Calista’s Cinema Conversations: Movies based on television shows


One of the best feelings in the world is finishing an amazing television show only to find out it has a companion film. Whether the movie was made before or after the television show began, knowing your favorite show has a related movie makes life a little more amazing.

What gave me the inspiration for this week’s conversation is the announcement made recently about the “Breaking Bad” movie that is in the works. Although I have not watched the show, many of my friends who have are extremely excited about this. So, if you’re a huge fan of the television show, the announcement of this Netflix film is probably exciting.

One of the most popular movies based on a television show is the film “Serenity.” The film came about in response to the wildly controversial cancellation of the television show “Firefly” after just one season. Although the film is not as well-loved or remembered as the TV show, it did satisfy the fans’ needs for more of the storyline of “Firefly.” The film was even directed by the original creator of the TV series, Joss Whedon.

Another television show and movie from Whedon is “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” This time, Whedon wrote and released the film first. The film and TV show of the same name received opposite reviews after their releases. The film, released in 1992, was not received well by many moviegoers or critics, who felt the movie left much to be desired in terms of plot and characters. In contrast, the 1997 television show has been praised for its impact on various social issues and, most notably, its importance in the feminist movement.

Moving on from Whedon, we come to the cult classic series “Veronica Mars.” This early 2000s show had a small but dedicated fan base that was able to keep the show going for three seasons, and many of these viewers were upset about the shows sudden and somewhat unexpected cancellation. In 2013, the cast raised enough money to make a film that took place almost 10 years after the last season. Many fans felt that the film was satisfying enough, but unfortunately it did not answer all of the questions fans had. The television show and film are getting another revival on Hulu starting this summer, so hopefully this will resolve all unanswered questions.

There are many fan-favorite children’s shows that received their own movies while the television shows were still on air. Films like “The Spongebob Squarepants Movie,” “Hannah Montana: The Movie” and “Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie” have used the movie medium to their advantage. These types of films create interesting plots and heartfelt character arcs that are seperate from the television shows but are still immensely entertaining.

Though there are plenty of other television-movie pairsI can think of, unfortunately they won’t all fit into this week’s conversation. It seems the film industry began to use television as a continuation of many popular films or vice versa, which is a good thing for those of us who are such big fans.

Calista Giroux is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at

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