With the obvious exception of Pulp Fiction, no 1990s property starring John Travolta has aged half as well as Get Shorty. Sure, sure, Broken Arrow is still a blast if you don’t pay attention to all the…talking, and the same goes for Face/Off. She’s So Lovely is also pretty good, though it’s hard to not imagine how the film, based on John Cassavetes‘ last script, would have looked with the independent-film icon behind the camera. Get Shorty, however, stands on its own merits as a great, swiftly paced comedic take on the odd mechanics of Hollywood and its kin in the world of crime. It’s one of Barry Sonnenfeld‘s best films, maybe even the best, adapted from a very good Elmore Leonard novel, and stacked with a cast that includes Gene Hackman, Delroy Lindo, Rene Russo, Danny DeVito, and the late James Gandolfini and Dennis Farina.
It’s enduring, if not exactly classic reputation is likely what has caused EPIX to order 10 episodes of a proposed TV series based on the film and Leonard’s novel, as Deadline reports. The show is headed up by Davey Holmes, an executive producer on the surprisingly long-running American remake of Shameless, which stars William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum. There has yet to be any word as to who has been cast or contacted about taking on the role of Chili Palmer, the lone shark that heads out to L.A. and becomes a producer at the center of the story, but a right-off-the-bat season order says quite a bit about EPIX’s confidence in the project.
To be honest, there’s quite a lot of ground to cover and material to explore in Leonard’s novel, as well as in his sequel, Be Cool, though the film adaptation of that book was frankly horrible. Few stories have so jovially celebrated and criticized the more criminal aspects of the movie business, considering the corruptive power and necessity of money in both industries. If the show can tap into those ideas, and expand on them from Sonnenfeld’s initial conceptions, Get Shorty could be as slyly meditative and darkly funny as FX’s sensational Fargo adaptation.