After years at the bottom of a contractual pond, the rights to the Friday the 13th horror franchise have landed in a truly fascinating new home: A24, producers of some of the weirder, artier, and more successful independent films of the past decade (X, Lamb, The Green Knight, and Everything Everywhere All at Once).
But instead of a movie, the company is creating the series Crystal Lake, described as a prequel, with Bryan Fuller (Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies, Hannibal) as writer/producer/showrunner. That’s impressive talent to bring to bear on a story of a guy in a hockey mask who mostly murders sexually active teenagers. Some fans are already concerned that bringing elements of “elevated” horror to the Jason Voorhees saga is missing the point. Me? I’m genuinely intrigued.
Of course, it’s not the first time Friday the 13th has been a TV series—there was also Friday the 13th: The Series, a surprisingly decent late-night horror show that ran for three seasons in the ‘80s and had pretty much nothing to do with any of the movies (the plot revolved around a shop selling haunted antiques that were also mostly evil).
That title would have clued you in that the show was based on the films, even if the content wouldn’t have. In that spirit, here are other film-to-TV shows that aren’t quite so obvious with their inspirations, whether because the successful, long-running adaptations have overshadowed the movies that gave birth to them, or because I’m just very old and remember these things.
(As for how I determined “people” don’t know that these particular shows were based on movies: several very informal, non-representative, poorly sampled polls were conducted, each of which produced at least one slightly quizzical response. It’s called science.)
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