While it’s been a trend for Hollywood to adapt books into films or series, one other noticeable trend is adapting films into series.

Let’s take a look at current, upcoming — and previous — television shows that started out or were more well-known as films before they graced our screens as multi-season (for most) series.


Donald Glover, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Brad Pitt

The movie: Child’s Play (1988)

The movie revolves around a single mother who unknowingly giver her son a doll with a serial killer’s consciousness.

In the movie, the doll is called Good Guy, which was based on Hasbro’s My Buddy doll line. Chucky’s full name is Charles Lee Ray, from the names of Charles Manson, Lee Harvey Oswald and James Earl Ray, all notorious killers.

To date, there are seven movies in the Child’s Play franchise. It wasn’t until fourth movie that Chucky’s name is found in the title for 1998’s Bride of Chucky.

The series: Chucky (2021-present, SyFy)

The series is a sequel to the latest film in the franchise, 2017’s Cult of Chucky.

The show follows the story of the infamous doll as he commits murders in a quiet city in the US. The series was renewed for a third season; part two was released in April this year. Its serious creator said that there’s a possibility Chucky could have a faceoff with M3gan.

The movie: The Equalizer (2018, dir. Antoine Fuqua; Denzel Washington)

I didn’t know this prior to my research, but this was actually based on the 1985 TV series of the same name starring Edward Woodward. This became Washington’s first trilogy/movie series. The screenplay was on the 2012 Blacklist, movies that are deemed good but remained unmade. This is Fuqua’s first feature to be released on IMAX.

The series: The Equalizer (2021-present, Queen Latifah, CBS)

Queen Latifah plays the titular character in the series version and takes the name Robyn MacCall, while Washington’s is Robert McCall. The series was renewed for a fourth season.

The movie: Fargo (1996, dir. Ethan and Joel Coen; Frances McDormand)

McDormand earned her first nomination and won her first Academy Award in 1997 for best actress for the movie. She went on to win two more for the same category in 2018 for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and in 2021 for Nomadland, which also won best picture.

The Coen brothers also earned their first nomination and won their first Oscars in 1997 for best original screenplay for the movie. They went on to win three more in 2008 for No Country for Old Men for best adapted screenplay, best director and best picture.

The series: Fargo (2014-present, Martin Freeman, Jon Hamm, FX)

The series has five seasons so far, with its first being the most Emmy wins, including 2014’s

At the 2015 Golden Globes, Thornton won best actor for a miniseries or television film and the show won best miniseries or television film. In 2018, Ewan McGregor won for the same category.

The movie: The Gentlemen (2019, dir. Guy Ritchie; Matthew McConaughey)

The movie also starred Colin Farrell, Hugh Grant, Charlie Hunnam, Michelle Dockery and Jeremy Strong.

The series: The Gentlemen (2024, Theo James, Netflix)

The series also stars Kaya Scodelario, Joely Richardson and Vinnie Jones. While Jones is a frequent Ritchie collaborator, having starred in 1998’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, he was not in the film version. James plays the new Duke of Beaufort, bypassing his older brother, when their late father declares this in his will.

The movie: Godzilla (1954)

The franchise has been recognized by the Guinness World Records as the “longest continuously running film franchise,” with its production dating back to 1954. The current franchise has 38 films: 33 Japanese and five American.

The Japanese films are broken down into eras: the Shōwa (after the late Emperor Hirohito’s reign from 1926 to 1989) with 15 films; the Heisei era (after the Emperor Emeritus Akihito’s reign from 1989 to 2019) with seven films; the so-called Millennium era with six films and the current Reiwa era (after Emperor Naruhito’s reign from 2019 onwards) with five films.

The latest American film was released this year, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire.

The series: Monarch: Legacy of Monsters (2023-present, Kurt and Wyatt Russell, Apple TV+)

The show is part of the MonsterVerse, which follows the events of the 2014 film Godzilla, centering on the Monarch organization members after their encounters with Godzilla and other monsters across 50 years. The series stars Anna Sawai, Kiersey Clemons, Ren Watabe, Mari Yamamota, Anders Holm, Joe Tippett and Elisa Lasowski, with father-and-son Kurt and Wyatt Russel sharing the role of Lee Shaw. The show was recently renewed for a second season.

The movie: Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt)

Ah, the movie that brought together Brangelina. The movie that launched the portmanteau couple names… It was also one of the biggest movies in the world in the year it came out, earning a worldwide box office gross of $487.3 million. And it was a crowded field that year with a Harry Potter and a Star Wars movie. Worldwide, the film was number seven, and number nine domestically.

The series: Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2024-present, Prime Video, Donald Glover and Maya Erskine)

In the series adaptation, co-created by star Glover, both John and Jane Smith are aware that they’re spies. They’re just married for cover. The series currently has a 90% Tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes. Amazon announced that it was top five new series debuts ever in terms of total US viewers. The show was renewed for a second season in May, but it’s still unclear whether Glover or Erskine are returning to reprise their roles.

The movie: The Heartbreak Kid (1993)

The Australian film follows the story of a first-year teacher in the Melbourne suburbs who begins to have second thoughts about her future when she bonds with a teenaged student.

The series: Heartbreak High (2022-present, Netflix)

The “soft reboot” varies from the movie as it follows the lives of Hartley High students and teachers, with themes on racial tension, high school romance and teen angst. The show has been renewed for its third and final season.

The movie: Interview with the Vampire (1994, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt)

Author Anne Rice originally wanted Julian Sands for Lestat and was horrified when Tom Cruise was cast. However, she changed her mind and wrote the actor an apology letter. She also took out a two-page ad in The New York Times and Vanity Fair to endorse the film as a “masterpiece.”

The movie earned $36.4 million domestically during its opening weekend, the highest of any R-rated film at the time. Its worldwide box office gross was $223.7 million. Adjusted for inflation, it would be at least twice as much in today’s money, almost breaking the $500 million mark.

The series: Interview with the Vampire (2022-present, Jacob Anderson, AMC)

I know this is kind of cheating since it did start out as a book, BUT the movie was a big deal when it came out since it starred two A-list actors who had never worked together before, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. The series divides its source in three parts, so it stands to reason that there’s one more season left. Season two is currently available on AMC.

The movie: The Karate Kid (1982, Ralph Macchio)

If you ever found out that the movie’s famous (or infamous?) crane technique isn’t really, it’s actually based on a real stance. However, at UFC 129 in 2011, Lyoto Machida effectively knocked Randy Couture out with what could be called a Crane Kick. Granted, it wasn’t as theatrical and slow as the one in the movie, but he did fake a kick with his left and then smashed Couture’s face with his right, using a front kick. The match record even records this move as a Crane Kick.

The series: Cobra Kai (2021-present, Netflix)

The series will premiere its upcoming season six on July 18. The show reunites William Zabka and Ralph Macchio reprise their roles from the movie, Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence. It has been nominated for nine Primetime Emmys.

If you were to throw away everything else you know about the series adaptation, you’d think it’s about two middle-aged men who in turns don’t know how to let go and are seeking redemption.

The movie: Presumed Innocent (1990, Harrison Ford)

Harrison Fords stars as a lawyer who investigates the murder of a colleague, and then finds himself connected to the crime.

The series: Presumed Innocent (2024, Jake Gyllenhaal, Apple TV+)

This is also a cheat since the film on which the series is based, is based on Scott Turow’s 1987 novel of the same name.

The movie: Snowpiercer (2013, dir. Bong Joon-ho; Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton)

I’m again thankful that I get to write pieces like this because I didn’t know that this was based on a 1982 graphic novel, a French one called La Transperceneige later called The Escape. It was continued with two more volumes by Benjamin Legrand, with 1999’s The Explorers and 2000’s The Crossing. The fourth and final issue was Olivier Bocquet’s 2015 graphic novel Terminus.

The series: Snowpiercer (2020-present, Apple TV+, Jennifer Connelly, Daveed Diggs)

The fourth and final season, following the graphic novel, will premiere on July 21. The series is a reboot of the film’s continuity and tackles class warfare, social injustice and survival politics.

The movie: Star Wars (1977, dir. George Lucas)

This should have its own section since it has spawned so many series — both live action and animated. The series adaptations that spawned from the movie usually focuses on characters that were never highlighted in the films. Examples include:

The movie: S.W.A.T. (2003, Colin Farrell, Samuel L. Jackson)

I still remember the trailer for this. It was the bad guy Alex Montel (Olivier Martinez) who had just been arrested and was being transferred somewhere yelling, “I will give $100 million to whoever gets me out of here,” right to the cameras. There’s quite a few Marvel connections here with Jackson as Nick Fury, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye and Farrell as Bullseye in Daredevil (but now has jumped to DC with his upcoming The Penguin series).

The series: S.W.A.T. (2017-present, CBS)

This is cheating, a lot, I think, because it started out as a series in 1975, then became a movie in 2003. The show has had a rollercoaster ride when it comes to renewals. In May 2023, it was canceled at CBS after six season. Days later, it was renewed for its seventh and what was supposed to be the final season. A few months after season seven premiered in February, it was renewed for an eighth season. Whew!


Michelle Yeoh, Blade Runner 2099

The movie: Blade Runner (1982, dir. Ridley Scott; Harrison Ford)

Rutger Hauer, the actor who played replicant Batty, improvised his iconic line, “All those moment will be list in time… like tears in the rain.” Later, he used “All Those Moments” as the title of his autobiography.

The series: Blade Runner 2099 (Prime Video, Michelle Yeoh)

Also a bit of a cheat because the film to which this series will be a sequel is based on Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? However, I feel that this isn’t a cop-out since the series IS going to be a sequel.

The upcoming series adaptation sequel, starring Michelle Yeoh, is set 50 years after the 2017 film sequel which added Ryan Gosling to the cast.

The movie: Fatherhood (2021, Kevin Hart)

The Netflix movie followed the story of a single dad (Hart) after his wife’s unexpected death the day after giving birth to their daughter.

The series: Fatherhood (Netflix)

Paul Weitz will return to direct the series adaptation, a production team-up between Hart’s production company Hartbeat and Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground.

The movie: Hostel (2005, dir. Eli Roth)

The movie, which grossed $82 million on the worldwide box office against a $4.8 million budget, follows the story of a group of American tourists who end up being taken by an organization which allows people to torture and kill. The film spawned two sequels released in 2007 and 2011.

The series: Hostel (Paul Giamatti)

Eli Roth will return to develop the series which currently doesn’t have a platform. The series is described as a “modern adaptation” and an “elevated thriller” and a “reinvention” for the film franchise.

The movie: Man on Fire (2004, dir. Tony Scott; Denzel Washington)

The movie was previously adapted into a film in 1987 starring Scott Glenn, which follows the story of an alcoholic former member of the CIA’s covert special activities group. He ends up working as a bodyguard who goes on a rampage after his protectee, played by a young Dakota Fanning, is abducted.

The series: Man on Fire (Netflix, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II)

Another sort of cop-out for me because this was also originally a book, but I believe the movie was more famous. The series adaptation will be based on the first two novels by A.J. Quinnell, 1981’s Man on Fire (like the movies) and 1992’s The Perfect Kill.

Abul-Mateen will also executive produce the project alongside Steven Caple Jr., who has been set as director of the first two episodes under showrunner Kyle Killen. The logline for the series reads: “Once a high functioning and skilled Special Forces mercenary, known for surviving even the most desolate of situations, [John] Creasy (Abdul-Mateen) is now plagued with intense PTSD. Determined to overcome his personal demons, he sets out on a patch to redemption. But, before he can adjust to this new life, he finds himself back in the fire, fighting harder than ever.”

The movie: The Rainmaker (1997, dir. Francis Ford Coppola; Matt Damon)

The movie was written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and is based on John Grisham’s 1995 novel of the same name.

The series: The Rainmaker (USA Network)

There are no actors attached to the series adaptation yet, but Michael Seitzman and Jason Richman have co-written the pilot and will serve as executive producers with the author Grisham, David Gernert at Blumhouse’s Jason Blum.

The story centers on Rudy Baylor, a new law school graduate who faces the courtroom lion Leo Drummond, as well as his girlfriend Rudy, to uncover what happened to death of his client’s son.

The movie: Tomb Raider (2001, Angelina Jolie)

The movie franchise, of which there are two, including the 2003 sequel, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider — The Cradle of Life is based on the Tomb Raider video game series featuring the character Lara Croft, played by Angelina Jolie.

When the first movie was released, it earned $274.7 million worldwide, which makes it one of the highest-grossing video game film adaptations.

The series: Tomb Raider (Prime Video)

While there are no actors attached to the project yet, Phoebe Waller-Bridge will write and executive produce the series adaptation.


Highlander poster, Henry Cavill

The movie: 17 Again (2009, starring Zac Efron, Matthew Perry)

The series: 18 Again (2020, South Korean drama)

The movie: Evil Dead (1981, dir. Sam Raimi)

The series: Ash vs. the Evil Dead (2015-2018, Starz, Bruce Campbell)

The movie: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1982)

The series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003, Paramount+, dir. Joss Whendon; Sarah Michelle Gellar)

There are talks of a reboot, which involves the original series adaptation’s silent producer Dolly Parton.

The movie: Highlander (1986)

The series: Highlander: The Series (1992-1998)

There’s now an upcoming reboot with Henry Cavill under Chad Stahelski’s franchise deal with Lionsgate. The project is set to premiere in 2026.

The movie: Psycho (1959, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)

The series: Bates Motel (2013-2017)

The movie: Star Wars (1977, dir. George Lucas)

The series: Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett (2022, Disney+)

The series: Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022, Disney+)

Ewan McGregor says he’s willing to return to the Star Wars universe even though there aren’t any updates for the Obi-Wan series’ second season.

The movie: Stargate (1994, dir. Roland Emmerich; Kurt Russell, James Spader)

The series: Stargate: SG-1 (1997-2007)

If you’re a ’90s kid, you most likely know the movie and saw the series adaptation — mostly because you remember the lead, Richard Dean Anderson, from another iconic role: MacGyver.

The movie: Terminator (1984, dir. James Cameron; Arnold Schwarzenegger)

The series: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008-2009)

It’s most memorable for Lena Headey. Her Game of Thrones co-star and Cersei Lannister’s rival, Danaerys Targaryen played by Emilia Clark was also in a Terminator movie.

The movie: Westworld (1973, dir. Michael Crichton; Yul Brenner)

The series: Westworld (2016-2022, HBO | Max)

The series adaptation was created by Fallout creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. The show was also loosely based on the movie’s sequel, 1976’s Futureworld.