It was a big week for football fans in Dillon, Texas, with Coach Eric Taylor leading the underdog East Dillon Lions to an emotional championship victory. Actually, it’s been a big week for fans of one of TV’s best dramas, “Friday Night Lights,” as it just concluded its fifth and final season on NBC (that is, for anyone without DirecTV or a decent Internet connection where the show wrapped up a few months ago). But with the show coming to a close for the second time it’s given fans and news outlets alike a chance to start memorializing the show. Grantland has a must-read oral history of the show by its cast and creators and a few days ago the series received Emmy nominations for Best Drama (its first) and Lead Actor and Actress in a Drama for Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton (their second).
The series, about a high school football team in small town Texas, is based on the 2004 film by director Peter Berg (“The Kingdom“), which itself was based on a 1990 non-fiction book by H.G. Bissinger. Berg decided he wasn’t done with the world of the film and decided to turn it into a series, acting as executive producer and directing the pilot episode to set the realistic, emotionally charged tone of the show. Berg told Grantland, “I truly felt that there was a lot more meat from the book that we weren’t able to put in the original film. And I just wasn’t ready to leave the world. I fell in love with Austin. I fell in love with Texas. I fell in love with Texas football. And I wanted more.” And even after five seasons of the critically-hailed series, during which the show was canceled by NBC after a writers strikes abbreviated second season only to be rescued by DirecTV, Berg is still not ready to leave that world behind. According to TVLine, Grantland editor-in-chief Bill Simmons tweeted that, “Peter Berg told us he wants to do an’ FNL’ movie with Chandler/Britton off the final episode.”
TVLine also confirmed that Berg is working behind the scenes to make that film a reality. A rep for Universal–the studio that produced both the show and the previous film–denied there was any such project in development yet, but the site points towards yet being the telling phrase.
With the series just having completed its run it is likely a pipe dream at this point, both for fans and the shows creators, but we’d certainly be interested to see if anything comes of it. Berg is currently in post-production on the big-screen adaptation of the board game “Battleship” with ‘Lights’ alum (and “John Carter” star) Taylor Kitsch, so if that film is a hit expect the filmmaker to have a little more clout in getting this project off the ground.
“Friday Night Lights” was indeed one of the greatest dramas on television with Chandler and Britton’s onscreen chemistry one of the most realistic portrayals of marriage ever on television. The duo held the show together even as most of the younger cast was replaced mid-series. With so many characters over the years fans can begin speculating which ones might show up in a film but for now the project will join the esteemed ranks of “Party Down” and “Arrested Development” as cult shows hoping for one last shot on the big screen. As fans of the show, still wiping away the tears from the finale, we’re really hoping to see this one come together.