10 Movies That Would Have Been Better as a TV Series
These ones totally should have traded the red carpet for the silver screen.
We've all been there – sitting in the darkness of a theater or the comfort of our own homes, watching the credits roll on a two-hour film and thinking, “Wait, that's it?”
Some stories are just too big, too rich, or too complex to be contained within the typical feature film's runtime. That's why today, we're listing the 10 movies that would have undoubtedly been better had they been told as a television series.
1. The Golden Compass (2007)
The world of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials is vast and intricate, filled with parallel universes, complex characters, and heady philosophical themes. Unfortunately, the film adaptation, despite a strong cast and impressive visuals, was too restricted by its runtime to do justice to the source material's depth. Thankfully, BBC and HBO seemed to agree, creating a much-acclaimed TV series version in 2019.
2. The Great Gatsby (2013)
F. Scott Fitzgerald's iconic novel has been adapted for the silver screen numerous times, most recently with Leonardo DiCaprio in the titular role. Despite the movie's flashy aesthetics and energetic soundtrack, the nuanced critique of the American Dream and the complex emotional landscape of its characters were somewhat glossed over. A TV series could take the time to dissect these themes and delve deeper into the morally ambiguous world of West Egg.
3. Inception (2010)
Christopher Nolan 's mind-bending film about dream thieves is a visual spectacle with a deeply intricate plot. But with so many layers (literally), a TV series could further explore the film's dream universe, delve into the backstory of its characters, and give audiences more time to digest its reality-altering ideas. Plus, who wouldn't want to spend more time in a world where you can fight on the ceiling?
4. Dune ( 2021)
Frank Herbert's Dune is an epic tale of politics, religion, and environmentalism set in a far-flung future. Its depth and complexity make it notoriously difficult to adapt, with the 2021 movie being the latest attempt. As beautiful as it is, it still had to cut or condense many elements to fit into a film format. An ongoing TV series could truly breathe life into the planet Arrakis and its rich cast of characters.
5. Suicide Squad (2016)
Comic book characters often thrive on television, where their backstories and character arcs can be fully explored. Suicide Squad, which promised an ensemble of DC's most intriguing antiheroes, suffered from a rushed plot and thin character development. Imagine a TV series, where each episode could focus on a different member of the Squad, allowing us to fully appreciate these delightfully twisted characters.
6. A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
Lemony Snicket's darkly humorous book series was crammed into a single film, resulting in a rather disjointed narrative that barely skimmed the surface of the Baudelaire orphans' misfortunes. Fortunately, Netflix 's TV series adaptation demonstrated just how much better this story works when given room to breathe.
7. The Dark Tower (2017)
Don't get us wrong, we love Idris Elba more than pretty much anything, but the whole casting mess behind the scenes was just so… wrong. Stephen King 's sprawling fantasy series was sadly condensed into a 90-minute film, which left fans disappointed and newcomers confused. The intricately woven story and richly developed characters beg for a multi-season TV series that can give The Dark Tower the epic treatment it deserves.
8. Watchmen (2009)
Zack Snyder's film adaptation of Alan Moore's seminal graphic novel was visually impressive but struggled to capture the layered narrative and thematic depth of its source material. A Watchmen TV series (which HBO masterfully delivered a decade later) could properly tackle the original's complex narrative structure and social commentary, delivering a thoughtful examination of superhero mythology.
9. Cloud Atlas (2012)
This film adaptation of David Mitchell's intricate novel certainly aimed high. Spanning centuries, continents, and a variety of genres, Cloud Atlas was an ambitious project that packed a lot into its nearly three-hour runtime. As a TV series, each interconnected story could have its own season to fully explore the novel's themes of reincarnation, fate, and connectivity.
10. Eragon (2006)
This adaptation of Christopher Paolini's best-selling fantasy novel was a major disappointment for fans. The film's rushed pacing, shallow character development, and numerous plot changes did a disservice to the complex world of Alagaësia and its inhabitants. An episodic format would provide the necessary time and space to delve into the rich lore, intricate political dynamics, and exciting dragon battles that fans loved in the books.