Recently, director and dynamite fan Michael Bay announced he would be introducing major changes in his upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, including a new origin story for the turtles themselves. Fans are naturally in an uproar. Yet with the recent success of 21 Jump Street, producers everywhere might be thinking that remakes of old TV shows aren't such a bad idea after all.
Well, I'm here to remind them that the idea of taking a long gone TV series and adapting it for the big screen has resulted in utter disaster more often than not. Let's take a look at the 10 worst TV-to-film adaptations over the past few years. Ugh! Why can't they just leave TV alone?!
The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)
This semi-spoof comedy was based on actual episodes from the 1969-1974 sitcom. The problem with the film might have very well been its "spoof" tendencies. The Brady Bunch might have been a hokey show, but it was well-loved and family-oriented. The film just turned the Bunch into one big joke.
McHale's Navy (1997)
I fondly remember sitting down with my grandpa in the afternoons to catch this beloved 1962-1966 comedy about a naval crew during WWII (that and Hogan's Heroes of course). In 1997, someone decided that it was a good move to let the boorish Tom Arnold attempt some sort of "comeback" shortly after his divorce from Rosanne, which only lead to a sad, sad movie.
The Flintstones (1994)
Really, a premise this ridiculous should just stick within the animation medium. The original 1960-1966 show was loosely based on the incredibly successful Honeymooners, and as a prehistoric romp was fun and cheeky in the cartoon world -- but just looked utterly silly when brought into real life.
The Mod Squad (1999)
From 1968-1973, the heyday of everything groovy, The Mod Squad introduced the world to powerhouse creator Aaron Spelling. Yet while the show combined thrilling conflicts with the melodrama that Spelling does best, the film tried way too hard to become a sort of badass action film, and lost most of the heart that made the show so great.
This 1964-1972 comedy was surprisingly a metaphor for the Civil Rights Movement; having alluded to themes of acceptance, tolerance, and a marriage between two extremely different people. The film, on the other hand, was a confusing mess. Nicole Kidman looked the part, but comedy isn't her bag. And what was with that confusing plot? She's a witch but also an actress trying to get the lead role in Bewitched? Huh?
Get Smart (2008)
Both the 1965-1970 show and this film incarnation had a challenging goal: spoof the much beloved James Bond series of books and movies. Both were parodies, both were silly, and both were borderline asinine. The problem with the film is that it just wasn't funny. Which is surprising, considering what a fantastic straight man Steve Carell can be.
The Dukes of Hazzard (2005)
Speed Racer (2008)
I will give this Wachowski Brothers adaptation one thing, it looked totally cool. It was visually stunning, but that's about it. The original 1967-1968 Japanese animated series was known for its flat characters suffering at the hands of the striking imagery. Sadly, this film endured the same fate.
Inspector Gadget (1999)
Yet another beloved cartoon character suffering at the hands of a '90s adaptation. This time, Matthew Broderick tried unsuccessfully to bring an over-the-top cartoon character into real life and have it not look utterly ridiculous. The problem here may have also been the casting of (and revealing of) Gadget's arch nemesis Dr. Claw, whom we had only heard in the past. That air of mystery made him so much more menacing.
Wild Wild West (1999)
If we've learned anything from a 1990s Will Smith movie, it's that he basically made his career moves on whether or not he could also record a hip-hop track on the album. This adaptation of the 1965-1969 Old West drama also suffered one more disability: the attempt at steampunk; the love it or loathe it underground genre combining alternate history and science fiction. Perhaps the masses weren't ready?