After initially finding life as a training film for Navy SEALS, the action film “Act of Valor” nevertheless was fashioned into something of a blind success, hitting $80 million worldwide when it was released this past February. Naturally, interest in military projects has grown again since the film’s opening, and now a major cable network looks to bring the film’s creative team in for a small-screen endeavor.
TNT has announced development on a new military series, entitled “React,” for their channel, and also brought on Barry Josephson (“Bones”) to produce with former “Suits” showrunner Sean Jablonksi penning the script. Director Scott Waugh, half of the Bandito Brothers team who guided “Act of Valor” through its production and editing stages (the other being Mike McCoy), will do the same for the series should it move forward. Whereas ‘Valor’ centered on a special mission by Navy SEALS to recover a kidnapped CIA agent, the TV series will have no story connection to the film, only keeping the higher-ups from the project. As such, the casting of real-life SEALS that marked ‘Valor’ as unique, if completely misjudged from a dramatic perspective, shouldn’t be expected here either.
Regardless of the quality of ‘Valor’ as a film, the project clearly signaled to studios the concept’s renewed viability, and as shown from the HBO series “Generation Kill,” there is a compelling way to show military life through the medium. TNT isn’t exactly known for that level of realism and quality content, but they could be striking out for something different here. The network has seven other potential series in development anyways, including the much-hyped “L.A. Noir,” so it’s not as though they’re hurting for choice, but we’ll see if Waugh and co. can deliver something to build upon their successful, if tepid, first effort. [THR]