Get Shorty is now a TV series – and has the trailer to prove it. The film version of Get Shorty was released in 1995 and is generally ranked alongside Jackie Brown (as well as the TV show Justified) as the best-ever adaptations of author Elmore Leonard’s work. Director Barry Sonnenfeld’s Get Shorty movie told the story of Miami loanshark Chili Palmer (John Travolta) and his adventures in Hollywood, along with scream queen actress Karen Flores (Rene Russo), shlock movie producer Harry Zim (Gene Hackman) and movie star Martin Weir (Danny DeVito).
The premium movie network EPIX announced a TV remake of Get Shorty last year, along the lines of FX’s update of a film that came out just a few months after Get Shorty, the Coen Brothers’ Fargo. Chris O’Dowd and Ray Romano were cast in the main roles, with Shameless veteran Davey Holmes on board as showrunner – and now we have our first look at the Get Shorty series itself.
The first trailer for Get Shorty was released Thursday, along with the announcement that the series will debut on EPIX in August. Check it out, above!
From the trailer, it appears that the general plot outline of the movie is replicated: A gangster (O’Dowd in the Travolta role) goes to L.A. to collect on a debt, and once in Hollywood, decides to try his hand at the movie business, where his skills from his loansharking career prove surprisingly useful when it comes to success as a producer. Romano, it appears, is in the Hackman part, as a third-rate movie producer looking for his big break. Deadwood veteran Shawn Bridgers is also listed as as part of the show’s cast.
There are, however, quite a few differences. The names have all been changed. O’Dowd, using his natural Irish accent, is playing a very different type of rogue than Travolta, less reliant on easy magnetism and charm, and also from Nevada and not Miami. The show’s visual style is totally different as well – much more of a “prestige cable” look than that of a mid-‘90s studio film. It’s also worth noting that the project is being billed as an adaptation of Leonard’s novel more than as a remake of the movie.
Can an update of a much-loved 20-year-old film succeed with none of the original cast, creative team, or even characters involved? Fargo showed that it can. But that doesn’t mean Get Shorty necessarily will. EPIX has no record of producing a breakout original series; Get Shorty is a risky bet for the first.
Get Shorty arrives on EPIX August 13, 2017.