James Cameron adapting 'True Lies' for TV

James Cameron directs big movies. Gigantic movies. Movies that take the box office behind the middle school and get it pregnant. But big-screen success doesn’t necessarily mean much in TV land: Cameron’s early-’00s TV show, Dark Angel, puttered around Fox for two seasons without making much of a ratings dent. (Although we can thank Dark Angel for the Cult of Jessica Alba and the less-glitzy-but-more-rakishly-charming Cult of Michael Weatherly.) Apparently, Cameron is ready to try again: EW has confirmed that the director is currently working on adapting his 1994 spy-thriller True Lies into a TV show.

Compared to the epic sci-fi of Terminator and Aliens, the fantastical worlds of The Abyss and Avatar, and the mammoth historical undertaking of Titanic, True Lies is practically a hidden gem. (Yes, only a James Cameron film could feature a nuclear explosion and be considered a “hidden gem.”) But if you think about it, half the shows on TV right now look a little bit like True Lies. Well, some shows look a lot a bit like True Lies, but the whole “suburban everyman lives a secret action-thriller double life” can be found everywhere: comedies like Weeds, artful fare like Breaking Bad, jaunty adventures like the new No Ordinary Family.

What would you like to see out of a True Lies TV show, PopWatchers? Should they try to recast Arnold, or should they just take the show into a completely different direction? There’s a special dustbin reserved for TV Shows Based on Arnold Schwarzenegger Movies (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Total Recall 2070, Conan the Adventure), but none of those TV shows had the director of Piranha 2: The Spawning. —Additional reporting by Lynette Rice

Comments (27 total) Add your comment
  • Michelle

    I have all the spies I need on Chuck and Undercovers (which I hope is good). Is this show going to have blue people?

    • Flyer

      And don’t forget Covert Affairs. It’s really good too!

      • Michelle

        Very true! :)

      • Jersey Jeff

        I wish they would cast someone who can act in this, maybe Tommy Catfish or billy Cutbert. Both were great in The End of Bagota.

        For the wife I am thinking Rohnda Jones, she was great in Hot times at Horkot High.

        This can work out great with such fine actors.

  • Christian

    Here’s a thought: Hire Ms. Dushku to reprise her role, now all grown up and following in her daddy’s shoes.

    • Monty

      This sounds like Joss Whedon is writing it…not saying that would be a bad thing…

      • Monty

        Another thought, attach Jamie Lee Curtis as reoccuring character Spy-Grandma. I’m guessing she isn’t against doing TV with how much we see her on Activia ads…

        Also, Tom Arnold is probably very castable these days. He could be the ‘General Beckman’ of the series.

      • at work

        Here you go…cameron directing, whedon writing and the lovely ms. dushku starring (reprising her original charater) now that would be a show I would watch.

  • argyle

    i can’t wait for the “last action hero” tv show…

    • Mr. Holloway


      (“To be or not to be….not to be.”)

      • Brian

        It really is underrated! LAH is a really good and funny movie.

      • Mr. Holloway

        As a big fan of “Amadeus”, I get a disproportionately big laugh from the gag with John Practice (F. Murray Abraham) and how he killed Mozart. (“Mo who?” “Zart.”)

        Also, how are you going to snap your fingers when I rip out both your thumbs?

    • Brian

      That could actually be a Sliders-esque action/comedy parody of any number of other tv shows and movies. Think back to the bad guy’s plan to bring famous movie monsters into the real world, and you’ve got a wide range of villains to choose from.

  • Mc Prophet

    Dark Angel season 1 was fantastically awesome! One of the best shows on TV at the time. Season 2 however? Yeah…. not so much.

    • tyler.

      i agree. dark angel season 1 was pretty epic. more people should know about it.

  • rebecca

    Sorry but it won’t be the same without the Governator in it, which I am sure he won’t be in the show.

  • Brian

    Loved True Lies, but I’d rather have a sequel than a TV show clone.
    I do like the idea of having this focus on Eliza Dushku’s character though.

  • jim lengell

    Hey, if James Cameron is behind this, ya gotta give it a decent shot to be good, right? I think the only negative is the fact that a lot of shows have copied HIS original concept already – so it loses a little luster. But if well made, and casted correctlt, could be great. And you know what, tell Jaime Lee to just go ahead and dye her damn hair – she could still play one hella hot spy babe.

    • Dan

      What do you mean “decent shot to be good”? Have you seen Avatar? What a steaming pile of clichéd, boring, stilted, stereotypical, terribly acted garbage.

      I loved True Lies but Cameron jumped the shark with Avatar. Now, if JJ Abrams got the directing job on a remake of True Lies then you’d definitely have something but Cameron?


  • Fingerlakes Dave

    I’m a cynic. They’ll figure out a way to screw this up.
    Best would be all new faces. And the “old” cast in as support crew.

  • mark in nyc

    i want them to use the word sexpionage as often as possible and think they are witty.

  • bruno

    LOVE this idea. especially the conceit of having the hubby’s non spy wife help him. if they do it right and don’t fall into the helpless wife but wife still manages to save hubby all the time shtick it could be really good.

  • Dude

    It’s going to depend on the casting. And please ignore Arnold’s muscles. They didn’t add to the flick, so they should not cast according to that. A Nathan Fillion type against a Rene Zellwegger (sp?). And we CANNOT forget Tom Arnold’s character’s contribution to the chemistry. Could be good. Probably won’t.

    • MurMaz

      I completely agree. I love Tom Arnold and would love to see him on tv again.

  • The Brit

    The planned True Lies television series could actually be interesting if done right. It would be good if each season of the series is based on current affairs and the Omega Sector battles a real world threat such as Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Iranian extremists, North Korean extremists, Somali pirates, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s forces, etc.
    They should include an ensemble cast, reveal the inner workings of the Omega Sector, explore themes from the film such as family, trust and betrayal and they can incorporate some of the memorable elements from the movie with dancing the Argentinean tango to Por una Cabeza, chasing villains by horse through a city, traveling to different countries for missions, a Harrier jet attacking an office building, a dropped MAC-10 sub-machine gun falling down a flight of stairs where it fires continuously all by itself killing several henchmen, the female lead performing an erotic dance in lingerie, etc.

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  • Contracting Info

    certainly like your website but you need to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth on the other hand I will definitely come again again.

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