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Pilot Season 2017 has its first high-profile feature film adaptation.
Fox on Friday handed out an official pilot order to its Behind Enemy Lines reboot, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Loosely based on the movie of the same name, the Fox version is a military soap thriller where a group of U.S. soldiers find themselves trapped behind enemy lines. The pilot is described as “distinctly patriotic” and offers multi-perspective narrative that closely follows the soldiers on the ground, the officers and service men and women on a nearby aircraft carrier, along with intelligence officers in Washington, D.C., as they attempt to bring the heroes home safely and under the radar.
The drama received a hefty put-pilot commitment from Fox in September when Homeland‘s Jeffrey Nachmanoff was attached to pen the script and direct. The Fox pilot has now changed writers. Nikki Toscano (Fox’s upcoming 24: Legacy, NBC’s Shades of Blue, State of Affairs) is attached to write the new take, whose premise has also been updated from the original. McG (Charlie’s Angels) will now direct the pilot and executive produce alongside Marty Bowen, Temple Hill’s Wyck Godfrey (who also produced the feature), The Blacklist‘s John Davis and John Fox via Davis Entertainment with Albert Page set as a co-executive producer. Davis produced the original movie for 20th Century Fox.
The original feature starred Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman and grossed $92 million worldwide and led to three direct-to-video sequels.
Behind Enemy Lines marks the third military drama in the works this pilot season. It joins CBS’ untitled Navy SEALs entry as well as NBC’s For God and Country as the broadcast networks continue to make a push to better appeal to Trump America. The pickup comes after History had a solid outing for its own Navy SEAL drama, Six.
Behind Enemy Lines is the first high-profile feature-to-TV adaptation to score a pilot order this season and first drama. It joins NBC’s female-driven comedic take on What About Bob? as feature-to-TV reboots this season.
Reboots continue to remain in high demand as broadcast, cable and streaming outlets look for proven IP in a bid to cut through a cluttered scripted landscape that is quickly approaching 500 original series. Key to the remakes is having the original producers involved in some capacity — as Behind Enemy Lines has with Davis and Godfrey — as more studios look to monetize their existing film libraries.
Also in the works this development season are reboots of Car Wash (ABC), Sneakers (NBC), Enemy of the State (ABC), War of the Worlds (MTV), The Lost Boys (CW), Varsity Blues (CMT) and The Departed (Amazon), among many others.
For Fox, this becomes the network’s fourth drama pilot order of the season — all of them produced in-house at 20th Century Fox Television. Behind Enemy Lines is also Davis Entertainment’s second pilot pickup of the season, joining ABC’s Zach Braff comedy Start Up.
For McG, it marks his latest TV foray, following Fox’s Lethal Weapon reboot.
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