfect pairing! Also, we need to remember to take off our nostalgia goggles; Xena wasn’t the badass action show we all remember. It was cheesy as hell and had some laughable fight choreography. But that’s why everyone loved it! Bay could update the show with modern film making techniques without losing its charm and hammy nature.
7. Toxic Crusaders
A movie based on the Toxic Crusaders would be a film inspired by a cartoon series which was inspired by a film. Talk about full circle! Based upon the cult B-movie The Toxic Avenger (created by Troma Entertainment), this show followed the adventures of lead character Toxie and his rag-tag band of superhero friends. Each of the main characters gained their powers through some form of chemical pollution. As the Toxic Crusaders the team went around trying to stomp out the evil Dr. Killemof and Czar Zosta, two aliens who wished to turn the earth into a pollution filled wasteland.
What made the TV show such a stark departure from the original movie is the fact that The Toxic Avenger was cheap, edgy, violent, and somewhat trashy – not exactly Saturday morning cartoon material. a Michael Bay version of the movie could easily bridge the gap between trashy B-movie and children’s environmental cartoon. Due to their over the top action, juvenile humor, and cool character designs, the Transformers films have an audience of all ages. Toxic Crusaders is a perfect candidate follow in these footsteps. All of the characters in the show have gross designs and crazy names like No-Zone (a character with a huge nose), Headbanger (made up of two conjoined humans), and Junkyard (a literal human/junkyard dog hybrid). They also all have crazy and disgusting superpowers; a rebooted Toxic Crusaders would be just about be a sure fire hit with the younger crowd.
It may have only lasted for eight short episodes, but Manimal has left its mark on the television world. Nowadays it’s the butt of jokes about failed TV shows, but the Simon MacCorkindale-led show has garnered a cult following. Dr. Jonathan Chase (the shows antagonist) was a powerful shape-shifter who could turn into any animal he could think of. Using his powers for good, he and his friend Ty team up with a police detective to help solve cases that normal detectives couldn’t. Throughout the series Chase turned into a panther, a hawk, a snake, a bull, a horse, a dolphin, and a bear.
The possibilities for a Michael Bay version of Manimal are endless. The show prided itself on the state of the art transformation sequences, which would only be enhanced by modern CGI and SFX. The best part is that despite its ridiculous premise the show tried to play it completely straight, leading to some hilariously campy moments. If there’s two things Bay knows, they’re cheese and special effects. He would be perfect to reimagine Manimal for the modern day.
If you’re looking for a symbol of the ‘80s television sitcom, look no further than ALF. When an alien lifeform from the planet Melmac crash lands in their garage, the Tanner family doesn’t know what to do. Instead of handing him over to the government, they instead decide to let him live in their house until he can repair his spacecraft. During the pilot episode it is revealed that ALF’s home planet was destroyed by a nuclear war right after he had left; he chose to stay on earth and eventually becomes a permanent member of the Tanner family. ALF was a smart aleck goofball who epitomized family comedy in his time period.
You may be thinking- How on earth would this make for a good Michael Bay movie? Obviously there would need to be some tweaking done to the story. ALF would obviously keep his personality, as Bay has no problems creating characters who are sarcastic jerks. The Tanners could be tweaked to be somewhat like the Witwicky family in the first Transformers; they’d be the average Joes that act as the fish out of water and voice of reason to the extraterrestrial shenanigans that are going on all around them. The story could involve the enemies of Alf’s species coming to Earth to finish him off once and for all. Toss in the involvement of the U.S. Government and a bunch of crazy alien tech, and you have an excellent Bay film on your hands!
4. Big Bad Beetleborgs
With all the buzz surrounding the upcoming Power Rangers movie, now is the perfect time to reboot another old Saban property – The Beetleborgs! Like the Power Rangers, the show revolved around a team of warriors clad in battle armor as they fought against monsters and piloted their giant mechs. What differentiated Big Bad Beetleborgs from Power Rangers were its tone and the age demographics it went after. In the first season, three children enter an old, abandoned haunted house and accidentally release the phantom Flabber (yes, that’s his real name). As a reward for releasing him, Flabber offers to grant the kids a single wish. They all wish to become their favorite superheroes, the Beetleborgs. Of course, this wish also brings the villains from the comic book to life, and the three children must use their newfound powers to save the world.
As with many of the entries on this list, we think Michael Bay would be awesome for this movie mostly because he knows how to do giant robot action in a realistic way. Also, Big Bad Beetleborgs was always way more off-the-wall and lighthearted than its mighty-morphin’ counterpart; whereas Power Rangers always tried to play its cheesiness and ridiculous monsters straight, the Beetleborgs embraced the camp. Their mentor is a freaking Elvis clown, for crying out loud! Bay would hone in on that tone and make an action comedy that would be memorable.
Big-budget reboots of classic cartoons have been a thing for a while now, with Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, He-Man, and The Smurfs all getting feature-length films. Surprisingly, there is one major show that has never received the Hollywood treatment- Thundercats. The series stars a team of heroes from the destroyed planet Thundera as they try to establish themselves on “third earth.” All the while their enemies, Mumm-Ra and the Mutants of Plunn-Darr, try to steal the source of their power. The heroes are all based off of a different species of cat, with Lion-O, Panthor, Cheetara, and Tygra forming the base core of the team.
How is Michael Bay’s Thundercats not a thing yet? The director has already proven he can handle nostalgic franchises. Yeah, a lot of fans have very strong feelings against these projects, but most of them have held strong at the box office. While the stories of these nostalgic Bay films are widely criticized for being dumb and loud, he definitely seems to nail the personalities of our beloved heroes. The film itself may not be the greatest, but what wouldn’t we give to have a purrr-fect (we have no regrets) live-action version of Lion-O and Panthor on the screen?
Honestly, we’re so tired of waiting on a live-action Gargoyles movie that we’ll seriously take anything. This Disney show focused on a crew of Gargoyles, ancient beings who acted as protectors of medieval Scotland. After they are attacked and destroyed by the people of their time, the remaining few of their species are cursed to sleep until their city “rises above the clouds.” Thousands of years later the Gargoyles, thought to be just statues, are purchased by a billionaire and placed atop his skyscraper. This breaks the curse, and the creatures are freed in modern-day New York City. Often compared to Batman: The Animated Series, this shows didn’t shy away from overarching plots, dark themes, and strong character development.
Pure morbid curiosity is what puts Gargoyles at #2 on this list. Michael Bay has never done a movie set in the Big Apple nor has he ever done an honest to god “team” movie (he didn’t direct Ninja Turtles). If the Battle of Chicago in the third Transformers film tells us anything, Bay’s directing style could create some amazing action scenes in a New York based Gargoyles movie. Plus, who knows? Maybe giving him a hefty project like this could kick Bay back into his glory days.
1. Knight Rider
This is it, guys, the match made in heaven. Fast cars, advanced military technology, leather-clad heroes, and talking vehicles. What more could you want out of a Michael Bay movie? Knight Rider, starring then-newcomer David Hasselhoff, was one of the smash hit action shows of the 1980s. After being shot in the face during a police standoff, Officer Michael Long is saved by billionaire Wilton Knight and given reconstructive surgery. In return, Long takes up a new identity as Michael Knight and agrees to take part in an experimental crime fighting agency, FLAG. As a pilot of FLAG Knight is assigned to KITT, an artificially intelligent sports car with advanced armor and weaponry. Although Michael is the pilot, KITT’s intelligence makes him more like an equal partner to Knight than just a job tool.
Like we said, this is a match made in heaven for Michael Bay. Forget the idea of a reboot, we want to see a Bay-directed Knight Rider starring and aged David Hasselhoff and the original KITT! The theme of the movie could be how the action genre has changed in the last thirty years, with a reluctant Michael Knight returning for one last mission with his old friend. How awesome would it be to see the old Pontiac Firebird going up against (and completely decimating) a bunch of modern Corvettes, Mustangs, and Lamborghinis? With a touch of Michael Bay humor, action, and a ton of nostalgia, this is something that needs to happen!
So what did you think of our list? Agree? Disagree? Wish that this list didn’t ever exist? Let us know in the comments!