Miami Vice Movie

Movies based on TV shows aren’t new… but it’s rare when the creative entities behind the show are also in charge of the big-screen version (in fact, I can only think of one recent example, "The X Files").

Variety reports that Miami Vice is the next cult tv series up for a theatrical re-do… with series exec producer/showrunner Michael Mann writing, producing and directing.

Universal is zeroing in on Colin Farrell to star as Det. James "Sonny""Sonny" Crockett, and the studio is in discussions with Jamie Foxx to star as Det. Ricardo Tubbs in the South Beach sizzler.

Farrell, you may recall, also starred in the movie version of SWAT. If this comes to pass, he’ll only be matched by Owen Wilson ("Starsky & Hutch," "I Spy") and Matt LeBlanc ("Lost in Space," "Charlies Angels") when it comes to doing the most tv-to-film adaptations.

That’s not the only revival news today. Frank Spotnitz, ex-producer of "The X Files," is hoping to craft a new version of "Kolchak: The Night Stalker."

"The first TV movie is burned into my memory," Spotnitz told Daily Variety. "It was a huge event at the time, and it was one of my favorite TV characters of all time. The chance to return to this character and find another great storytelling vehicle for smart, scary television was very appealing."

Still unclear is exactly how closely the new "Night Stalker" will mirror the format and mood of the original, which was based on a novel by Jeff Rice. While the first "Night Stalker" telepictelepic shattered Nielsen longformlongform records at the time, the series lasted just one season.

Spotnitz is staying mum about details regarding the new project, but did say he’s learned some lessons from his days on "X-Files" and a recent marathon re-watching of the original series.

"As much as I loved the TV movie, the series was not successful," he said. "I wouldn’t expect a religiously faithful adaptation. I don’t intend to repeat the same mistakes."

To me, Darren McGavin was 90% of the charm and humor of the movies and the series. I don’t know if a new version could be done, and capture any of the flavor of the original, without him. Besides, Spotnitz isn’t exactly know for his light touch…

1 thought on “Miami Vice Movie”

  1. I’ve seen it reported that Stuart Townsend has been cast as the new Kolchak.
    Hoo boy.
    After his pretty boy turns in ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ (the whole movie a criminal offense against the comic book series) and in ‘Queen Of The Damned’, I would have cast him instead as Janos Skorzeny.
    But he might have turned that down as being too much of “Been There, Done Lestat”.
    But Kolchak should have a rumpled, everyman charm and humor about him; a man not afraid to show his fear in the face of danger and still plow ahead in search of the story.
    Years ago, McGavin suggested that since he was “too old and fat” to play the part again, perhaps Nick Nolte might be a good choice. Now, it could be he’s too old and frazzled a choice.
    But I had two suggestions. Unfortunately, they may both be tied up in other TV projects right now, although at least the fate for at least one of them might be up in the air.
    My picks to play Carl Kolchak?
    Either Dennis Leary or Ron Eldard.
    Both of them can handle the blend of drama, adventure, and humor and could easily toss off the sarcastic retorts to the authorities blocking his access to a big scoop.
    And I could easily buy into either one of them as the bottom-feeding investigative reporter living on the outskirts with a passion for the story.
    Townsend? Not a chance.
    Ah well. I can still dream and there are always the Darrin McGavin originals still in circulation…..


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