When it comes to the RED movies, the “R” might stand for “retired”, but that clearly doesn’t apply to the property on a whole. After two films – 2010’s really fun, hugely successful RED and 2013’s less fun, less successful RED 2 – the movie franchise is now being brought to TV, courtesy of original movie scribes Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber, NBC and Lionsgate TV.
The two movies, inspired by the DC Comics’ miniseries from Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, starred Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren and Mary-Louise Parker, and followed a group of older ex-government agents – considered “Retired, Extremely Dangerous” – who get forced back into action after a CIA assassin starts killing them off one by one. The Robert Schwenke directed first film – which scored $200 million worldwide off just a $58 million budget – was a crazy, action-comedy that featured huge setpieces that usually involved Willis and co pulling off some extreme action. Dean Pariot took the reins for the second film, but was unable to match the first film’s success critically, and could only bring in $148 million off a $84 million budget, despite essentially using the same creative formula.
Deadline are reporting though that this new TV series adaptation will be changing tack a bit, as it “will be set in a more grounded and authentic world, focusing on the characters’ darkly hilarious struggles to survive civilian life as they simultaneously fight for and against the very organization that threw them out.” Just how grounded this gets is still unclear, as the heightened sense of reality and zany fun is sort of what made the movies popular in the first place and to ditch that completely would be rather silly.
There’s also no word at all on which characters this will be based on – would we see Willis, Malkovich and co return, or perhaps have new actors take over their roles, or maybe even have entirely new characters? Based on the fact that Willis is currently in the Nicolas Cage “Say yes to every damn thing that crosses my desk!” stage of his career, I actually wouldn’t be surprised if he does show up. You should probably not get your hopes up for seeing a sniper rifle wielding Helen Mirren on your TV every week though. Which is a pity, as really that was one of the film’s major draw cards.
Last Updated: August 18, 2015