“The Man Who Invented Christmas” (in theaters Nov. 3)
“A Bad Mom’s Christmas” (in theaters Nov. 3)
“The Disaster Artist” (in theaters Dec. 1)
“Downsizing” (in theaters Dec. 22)
“The Papers” (in theaters Dec. 22)
“The Big Sick” is already one of the summer’s biggest hits, bringing some beloved TV actors to the big screen. Kumail Nanjiani, a longtime cast member of “Silicon Valley” is joined by a bevy of performers who, at one point in their career, have made their mark in the world of television.
As Kumail’s potential parents-in-law, Ray Romano (“Everybody Loves Raymond,” Men of a Certain Age”) and Holly Hunter (“Top of the Lake,” as well as the upcoming HBO drama from “Six Feet Under” creator Alan Ball) have each mixed film and TV work themselves. Aidy Bryant, David Alan Grier, Kurt Branouhler: all fellow “Big Sick” ensemble members who have their own ties to TV.
So, with the success of “The Big Sick,” we’ve picked out a few more films on the upcoming 2017 film calendar that might be other breakout opportunities for actors and actresses who’ve played beloved TV characters. Some of these films have release dates set in stone. Others are potential marquee titles on the fall festival circuit. For each title, we’ve higlighted a few of the reasons why the people involved might make these must-see films of the rest of the year.
Notable TV Actors in the Cast: Will Ferrell (“Saturday Night Live”), Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation”), Jason Mantzoukas (“The League,” “Transparent,” “I’m Sorry”)
Why We’re Looking Forward to It: Let’s take a deep breath and run through some of the other heavy hitters in this cast: Rob Huebel, Nick Kroll, Allison Tolman, Lennon Parham, Jessica St. Clair, Rory Scovel, Michaela Watkins, Cedirc Yarbrough, Kyle Kinane, Sam Richardson, Ian Roberts, Andrea Savage — we’d literally see any movie that had all of these people in one place.
Notable TV Actors in the Cast: Andy Samberg (“Saturday Night Live,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”), Freddie Highmore (“Bates Motel”), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (“Lost”), James Marsden (“Westworld”), Will Forte (“The Last Man on Earth”)
Why We’re Looking Forward to It: “7 Days in Hell” is, to put it plainly, the best HBO original film the network’s ever done. Samberg was a great Agassi standin, so to see what he does with the world of cycling should be a treat. With a world-class ensemble joining the peloton, this is one of our most aniticipated films of the summer.
Notable TV Actors in the Cast: Dan Stevens (“Legion,” “Downton Abbey”)
Why We’re Looking Forward to It: Before “Legion” became a weekly part of the TV discourse, Stevens proved his genre leading man bona fides in “The Guest.” Now, we’re anxious to see how the actor is able to translate the period piece charm he brought to Cousin Matthew and bring it to this Charles Dickens biopic about the writing of “A Christmas Carol.”
Notable TV Actors in the Cast: Kristen Bell (“The Good Place,” “Veronica Mars”), Mila Kunis (“That ’70s Show,” “Family Guy”), Kathryn Hahn (“Transparent,” “I Love Dick”), Christine Baranski (“The Good Fight”)
Why We’re Looking Forward to It: When the “Bad Moms” Cinematic Universe launched last summer, we were big fans of Hahn getting a chance to prove her comedic skills to an even wider audience. Toss in the holiday theme and we’re excited to see if this emerging franchise doubles down on the hilarious women at the heart of its cast.
Notable TV Actors in the Cast: James Franco (“11/22/63,” “Freaks and Geeks”) Alison Brie (“Community,” “GLOW”)…and many, many others.
Why We’re Looking Forward to It: It’s another comedy all-star showcase, with some of the biggest names in the business making some unexpected drop-ins too. The film looked like a winner out of SXSW (where we reviewed the work-in-progress cut) and with an awards-season release, this could be a movie that takes over the winter months.
Notable TV Actors in the Cast: Kristen Wiig (“Saturday Night Live”), Neil Patrick Harris (“How I Met Your Mother,” “A Series of Unfortunate Events”), Margo Martindale (“The Americans,” “Justified”)
Why We’re Looking Forward to It: Matt Damon might be the star of Alexander Payne’s latest film, opening Christmas week, but we’re interested to see what these performers bring to the high-concept awards player. Anne Thompson’s report of the first-look footage from Cinema Con makes this sound like just the right kind of goofy that will benefit from supporting players with a comedic touch. Consider us intrigued.
Notable TV Actors in the Cast: Jesse Plemons (“Friday Night Lights”), Carrie Coon (“The Leftovers”), Michael Stuhlbarg (“Fargo”), Zach Woods (“Silicon Valley”)
Why We’re Looking Forward to It: Yes, it’s a Steven Spielberg. Sure, it stars Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, if you’re into that kind of thing. But, like so many other Spielberg films, the murderer’s row of supporting players is what’s driving our interest in this retelling of the Pentagon Papers saga. (If these four aren’t enough, can we interest you in Bradley Whitford, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Matthew Rhys, Tracy Letts and David Cross? We may need another list.)
Notable TV Actors in the Cast: Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”), Jack Huston (“Boardwalk Empire”)
Why We’re Looking Forward to It: This true-life FBI story, shot on location in Kentucky, sounds like it might have a bit of the DNA of the “Justified” movie the world deserved. In addition to these TV folks in front of the camera, past “Jack Ryan” director Phillip Noyce has also dipped his toes in the TV waters, heading up the pilots for “Revenge” and the recent “Roots” revival.
Notable TV Actors in the Cast: Christina Hendricks (“Mad Men”), Gillian Anderson (“The X-Files,” “American Gods”)
Why We’re Looking Forward to It: “Murder on the Orient Express” may end up drawing the lion’s share of the Agatha Christie adaptation headlines in 2017, but with a Julian Fellowes (“Downton Abbey”) script, this could be a perfect storm for murder mystery fans.
Notable TV Actors in the Cast: Grant Gustin (“The Flash”), Rosario Dawson (“Marvel’s Daredevil”), William H. Macy (“Shameless”)
Why We’re Looking Forward to It: Macy’s 2014 directorial debut “Rudderless” drew positive reviews for the film’s ensemble work. (Also on board for this cast: Felicity Huffman, Kathy Bates and William Fichtner.) Even though the premise sounds a tad murky, there’s enough talent involved that should benefit from having an actor’s sensibility in the director’s chair.
Notable TV Actors in the Cast: Corey Stoll (“House of Cards,” “The Strain”), Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men,” “The Handmaid’s Tale”)
Why We’re Looking Forward to It: There are no shortage of Chekov adaptations in the universe, but one that brings together these two performers — along with Annette Bening and Saoirse Ronan — has us hoping for a TIFF/Telluride debut and plenty of chances to see it. With Stephen Karam, the Tony-winning writer of “The Humans,” on board to write the script, this is one we’ll be keeping an eye on.