In 2014, it almost seems like we haven’t been able to go a single week without reporting on several new movie-to-TV adaptations, and this week will be no different. The next film on the small-screen remake/reboot chopping block is Frequency, a sci-fi thriller starring Jim Caviezel and Dennis Quaid.
Released in 2000, Frequency centered on John Sullivan (Caviezel), a New York City cop in his mid-30s who is still haunted by the tragic death of his firefighter father Frank (Quaid). Frank died when John was still a kid, and the experience has colored John’s emotional outlook on life ever since. One night, John locates an old ham radio that belonged to his father, and begins transmitting signals for the heck of it.
To his shock, John soon gets a response…from his deceased father, thirty years in the past. It turns out that the aurora borealis taking place overhead has somehow allowed the two men to communicate across time. John soon realizes that Frank is fated to die the following day, and is able to give his dad the information he’ll need to survive the fire unscathed. Of course, messing with the time stream always has repercussions, and John’s changing of past events inadvertently causes consequences with the potential to be worse for all involved.
According to THR, NBC has granted a script-plus-penalty commitment to Frequency’s television adaptation, with the film’s screenwriter Toby Emmerich on board as an executive producer. The new pilot will be penned by Supernatural showrunner Jeremy Carver, under an overall deal he has with Warner Bros TV. Should Frequency be picked up to series, Carver would also serve as an executive producer, although it is unknown if he would function as showrunner on the project.
While Frequency received mostly positive critical reviews, the film was only somewhat profitable at the box-office, bringing in just over $68 million worldwide on a budget of $31 million. To make a profit after marketing costs, a movie has to almost double its production budget, meaning Frequency was far from a runaway hit financially. NBC is likely banking on the high-concept drawing in viewers, as it’s hard to recall a time in recent memory when sci-fi, horror, and fantasy-based TV shows were more omnipresent in the TV landscape.
There’s no word yet on if any of the film’s cast members will return for the Frequency TV series, and though it’s unlikely, it may not be outside the realm of possibility. Dennis Quaid most recently starred on the CBS drama Vegas, so we know he’s not averse to the small screen. Elizabeth Mitchell – who played Frank’s wife Julia – is also currently without a regular TV gig, although she’s recurring on Once Upon a Time.
That said, the chances of Jim Caviezel or Andre Braugher – John’s partner on the force – being involved are incredibly slim, due to their respective starring roles on hit series Person of Interest and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Will Frequency work as a TV show? NBC executives are probably wishing that their future selves would send them a message back in time and let them know. After all, the last thing the pop culture world needs is another one-and-done sci-fi series.
The Frequency TV series is in early development, and has no current premiere date.