In the age of streaming, everything old is new again. Everything. This is evidenced by the fact that Lionsgate has recently partnered up with MarVista for a venture that will see the companies remaking potentially dozens of former made-for-TV movies. This includes titles such as The Babysitter’s Seduction, which starred Keri Russell (Felicity) and many others.
According to a new report, Lionsgate and MarVista have identified more than 100 titles from the Hearst library that are being targeted as possible remakes. Some of the movies on the table include Sex and Mr. X, Sex, Lies and Obsession, A Different Kind of Christmas and Santa Who, which starred Leslie Neilson. The companies are set to distribute the movies jointly. MarVista CEO Fernando Szew had this to say about it in a statement.
“Timeless tales that defined the made for television/movie of the week genre is a great source of proven IP. The reimagining of this lane of content is perfectly timed with the juncture of the reinvention of the television paradigm. With the proliferation of available viewing platforms, consumer desire for snackable content in a sea of bingeable series, these movies are ripe for re-telling through a modern and diverse lens.”
Per the report, the hope is that these remakes “will appeal to today’s digitally native audiences with a fresh cultural perspective and diverse perspectives.” It is also noted that the studios intend to look for “new voices” and “emerging talent.” Since neither company has a streaming service, these remakes will likely be licensed or sold elsewhere. Possibly as a package deal, or possibly on a case-by-case basis. Lionsgate President Worldwide TV & Digital Distribution Jim Packer had this to say.
“We’re seeing over and over in today’s marketplace that popular evergreen content from decades ago is attracting bigger audiences than ever on new and emerging platforms. MarVista is the perfect partner with whom to reimagine these timeless television movie classics from the Hearst library with a fresh and diverse perspective but with built-in IP value.”
Made-for-TV movies were once a staple of Hollywood. Back in an age long before streaming took over, networks would regularly produce low-budget movies with rising (or falling) stars to drum up an audience. The trend has died off majorly in recent years. But there is a potentially vast, untapped resource for the right studio if they can find a way to recycle some of these old ideas.
The streaming space has become increasingly competitive over the last year or so. Netflix is now competing with Disney+, Amazon, HBO Max, Peacock, Paramount+, Apple TV+ and others. Movies and TV shows that can set these services apart have become key. This to say, Lionsgate and MarVista shouldn’t have any trouble finding a home for these movies once they’re in the can. There is no word yet on when The Babysitter’s Seduction, or the other movies on the remake block, are set to enter production. This news comes to us via Deadline.
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