'Friday Night Lights' movie in the works: Can't lose?


Image Credit: Justin Stephens/NBC

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?

Read more:
‘Friday Night Lights’ farewell
‘Friday Night Lights’ series finale: ‘Coach, you changed my life.’
‘Friday Night Lights’ review

Comments (39 total) Add your comment
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  • kccody

    I am conflicted. I love these characters and their stories, BUT the series finale was perfection. If all the major players and writers are involved, I think they could pull it off.

    • Matt

      It doesn’t bother anyone that there was a Friday Night Lights movie about 5 years ago? I know it wasn’t based on the tv show, but stil…

      • BROTHERLY LOVE!!!!!!

        On the one hand the series finale is going to be really hard to beat in terms of the core heart/soul of the show which is Coach and his wife. However I will watch anything and everything FNL – if that means another movie or continuing the series I will be there. Plus Landry deserved a better send off and the whole Tyra/Tim Riggins thing seemed random

      • marymoon

        The movie in 2004 is based on the book, and the movie inspired the tv show… this movie will presumably have a different plot than that movie and the book since it will be based on the tv show that has stretched out several seasons of plot already

  • Rain

    I love the idea of a new FNL movie – but it absolutely has to take place in Texas. I might be the only one that hated the idea that the Taylor’s moved to Philadelphia – Coach belongs coaching Texas football!

    I also completely disagree about Riggins belonging with Lyla – I loved the possibility of him and Tyra finally ending up together, they make so much more sense.

    • BROTHERLY LOVE!!!!!!

      Seriously, Texas = Football

      • JCM

        and/or Texas = Guns

  • Cantu

    I say the team that put the tv show together, as well as the amazing actors that brough the stories to life have a right to continue the story on the big screen. They have already built a considerable amount of trust with their audience. Marketed correctly, it might even find a larger audience than the original run on television.

    I’m all for it.

  • ImStillToni

    My husband and I watched the finale for the 3rd time last night on On Demand & it made me cry like a baby all over again – it was perfection! I love these characters and want to finally see Riggins with Tyra, I want more Landry, there is never too much Buddy, I want Luke to come back to Dillion safely, I’m still upset we didn’t see the scene with Riggins & Street, I want to see Vince get a nice fat scholarship, and I would kill to see Smash come back just one more time. As long as Berg & Co are ALL on board (and yes that does include a full stdk. by EITS) I am wholeheartedly all for it. CLEAR EYES FULL HEARTS CAN’T LOSE!!!

  • markinnyc

    as a huge fan of Firefly, I am sure the movie version of your show will please the fans…but be a box office failure.
    If it got canceled because of low viewership, then it is nto going to attract more people to a movie.

    • mike

      Shror & sweet – That’s exacutally why they nailed in the last epidose.If they tried to open this up to Philaladelphia Marketpalce whch would be too overwewelming….This show, in my opionion, NEVER JUMPED THE SHARK, so let’s stary classy :Phillly.

  • tg

    Kill it. It’s dead.

  • Sherry

    What would make sense is a return to Dillon for Matt & Julie’s wedding. That’s where they met and fell in love. Besides, that’s where Grandmaw is!!!
    If they wanted to put it further ahead in the future, the plot could be that the Taylors arrive in Dillon to meet their first grandchild.

    I think markinnyc has a valid point – maybe it should be a TV movie – forget theaters.

  • Deborah Sims

    Win, Win. Fabulous characters, fabulous following, great writing, and gone too soon.

    • Jeff

      It would be a huge task to follow up that finale, but I’m in!

  • downtown diva

    I still haven’t seen the movie that inspired the TV series but will this fall… Meanwhile, I can envision a movie based on the TV series (as long as Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Brad Leland, etc.) sign on that is set a few years after the TV series ended: Coach and Tami have moved back to Dillon or another small Texas town where Tami has a job as a dean of admissions at a small college or university, and Coach is coaching high school football in Texas again… It’s playoffs time again, maybe around Thanksgiving, and Matt and Julie plus one or two children come to visit from Chicago for the holiday. “Smash” Williams and/ or Vince Howard are assistant coaches… Whether it’s theatrical release or a TV movie, I will want to see a movie based on the series.

  • Sheila

    In continuance of the comment from marymoon, maybe the new movie will inspire an amusement park. It would be weird, but I would go because it’s FNL. I am in love with this show and always will be! Texas Forever!

  • Jim

    I just watched the final episode last night and feel a sense of loss equivalent to losing my cat when I was 18. It was an amazing piece of art and would actually hire a baby sitter to see the film on the first night it opens (and I’ve never done that before!)

  • Ashley

    I couldn’t agree with you more on Tim and Lyla. She left to go to college, she didn’t die. He was still in love with her and she was still in love with him. I was pretty surprised to see all of that was forgotten. I just didn’t buy that those two didn’t have any contact when Tim got sent to jail and when he got out. He was working for her own father.

  • Jennifer

    Don’t get me wrong guys..I LOVE this show..and feel a sense of lose without Coach Taylor, Tami, Julie, Vince, etc., etc. I am the wife of a high school football coach in an urban school district and ohhh so many times the storylines ran parallel to issues that my husband was dealing with as a coach and inturn we were dealing with as a couple…much like the Taylor’s did… with sarcasm and always humor. LOL! We have a group of former players much like Smash, Riggins, Sarasen, etc. that are “our boys” and will always be a part of our lives. Through no fault of his own and to satisfy someone’s political agenda, my husband was recently moved from one school to another much like Coach Taylor was moved from Dillon to East Dillon with many of the same challenges. My point is this…. sometimes you just have to move on whether it’s from Dillon to East Dillon or East Dillon to a small college in Philadelphia. I choose to believe that by the time Coach Taylor’s team finishes doubles they get it…”CLEAR EYES, FULL HEARTS, CAN’T LOSE!” I know we will continue to watch the series from beginning to end on Netflix, but I vote NO MOVIE!!

  • Kelly

    Tim and Lyla what, peeps? Are there still people believe in this couple? C’mon!! It was so obvious and clear where Tim’s heart belong to….with TYRA!!! get your facts straight before publishing such crap.

    • Maggie

      Are you serious right now. They only spent 3 seasons on Tim and Lyla and I believe an episode maybe two on Tim and Tyra. Lyla and Tim all the way Tim is just lonely without Lyla and Tyra’s there you can’t honestly say that if Lyla came back Tim wouldn’t drop tyra in a heartbeat.

  • sarah

    TIM/TYRA <3 We need to see their happy ending. They both deserve it. Make it happen, Jason & Peter.

    • Lee

      Absolutely agree! These actors and their characters are so good and much fun! I would prefer the original cast members…at least most of them.

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