The Walking Dead

In the past week, the Internet exploded twice over the breaking “news” that Arrested Development and Friday Night Lights movies are forthcoming.

The Internet has made a huge mistake.

The Internet blue itself.

The Internet failed “Operation Hot Mother.”

The Internet bought property in Sudden Valley.

You get the idea.

The Arrested Development and Friday Night Lights movies are not forthcoming. I wish they were, but they’re not.

Ever since its cancellation, Arrested Development has made news — at least online — every single time a cast member or Mitch Hurwitz said anything even remotely encouraging about the prospect of a movie.

“Sure, we’d all love to do one. I think Mitch is working on a script,” somehow becomes “ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT MOVIE MOVING FORWARD!!!”

This latest round of news comes because Hurwitz told the press that he’s working on a film and another entire season of episodes. Meanwhile, Connie Britton told a magazine that an FNL movie is “happening for realsies.”

“Jason Katims is talking about writing a script. I think it’s really a matter of . . . getting everyone’s busy schedules aligned and making it happen,” she continued, while coincidentally promoting her new series, American Horror Story.

Of course, upon reading these quotes, the shows’ rabid fans started touching themselves inappropriately, led on by a complicit media. It’s all well and good that Connie Britton, and Kyle Chandler, and Peter Berg, and Mitch Hurwitz, and Jason Bateman want to make those movies. And that fans want them to be made. But here’s the thing: not enough people watched these shows when they were on television for free. It makes no financial sense for anyone to fund film versions.

The only time a little-watched, cult-beloved network TV series was turned into a film after its death, Serenity — based on Joss Whedon’s Firefly — grossed $25 million on a $39 million budget. A small, devoted following is not enough to make a movie a fiscal success. If I were a studio executive, I would greenlight both movies — but that’s only because I am fan of both and wouldn’t care about wasting stockholders’ money. A rational studio executive would never make these movies.

There’s also a lot of virtual ink being spilled about whether the films should be made — how they’ll inevitably disappoint fans, how FNL ended well and doesn’t need another chapter, etc. But who cares? They won’t get made, so there’s no point in debating their imaginary worth. Sorry, kids. Better luck with the forthcoming H8R film that Mario Lopez wants to make.

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Filed under Film Has AIDS, Television Has AIDS, The Dilemma

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