From ‘True Lies’ to 'Harry Potter': 10 films being turned into TV shows

These hit movies from the 1930s to the present day are set to be rebooted for small screen binge-watching

Horror classic 'The Shining', the action-packed 'True Lies' and 'Harry Potter' are all set to be turned into TV series. Courtesy Warner Bros, Lightstorm Entertainment, Universal Pictures
Powered by automated translation

They were hit films on the big screen, so it makes sense that Hollywood is hoping they will have the same successful impact on the small screen, too.

The latest trend in Tinseltown is to turn movies into television series, as a host of box office successes, including horror classic The Shining, Black Panther and Conan the Barbarian, are being given the small screen spin-off treatment in 2021.

Here are 10 films coming to your TV soon …

'The Shining'

The 1980 adaptation, starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall, of Stephen King's 1977 novel is to be turned into a series called Overlook – the name of the haunted hotel where the film was based. Adapted by JJ Abrams, who wrote Cloverfield and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and directed Mission: Impossible III and 2009's Star Trek, this will be the second time the film has been remade for television, following 1997's three-part miniseries, The Shining.

'True Lies'

Released in 1994, True Lies, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis and Tia Carrere, was a huge box-office success, grossing more than $378 million worldwide. This will be the second try at making a TV version work, following 2017's attempt, which didn't get greenlit beyond the pilot stage. The show will mirror the movie, following a bored suburban housewife's journey into the world of spying, after she discovers her husband is a secret agent.

'Harry Potter'

Although it's still in the very early discussion stages, with the search on for writers to put together a pitch, Harry Potter studio Warner Bros is keen to serialise one of their most successful properties. After all, the eight films in the Harry Potter series grossed more than $7 billion worldwide. The show is earmarked to be screened on streaming service HBO Max.

'The Great Gatsby'

The Tudors and Vikings writer Michael Hirst is onboard to pen the TV series based on the classic American novel, with the backing of author F Scott Fitzgerald's estate. Titled Gatsby, it will also widen its vision to explore the experiences of New York's black community in the roaring 1920s.

"I have long dreamt of a more diverse, inclusive version of Gatsby that better reflects the America we live in, one that might allow us all to see ourselves in Scott's wildly romantic text," said Blake Hazard, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald's great-granddaughter.

'Buck Rogers'

The first Buck Rogers film was released in 1939, while the first TV spin-off aired between 1950 and 1951. For 2021, George Clooney is onboard to executive produce, and possibly star in, the rebooted tale of the time-travelling, all-American adventurer. If the limited TV series is a success, it is thought a film reboot will follow.

'Black Panther'

Disney+ has wisely tapped Black Panther director Ryan Coogler as the man to replicate the global success of this fan favourite for the small screen with TV spin-off, Wakanda. And while developing the series set in the fictional African nation, he will also be kept busy writing a sequel to the hit movie.

"With Black Panther, Ryan brought a ground-breaking story and iconic characters to life in a real, meaningful and memorable way, creating a watershed cultural moment," said Disney executive chairman Bob Iger. "We're thrilled to strengthen our relationship and look forward to telling more great stories with Ryan and his team."

'The Man Who Fell to Earth'

The original 1976 movie starred the late David Bowie in the title role, and was based on a 1963 book by author Walter Tevis, who also wrote The Queen's Gambit. British Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor is set to star as the man who falls to Earth, and the show will debut on Paramount+, the content streamer launching on Thursday, March 4.


The 1998 fantasy epic that starred Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley and Warwick Davis is being turned into a TV series at Disney+. British star Davis has signed on to revive his character, Willow Ufgood, while Ron Howard, who directed the movie, will return as executive producer.

"So many fans have asked me over the years if Willow will make a return, and now I'm thrilled to tell them that he will indeed," Davis said. "Many have told me they grew up with Willow and that the film has influenced how they view heroism in our own world. If Willow Ufgood can represent the heroic potential in all of us, then he is a character I am extremely honoured to reprise."

'Conan the Barbarian'

The 1982 film was responsible for launching Arnold Schwarzenegger's career, and he would go on to star in the 1984 sequel, Conan the Destroyer. Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa took on the role in 2011, but it didn't spawn the franchise producers were hoping for. Netflix's small screen gamble will also mark the second attempt to turn it into a TV show.


The 2018 film is getting a second shot at success, with Starz picking up the dramedy that will be a series of half-hour-long shows. Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, who wrote and starred in the film, are set to write and executive produce the series, along with actress Jasmine Cephas Jones.

“Rafael, Daveed and Jasmine created a beautiful film that we believe will translate perfectly into a compelling series for Starz,” said Christina Davis, president original programming.


Read more: