Psych creator looks to Fast and Furious franchise for inspiration
If Psych creator Steve Franks gets his wish, Psych: The Movie will be the beginning of a six-movie series.
Yes, you read that correctly. When they decided to wrap up the fake psychic detective show in 2013, Franks deliberately wrote an open-ended finale so he could eventually return to make six films featuring Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and Burton "Gus" Guster (Dulé Hill). And he's looking to the Fast and the Furious franchise for inspiration on how to expand the show beyond the forthcoming holiday reunion.
"[In the same] way that the Fast and the Furious movies used to be about street-racing and they've pivoted into heist movies and all that stuff, I kind of want the [Psych] movies to pivot into action-comedy where you can do something that feels like a feature movie and not just two episodes of Psych put together," says Franks, "because as fun as it is to watch this show, it's nothing compared to how fun it is to write this show and to make this movie."
Franks is already banking on making at least a second movie, if only so there can be a full reunion, which this one sadly isn't. Original cast-member Timothy Omundson, who plays Detective Carlton Lassiter, suffered a stroke about a month before production on Psych: The Movie began, which meant his role in the reunion had to be reduced because he was in rehab recovering. In the wake of this, the script was re-written, moving the story to San Francisco instead of Santa Barbara.
The second movie, if it is ever greenlit, will not only include a larger Lassiter presence but will also have several Santa Barbara-set scenes that were removed during the re-write process.
"There's some great, great stuff that took place in Santa Barbara, and movie two is certainly going to utilize some of those bits. The entire scenes, word-for-word, will be in the second movie," says Franks, who is confident that Omundson will be back in shape when the time comes. "The idea is that the second one would be the one that we would do to fully have everybody back together in the same room at the same time."
Although this movie "didn't feel complete" without Omundson, Roday says his "remarkable" recovery motivated the entire cast to work even harder.
"It's like watching a great player go down on a sports team and the rest of the team sort of figures out a way to fill that hole, step up, and still win the championship," says Roday. "He was certainly with us in spirit, and we all felt it, and because of that, we all wanted this to be 10 times better…I feel like his energy and his heart and his love for our show was sort of driving the entire experience. I would give him MVP status without even being there."
Both Roday and Franks report that Omundson's recovery is going well. "Tim has amazed and astounded us since the beginning of this," says Franks. Roday adds, "The good news is he's kicking ass and he's taking names and he's going to be back soon."
Psych: The Movie reunites Shawn and Gus with Detective Juliet O'Hara (Maggie Lawson), Chief Vick (Kirsten Nelson), Henry (Corbin Bernsen), and Woody (Kurt Fuller) as they face their deadliest foe yet: The Thin White Duke, played by Zachary Levi.
Psych: The Movie is slated to debut in December on USA Network.