Sunday, May 26, 2024

As “Downton Abbey” Thumps Movies with Big Stars, More Peak TV Series Will Be Translated to Big Screen: “Breaking Bad” Coming, “Mad Men” Next?


Turning “Downton Abbey” into a hit movie was a genius idea on the part of Julian Fellowes, Universal, and Carnival. Fellowes told me this week that he wrote the final episode of the series wrapping up all the plotlines, never expecting that a feature film would ever materialize.

But it did, and now “Downton Abbey” has made twice as much money in its opening as big budget films starring Brad Pitt and¬† Sylvester Stallone, respectively.

The Hollywood movie universe will take note immediately. Converting retired quality TV series into movies will be the nex trend, don’t you worry.

Already coming is an extension of “Breaking Bad” in the form of “El Camino,” starring Aaron Paul. Netflix plans to release “El Camino” for just two days into theaters before it goes to the platform. But you know, they should change their minds and let it have a two week run. Based on the “Downton” numbers, “El Camino” could soar even higher.

And then my vote for a movie from TV series next would be “Mad Men.” Creator Matthew Weiner left the door open for almost all the characters except January Jones’ Betty. But Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, John Slattery, Christina Hendricks have each soared since the series ended. Kieran Shipka¬† has too. Who wouldn’t want to see Sally Draper on a college campus in 1971? It’s perfect.

Which series would you like to see? “Walking Dead”? They’re working on that now. Just watch the Rick Grimes movies become screen hits!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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