Web series adaptations of well-known movies give the characters more screen time and give the plots a fresh perspective

Web series adaptations of well-known movies give the characters more screen time and give the plots a fresh perspective

What do the online series True Lies and the horror-comedy have in common? The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power or Wednesday? They started out as films and are now being developed into series, giving the characters more time on screen so we can get to know them better. In the digital age, when both are eventually going to be accessible on OTT, the occurrence of films being turned into series and vice versa is not new.

Actors discuss the motivations behind this common practise as we identify some of these lengthy and short format adaptations.

the less travelled route!

Although numerous shows are being turned into films, the quantity of the opposite is fairly modest. Consider the film series The Lord of the Rings, which was based on three J. R. R. Tolkien books and was produced between 2001 and 2003. The Hobbit, an offshoot of the same works, was produced a decade later because fans couldn't get enough of the saga. The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, the first installment of the series, was made available on Prime Video later in 2022. It begins with the origin story of the famous rings.

Another Netflix show from 2022 The Addams Family, a ghostly dark comedy, sprang to mind on Wednesday (1991). It did a fantastic job bringing back Wednesday, her brother Pugsley, and her parents Motricia and Gomez. After the popularity of the program—which will undoubtedly have a second season—the internet was inundated with analogies between the movie and the television show, and many social media influencers began acting out an Indianized version of Wednesday dubbed Budhwar. In addition to this, Disney+Hotstar released True Lies in the first week of March, an extensive adaptation of the same-named 1994 movie.

Carrey to the hilt

The Jim Carrey-starring superhero comedy The Mask from 1994 paved the stage for The Mask: Animated Series in 1995. Jim Carrey was such a talented actor that two further animated programmes, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Dumb and Dumber, were created from his movie in 1995 alone.

a revisited jungle

The Jungle Book, a collection of tales published in 1894, was originally adapted into a live-action movie in 1942. In 1967, Disney followed up with an animated movie of the same name. It was adapted into a tele-series under a variety of titles, including Jungle Book Shonen Mowgli—a Japanese anime series that was eventually dub-subbed into other languages, including Hindi. The 2010 TV series The Jungle Book was entirely made in India under the direction of Tapas Chakravarti.

Similar to how King Kong (1933), an adventurous horror film, and Tarzan of the Apes (1918), a first-ever silent film, were subsequently adapted into serials, The New Adventures of Tarzan (1935), and King Kong (1966–69), respectively. Many production companies have repeatedly re-adapted the movies and television shows. Moreover, the four-part animated picture Kung Fu Panda (KFP) (2008) was divided into many television series specials, including KFP Holiday and KFP: Legends of Awesomeness. KFP: The Dragon Knight and KFP: The Paws of Destiny.

The "why" aspect

We know for a fact that television and movies have distinct audiences, says actor Sneha Namanandi. Films are best suited for those who lack the time or energy to commit to a lengthy series, while fans of series get engrossed in their favourite character for a longer period of time.

Like How I Met Your Mother is a successful television series with nine seasons, and in 2014, the movie was released. Actress Rishina Kandhari says that a film is always created to milk the brand. In the same manner that Office Office was created from the television programmes Office Office and Khichdi, respectively, we too have Chala Mussaddi and Khichdi.

TV programmes continue for longer duration and have more viewers throughout the years, a strong enough reason to adapt masterpieces or most loved film franchises, argues Sneha. "I believe that's the same for producing successful overseas programmes or films, since a well-known brand has already gained you viewers, so creators present it as a less risky endeavour," she says.