Whatever boundaries once existed between the big and small screens have all but evaporated over the past decade. Now, filmmakers and actors flow freely between television and movies, free of the stigma that once vexed a young Clint Eastwood eager to put the “Rawhide” days behind him. Three reports surfaced online over the past week to further link the two mediums.
First up, Deadline reports that the world must prepare itself for a “CHiPS” movie. Yes, the same late 70s/early 80s show that featured khaki-uniformed motorcycle cops and starred the winsome duo of Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox. Warner Bros. has tapped actor-turned-director Dax Shepard to helm the big-screen adaptation, as well as write and star in it, no doubt based on his previous feature, the disappointing—at least to us—2012 action comedy, “Hit And Run.” Fortunately—or unfortunately, depending on your point-of-view—the studio wants a film closer in tone to “‘Bad Boys’’’ and “Lethal Weapon” than “Starsky & Hutch” or the terrible “The Dukes Of Hazzard.” Despite no turned-in script, the film may have its Ponch already, in the form of Michael Peña, no stranger to cop movies himself, with turns in both ““End Of Watch” and ”Gangster Squad.” No release date is scheduled yet.
Quick, someone send “The Help” and “Get On Up” director Tate Taylor a sci-fi script or something, because he’s involved himself—per Variety—in yet another Civil Rights-era project, only this time it’s a remake/adaptation. Based on the iconic Norman Jewison-helmed “In the Heat of the Night”, the new MGM TV series will be “set in the present day, the series aims to examine issues of race, justice and inequality through the eyes of characters in Mississippi, where Taylor is from.” “In the Heat of the Night” is currently being “shopped to cable buyers” to find a home.
And finally, another typically big-screen property is finding itself going small. According to Deadline, Lifetime—yes, that TV channel—is moving ahead on a series called “Damien” that will act as a sequel to Richard Donner’s 1976 horror film, “The Omen.” The Lifetime series will premiere early next year with six episodes, all written by “The Walking Dead” showrunner Glen Mazzara, and follow the adult version of the child at the heart of Donner’s film, Damien. He “has grown up, seeming unaware of the satanic forces around him. Haunted by his past, Damien must now come to terms with his true destiny – that he is the Antichrist, the most feared man throughout the ages.” The only thing left to figure out is who exactly possesses the rare qualities of portraying the literal antichrist, as well as being “a dark, romantic, anti-hero.” “Damien” has a premiere date of early 2015.