'The Walking Dead' Movie In Very, VERY Early Talks
Properties that become transient between the big and small screens have a hit-and-miss, unpredictable history, but if any is to achiever the former of the two, why not an a high-production-value horror series that was already once nearly a film but ended up produced by a cable movie network instead?
The reported talks are early, BloodyDisgusting.com claims. In fact, they're too early to define a chance of success. That said, when it comes to "The Walking Dead" and the writer claiming that "friends working closely with 'The Walking Dead' crew and AMC" say that rumblings have been heard about the comic-based zombie drama being adapted, it's worth noting.
The report goes out of its way to note that the discussions have been "non-business," likely meaning that some people with some undefined degree of clout between them have wondered "Hey, wouldn't it be great if we parlayed this acclaimed series into a cross-media brand that includes the original Robert Kirkman comics, the serial downloadable video games, and a gap-bridging feature film?" It also points out that before reaching AMC's doorstep, "The Walking Dead" was originally conceived for adaptation as a film.
But really, hasn't many a fruitful venture started off with just such a discussion, only for someone to cock an eyebrow and wonder, "Well, why couldn't this be a thing?"
It's an intriguing thought, especially the idea of conceiving the world of "The Walking Dead" painted with not a basic-cable-series budget - even one that's massive for a basic-cable series - but a major Hollywood feature cash flow. That's where BD makes a point that keeps expectations optimistic, yet grounded.
First off, adapting shows like "The Walking Dead" presents certain pacing issues. Episodic shows, especially dramas, are constructed a certain way to tell an effective story across, generally, 13-22 episodes spanning typically 60 minutes with commercials. It takes great pains to compress a story into a single 90-minute format. It's sort of the reverse of what happened when Jeff Lindsay's novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter became Showtime's acclaimed "Dexter." To make an ongoing series of a singular novel, it was found that certain characters had to change, the first-season arc had to be expanded beyond what Lindsay originally wrote, and even the arc's entire resolution had to change in significant ways.
That leads into the second point: the hit-and-miss factor.
It's because of the above-explained factor that many such series don't work as films. "Firefly" receiving a movie worked because it was, in essence, a feature-film series finale. The first "Sex and the City" movie was well-received because it picked up where the series left off after its sixth season. Both were book-ends to a continuing story.
(NOTE: Yes, I know there was a second "Sex and the City" movie, thanks. However, it was ill-advised in part because the first was thought of as having tied the whole affair up with a nice little bow.)
The point being this: if "The Walking Dead" ever turns that corner, it shouldn't be until the series ends. The talk of "The Avengers" having franchise gaps bridged by a planned Marvel-rooted series for ABC gets it "right": let the episodic style fill in until the massive 90-minute or two-hour movie.
Let something as massive as a movie be the big bang on which the series goes out, when that sad day comes.