Movies tend to have bounds and limits. They have time constraints and limited space to focus on different characters or multiple plotlines. These constraints might not allow for complex narrations. They also leave little room to explore a quality story. These shortcomings can be tackled by mediums like TV shows, miniseries, and limited series. Read on to find out which movies would have been better if they were made in these formats.
There’s no denying that Inception is a great movie. The Christopher Nolan sci-fi fully justifies the nominations and awards it has won. It boasts of a great cast, unparalleled cinematography, great writing - it really does have it all. But one thing that would have made the movie even better is if Nolan had gotten more time to experiment with the dream-within-dream concept. Imagine the movie as a TV show with each episode slowly and steadily unraveling the mysteries of the concept and characters. You would also get more backstories and more insights into the main characters and their lives and motivations.
The Matrix series
The success of The Matrix ensured that there would be prequels and sequels to complete the saga of man vs machine. Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions did try their best to give us an ending that we deserved. But, alas, they failed. There are a number of reasons for this. One could be because the sequels were nowhere as good as the first film. Another could be the hurried plotlines. Not to mention, the franchise tried to fill up any holes in the story through other forms of media. To get the whole story, you need to watch a bunch of short films, play games, and even read the comic book series that follows. In 2021, we also got The Matrix Resurrections that unfortunately tanked at the box office. Maybe the creators will find more success if they launch this as a long-running TV show, who knows?
In 2021, Dune made headlines for its stellar cast, goosebump-inducing soundtrack, and aesthetically pleasing cinematography. Besides, the first film of the two-part book-to-film adaptation has received 10 nominations at the Oscars 2022. Despite this acclaim, fans of the franchise felt that something was amiss with the structural aspects of the story. This could be attributed to the fact that director and co-writer Denis Villeneuve did leave out some crucial parts of the story that were mentioned in the books. Fans and critics felt that Dune would be much better as a limited series or miniseries. This would make it easier to fit a whole lot of things from the 400-page sci-fi novel without compromising on Frank Herbert’s vision. What’s even better is that as a TV show, Dune could’ve accommodated more screen time for our film favs Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has given us some of the best franchises and shows of all time. But a lot of fans and critics believe that they dropped the ball with 2021’s Eternals. The third film of Phase Four tried but failed to properly introduce its new characters, showcase their power, give us backstories, and even build relationships. The movie relies heavily on mythology, which required more elaboration. Of course, incorporating all this into the movie’s 156-minute runtime would’ve been a complex task. Many fans pointed out that exploring the Eternals, their backstories, and the world building would be better achieved if the MCU had instead opted for a miniseries or TV show format. WandaVision and Loki have been great examples of how the MCU has successfully fleshed out stories and even given context to non-comic book readers. With Eternals teasing a sequel in the post-credits, we’re yet to hear news about what comes next for the team of alien superheroes.
Suicide Squad (2016)
Suicide Squad has the same shortcomings as Eternals. You’ve got too many characters, too many backstories, and too little time to do any justice to them. With Suicide Squad, DC was also opening the gateway to the extended DC Universe. Just how would a 123-minute movie provide clarity and context of multiple characters, we’re not sure. Even critics and fans agree that the runtime was nowhere near enough. To answer this outcry, director David Ayer mentioned that Warner Bros. had actually cut and edited out a lot of the footage he had shot for the film. Despite that, the story would have definitely worked better as a miniseries or TV show. We would have loved to see more of what drove Harley Quinn to insanity or how Deadshot came to join the “evil-henchmen-save-the-world” team Suicide Squad.
2008’s Wanted follows the story of office worker Wesley Gibson (played by James McAvoy) who realizes that his father was a professional assassin. Wesley soon finds himself leaving his boring desk job to become an assassin himself. We have curving bullets, amazing slow-motion shots, and of course, the star-studded cast including Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman. Unfortunately, despite all of this, the movie failed to wow fans across the globe. The reason, according to critics and fans, might have been the quick pacing. The movie was actually adapted from the popular comic book miniseries of the same name. But thanks to its 110-minute runtime, Wanted failed to add all elements from the books. Not to mention, the movie left so many questions unanswered. Who was the villain? What is Fox’s backstory? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see if the movie will be rebooted as a TV show.
The Dark Tower
Another great story that fell victim to “too much plot, too little time” was 2017s The Dark Tower. The book-to-film adaptation disappointed book fans across the world. Moreover, it totally shut down any possibilities of sequels or prequels. One of the reasons for this was the poorly concocted plot. The movie starts halfway through the eight novels and picks up random bits and pieces. Audiences and critics were completely confused as they sat through this underwhelming adaptation. Maybe the series could be revived as an extended TV show with stellar world-building and characters.