an you guess what’s common between web series True Lies, horror-comedy Wednesday or fantasy The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power? They were first films and are now being elaborated into series fetching more screen-time for characters to grow on us. The phenomenon of films adapted to series and vice versa isn’t new and we wonder the significance of it all in digital times when both are sooner or later available on OTT.
As we list some of these long and short format adaptations, and actors talks about reasons behind this popular practice.
The road less taken!
While there are enough films being made from series, the number is quite low the other way wound. Take for instance, the film franchise The Lord of The Rings, its three parts based on the novels of J. R. R. Tolkien released in between the year 2001 and 2003. Fans couldn’t get enough of the franchise and a decade later released a film - The Hobbit, an off-shoot of the same works. Later in 2022, Prime Video released the first part of series, The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power, starting how the much-talked rings first came into being.
Another 2022 Netflix series Wednesday brought back the memories of the supernatural black comedy film, The Addams Family (1991). It has done a great job reviving the celebrated characters—Wednesday, her brother Pugsley and parents Motricia and Gomez. Post the show’s success which is already confirmed to have a season 2, Internet was flooded with the comparisons of the film and series and many influencers went on to enact an Indianised version of Wednesday called Budhwar on social media. Apart from these, Disney+Hotstar dropped another original series, True Lies, in the first week of March, which is an elaborate version of 1994 film by the same name.
Carrey all the way
1994 superhero comedy film, The Mask, starring Jim Carrey made way for The Mask: Animated Series in 1995. Jim Carrey’s acting prowess was such that in 1995 alone two other animated series were made out of films - Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Dumb and Dumber.
The 1894 collection of stories, The Jungle Book first made into a live-action film in 1942. Later Disney released an animated film by the same name in 1967. It was made into tele-series by various names like Jungle Book Shonen Mowgli— a Japanese anime series, later dubbed into several languages including Hindi. The Jungle Book (2010 TV series) was solely produced in India and directed by Tapas Chakravarti.
The same way, media franchises such as Tarzan of the Apes (1918-first silent film) and adventurer horror King Kong (1933) were later made into serial The New Adventures of Tarzan (1935) and King Kong (1966-69) respectively. Both the films and series have been re-adapted many a times by various production houses. Also, animated film, Kung Fu Panda (KFP) (2008) which itself has four parts was fragmented into various television series specials such as KFP Holiday, KFP: Legends of Awesomeness KFP: The Paws of Destiny and KFP: The Dragon Knight.
The ‘why’ factor
Actor Sneha Namanandi opines, “We know it for a fact that television and films have a different audience. Films are best suited for people who don’t have the energy or time to devote to a long series whereas series’ lovers are hooked to their favourite character for a longer time.”
Actor Rishina Kandhari believes that a film is always made to milk the franchise, “Like How I Met Your Mother is a popular series with nine seasons and in 2014, the movie came out. The same way we have Khichdi and Chala Mussaddi... Office Office made out of television series Khichdi and Office Office respectively.”
TV series run for longer period and have more viewers over the years, a good enough reason to adapt classics or most loved film franchises, believes Sneha. “ I think it’s the same for making a remake of successful foreign shows or films, because a popular name has already got you viewers, so makers pitch it as less risk project, ” she offers.
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