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Big Budget TV Series’ Getting TV Movies – What We Know So Far

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The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Sopranos and Downton Abbey – What We Know About Their Upcoming TV Movies.

It is now a common trend for canceled series to eventually come back through reboots, spin-off’s and revivals, but in the last few months several noted dramas have taken a whole new direction, going large, and announcing feature-length films made for TV.

Breaking Bad is set to get a TV movie, and the Downton Abbey cast just wrapped up a big-screen version of their show. HBO has commenced shooting of its western drama Deadwood, and also has a Sopranos spinoff: The Many Saints of Newark movie in the works. AMC’s The Walking Dead goes on without Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), who exited episodic TV in early November – but – AMC now has no less than three ‘Rick’ movies in development.

What’s sparking this trend? Scott M. Gimple, chief content officer of The Walking Dead universe says that there is the wish to satisfy the hunger of die-hard fans, “There’s this desire of the audience to see more of the world, so it’s interesting to start telling stories to answer those questions.”

Will we see more of this trend? Definitely. It is assured that lots more productions, big and small, will be jumping on board the TV movies bandwagon. In the meantime, let’s discuss what we know about the major TV movies that have been announced…

Breaking Bad
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Will both Jess (Aaron Paul) and Walt (Bryan Cranston) be back again? We’ll have to wait and see. Source: AMC

According to the Albuquerque Journal, Breaking Bad is getting a TV movie. The publication sourced their information from the New Mexico Film Office. Their original report goes on to say that a project is being developed under the name Greenbrier, and the story is said to center around a kidnapped man making an escape.

The internet went crazy after these reports went live, and since then Breaking Bad’s creator Vince Gilligan and its main man Bryan Cranston have fleetingly commented, but not much more is truly known.

There are no legitimate reports on the ‘reprising their role’ status of members from the original cast, and Bryan Cranston’s iconic Walter White ‘died’ in the series, so most fans think he won’t be a part of it – but – Walt IS Breaking Bad. His bald, mustached head is literally the show’s brand. Surely there cannot be a return to the central Breaking Bad world without Walt?

On a recent episode of The Dan Patrick Show, Cranston confirmed that: “yes, there appears to be a movie version of Breaking Bad.” He also said that while he hasn’t “even read the script,” he would “absolutely” join the cast if Gilligan asked him to.

However, there’s an enormous chance that Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman or Walter Jr, who was played by RJ Mitte, could be in the movie – and let’s face it, they’ll have to be in it if Walt isn’t.

Walt Jnr continuing the Heisenberg legacy? TAKE OUR MONEY NOW.

Anything is possible, and the chance of there being multiple movies is HIGH (no pun intended). Breaking Bad showrunner Vince Gilligan signed a three-year contract with Sony Pictures back in July – so there’s lots of potential here. Gilligan has already written, and will hopefully also direct, the Greenbriar project.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the movie: “will begin production in the Duke City mid-November through early February.”

This means that Greenbriar could conceivably come out next year. Instabamm will keep you VERY well posted (Yes, we are Breaking Bad superfans).

The Walking Dead
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Andrew Lincoln is returning as Rick Grimes in a range of The Walking Dead films. Source: AMC

The biggest surprise that comes from Rick Grimes’ exit from Walking Dead is the fact that he didn’t end up as walker food. He is now presumed dead by fellow survivors after he was caught in a purposely self-ignited explosion, surviving, then being rescued/captured by Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) and flown to an undisclosed location by a mysterious helicopter. AMC announced plans to expand the franchise into films soon after, a Rick-centric trifecta of movies in fact.

“The Walking Dead is the mothership, and we’re very proud of what it does,” former showrunner and now head of TWD content Scott Gimple said. “Now, we want to do something different, something that complements it.”

Reports indicate that there are other new projects too, and these TV movies will stay true to their origins.

“We won’t have any dragons or robots,” Gimple stated further. “We absolutely want to go back to favorite characters and tell stories from their past, see how they wound up where they were and even explore things they’ve alluded to.”

Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Michonne (Danai Gurira) and long-gone but memorable characters like the Governor (David Morrissey) and Glenn (Steven Yeun) are all potential subjects, Gimple says. He also adds: “we want to do a few things that are completely unconnected, with characters we’ve never seen before.”

The first ‘Rick Grimes’ TV movie goes into production early next year with Andrew Lincoln at the center of what is hopefully a faster paced than usual Gimple script (when Gimple was TWD showrunner the show suffered a serious lack of action). He teases that the fan favorite’s journey will unfold “in different ways we haven’t seen before, that go along with the new situation Rick Grimes finds himself in.”

Downton Abbey
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Michelle Dockery and Dan Stevens from Downton Abbey – both making a return for the TV movie. Source: Amazon

Following the massive success of the show’s six television seasons and after months of speculation, Downton Abbey, the movie, won a greenlight, with most of the original cast members on board.

Although no plot details have been released, it’s been confirmed that the script has been written by the show’s creator, Julian Fellowes, while Brian Percival who directed several episodes of the series, including the pilot, will also direct the movie, Focus Features and Carnival Films will produce and Universal Pictures will distribute it.

All of the original cast will be returning for the big-screen outing, including Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley, Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith Crawley, Joanne Froggatt as Anna Bates, Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley and Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley.

The series, which ended in March 2016 after 52 episodes, followed the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and the servants working for them at their Edwardian English country mansion at the turn of the 20th century.

It’s expected that the film’s story will pick up where the last season of the series ended, and unlike most of these other TV movie offerings is actually going to the big screen.

Its scheduled release date is the 13th of September 2019

Deadwood
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Deadwood is back for a TV movie. Source: HBO

Hey c#cks#ckers! HBO’s groundbreaking drama Deadwood, which aired more than a decade ago has been given the greenlight for a feature-length Deadwood movie. Casey Bloys, the HBO chief of programming, made the announcement during the Television Critics Association press tour in early 2018.

Deadwood, much like the gunfighters appearing within it, had a short run and unceremonious demise, airing three seasons from 2004 to 2006. Nonetheless, it acquired a devoted fan following for its violent and often vulgar depiction of the United States frontier and the unromantic truth of its settlement.

Among the returning stars for the Deadwood movie will be Ian McShane (Al Swearengen), Timothy Olyphant (Seth Bullock), Molly Parker (Alma Ellsworth), Paula Malcolmson (Trixie), John Hawkes (Sol Star), Anna Gunn (Martha Bullock), Dayton Callie (Charlie Utter), Brad Dourif (Doc Cochran), Robin Wiegert (“Calamity” Jane Canary), William Sanderson (E.B. Farnum), Kim Dickens (Joanie Stubbs) and Gerald McRaney (George Hearst). Additionally, reports have emerged of a new character played by Jade Pettyjohn, whose involvement with the story remains unknown.

Although the release date of the finale remains unknown (sometime in 2019 is the best current estimate), HBO revealed a bit more detail about how the Deadwood movie will end the story: “The indelible characters of the series are reunited after 10 years to celebrate South Dakota’s statehood. Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested, and old wounds are reopened, as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought.”

Casey Bloys also stated that David Milch, the series’ creator, has written the movie, and Daniel Minahan, who directed episodes 8 and 10 of the first season, is aboard to direct. Shooting will begin in October with a release planned sometime in 2019.

The Many Saints of Newark
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Ok, so these exact actors won’t be back – but younger versions of them will be in The Many Saints Of Newark. Source: HBO

It has been widely reported that The Many Saints of Newark, a Sopranos prequel movie, is set to hit our TV screens next year. HBO first announced it back in March, approximately eleven years after HBO aired the final episode of the iconic mafia series.

David Chase, the original Sopranos creator, has written The Many Saints of Newark script, which will be set during the 1960’s Newark, New Jersey riots.

Many of the characters from the original show will appear in the film as younger, re-cast versions of themselves. The time-period indicates there will be a focus on the ‘dealings’ of Tony Soprano’s father, Giovanni ‘Johnny Boy’ Soprano, the former captain of the Soprano crew, and his wife Livia.

Most importantly, a young Tony Soprano will serve as the main protagonist of the film, which will have a timeline spanning just under a decade. It will start with a 9-year-old Tony, described as a passionate Yankees fan, and later showing a 16-year-old version of the future mob boss, who’s a long-haired “budding linebacker” on the school’s football team. Obviously multiple actors will be playing the role. According to the timeline set by the former HBO series, The Many Saints of Newark will be set between 1968 and 1975.

At the time of writing, only one actor has been announced: Alessandro Nivola. You may remember him as a callous model scout in The Neon Demon, or as an intimidating FBI boss in American Hustle.

Nivola is expected to play Richard “Dickie” Moltisanti. Though the character never appeared in The Sopranos – even through flashback – Dickie loomed large over its story. He was Carmella Soprano’s cousin, gunned down when his son Christopher ‘Chrissy’ Moltisanti was still an infant. Dickie’s early death was the whole reason Tony Soprano (Gandolfini) felt so paternal toward Chrissy, and a whole episode was given over to Chrissy avenging his father’s death.

Reports from earlier this year indicate that Alan Taylor has been confirmed as the director. Taylor is best known for his role in directing episodes of Mad Men and Game of Thrones, and nine episodes of The Sopranos, for one of which he received an Emmy.

Details about the exact release date of The Many Saints of Newark are currently being kept under wraps, but fans should expect the film in late 2019.

Instabamm will keep you informed about all these TV movies and more as news arises.

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