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Hey, ya’ll, did you hear the news that a Friday Night Lights movie is in the works? Peter Berg, the executive producer of the recently departed (sigh!), Emmy-nominated (woo hoo!) series, told reporters at the TCAs that FNL would be heading (back) to the big screen. And exec producer Jason Katims told EW that the script process is “still very early — I’m just beginning to plot out the story for the script — but it’s something that we’re all excited about.”
For any fan of FNL, this is bound to bring up some conflicting feelings. Mainly, there’s the concern about continuing a story that already ended so perfectly in its series finale. But there’s also a worry that FNL will get lost in the shuffle of television shows possibly getting turned into movies, both awesome (Arrested Development) or otherwise (Entourage).
Of course, despite those reasonable worries, there’s also the feeling of “Yes! Touchdown! Make this happen immediately! I will re-watch all five seasons over and over and over until opening day!” Because unlike, say, Sex and the City (well, Sex and the City 2, anyway), there’s still plenty of catching up to do with these beloved characters.
Assuming all the major (Coach, Tami, Saracen, Julie) — and minor (except for you, Joe McCoy, you stay outta this) — players would come back for the movie, there’s so many opportunities to further develop these characters, old and new, and pick up where the finale left off.
While the series left us, somewhat suddenly, with the possibility of a rekindled Tyra/Riggins romance, wouldn’t it be great if she eventually wound up with Landry instead? (Plus, we know Riggins’ heart only truly belonged to Lyla, who could find her way back to him in the movie.) Better yet, wouldn’t it be great if there was just more Landry, period? That guy deserves a happy ending, darnit.
They could, of course, focus on Coach and Tami (and Gracie Bell!) living happily in Philadelphia, where they are often visited by Julie and new son-in-law Matt, not to mention former students like Jason, “Smash,” and Luke, who has returned home safe from the war. But Katims suggested a “considerable time jump” for the proposed film and hinted that the action would still revolve around Texas — where Buddy Garrity surely now coaches the East Dillon Panthers and Mindy and Billy have a gaggle of children, whom Becky often babysits.
The movie would also give play to the likes of Jess and Vince (though there would be no love lost if Cheryl or Buddy Jr. were occupied elsewhere). But whatever the writers do, they can not kill off Grammaw. We will never forgive them. One more stipulation: The entire score has to be done by Explosions in the Sky. (Yes, they were also on the soundtrack for the 2004 Friday Night Lights film starring Billy Bob Thornton, but this is a non-negotiable.)
It would be hard to believe that, left in the hands of talented people like Berg, who translated the best parts of Buzz Bissinger’s acclaimed book into the series, that this could turn out bad. Quite simply, if Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton sign on for the film, it’s automatically a winner in my book.
Are you eager to follow these characters to the big-screen? Can you imagine a Friday Night Lights partially set in Philadelphia? How could the writers explain the Taylor’s swift return to Dillon, Texas?