Hollywood studios have a long tradition of adapting popular televisions shows into movies, with varying degrees of success. Star Trek, of course, has enjoyed multiple cinematic iterations outside of the small screen, most recently with Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness from J.J. Abrams. Comedy directing duo Phil Lord & Chris Miller have also scored big with their meta action-comedy takes on ’80s teen cop drama 21 Jump Street (soon to be mashed up with the Men In Black franchise for its third installment).
However, for every billion dollar TV-to-film mega franchise like Mission: Impossible (which has another sequel, Rogue Nation, out on July 31st), there are massive duds like Dukes Of Hazzard, Bewitched, Fat Albert, and Get Smart that put lots of negative figures in the ledger. There’s no question it’s a risky proposition to invest millions in translating a TV show to the big screen, which is why a major studio is now looking to make a safe bet by reviving one of the more lucrative attempts at the transitions that scored big in the ’90s.
According to a Deadline report, a new installment of The Fugitive is in development at Warner Bros., with a screenplay by Christina Hodson, whose thriller Shut In starring Naomi Watts just wrapped production. The project will be produced by husband and wife team Arnold and Anne Kopelson, the former garnering a Best Picture nomination for his work producing the original 1993 Fugitive movie. Worldwide production president Greg Silverman hopes to have production up and running by early 2016.
In case you’re not up to speed, The Fugitive was adapted from the hugely popular ’60s TV series, and starred Harrison Ford as Dr. Richard Kimble, a man falsely accused of the murdering his wife. Kimble escapes en route to prison and carries out a desperate search for his wife’s real killer – a man with a prosthetic arm – all the while evading Tommy Lee Jones’ U.S. Marshall Samuel Gerard. You may also recall The Fugitive spawned a sequel in 1998 called U.S. Marshals, which saw Jones hunting down a new fugitive from justice played by Wesley Snipes.
The Kopelsons would not say if the movie is a direct sequel with Harrison Ford or Tommy Lee Jones reprising their roles, a new retelling of the Richard Kimble story, or an entirely new premise, but Harrison Ford is on a sequel kick lately, returning as Han Solo for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rick Deckard alongside Ryan Gosling in the untitled Blade Runner sequel.
Of course, we’ll have to wait and see how the 72-year-old Ford moves around in that Blade Runner film coming off of the injuries sustained in his plane crash back in March, but even if the seemingly indestructible Ford springs back as he always does, Tommy Lee Jones is nearing 70 years of age himself, so it’s difficult to imagine a compelling scenario that would put these two at opposite ends of the law again. This new Fugitive installment will more than likely be an opportunity for Warners to utilize a pair of younger action stars and explore the hunter and hunted dynamic in the context of another wrongful murder conviction.
The next Fugitive movie currently has no release date. We’ll keep you up to date as news develops further.
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