Thursday, August 13, 2009


CBS Films is developing a feature film prequel about Marshall Matt Dillon of 'Gunsmoke'. It'll be produced by Craig Baumgarten and the screenplay will be from Gregory Poirier (best known for "National Treasure: Book of Secrets".)

As a prequel, it will show how Matt Dillon became the man we knew him to be in Dodge City. According to the news story, "it will be set in the same American West as the original but will feature a contemporary look and modern action twists".

That alone gives me a sinking feeling.

Movies made from TV shows are a mixed bag. For Toobworld, the best are those that are usually sequels and use the original actors; they serve as cinematic extensions of the TV series. The 1966 "Batman", the "Star Trek" franchise (including the latest reboot), and even Mel Gibson's "Maverick" (because of a plot twist at the end) - these are the best examples.

I've even appreciated the remakes that are entirely recast and sometimes don't even bear any resemblance to the originals: "The Addams Family", "Starsky & Hutch", "The Brady Bunch", and "Batman" from 1989 (which should be set in the alternate Toobworld of the series 'Birds Of Prey').

But for the most part, movie remakes are an affront to the TV Universe: "Sgt. Bilko", "McHale's Navy", and my personal pick for the very worst - "The Wild, Wild West".

The ones that really just make me sad are those that involve appearances by original cast members, as if to give their blessing - "Car 54, Where Are You?", "My Favorite Martian", and the aforementioned "McHale's Navy". ("Starsky & Hutch" and "Dragnet" get a pass on this point.)

As the movie version of 'Gunsmoke' is supposed to be a prequel, it's going to get a pass on the recastaways for Matt, Doc, and Miss Kitty. At least it's splained away as was the case with the new "Star Trek" with their alternate universe timeline. But as to whether it will be accepted into the TV Universe of Toobworld?

I'll have to see it before I pronounce judgement.


1 comment:

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Well, I am keen to feature film on Matt Dillon named as "Prequel".