When Hollywood adapts a television series to film, it's easy to view the maneuver as an uncreative and desperate attempt to cash in on a well-known brand without any respect for the original property and its fans. From Car 54 and Mod Squad to G.I. Joe and The Transformers, there are myriad examples of stories that were best left to the small screen.
But to paint all such adaptations so negatively is to overlook the overwhelming success, both critically and financially, of film such as Serenity and Star Trek. Such home runs give us reason for optimism, even if their lackluster counterparts temper that optimism with caution.
I'm therefore ambivalent toward the feature film reboot of The A-Team. The original series, which ran for 98 episodes from 1983 to 1987, had a colorful and recognizable cast that included George Peppard (Breakfast at Tiffany's), Dirk Benedict (Battlestar Galactica), Dwight Schultz (Star Trek: The Next Generation), and Mr. T (who will not appear in the reboot). It doesn't seem feasible that any modern studio could recapture that magic.
And yet, the following trailer has me positively giddy:
As Dayton Ward said, "Does Liam Neeson look like a dead ringer for George Peppard, or what?" And it goes beyond just superb casting — the opening dialogue, the music, the one-liners, and the action all seem lifted right from the original series:
Maybe this studio knows what they're doing, after all. We'll find out on June 11, 2010.
(Hat tip to ComingSoon.net)