CBS Orders ‘S.W.A.T.’ Pilot From ‘Fast Five’ Director Justin Lin
Last week, news broke that Fox would be adapting its sorta-but-not-really popular Behind Enemy Lines movie series for television, and countless people — myself included — wondered aloud if Hollywood needed to cool it with the small screen adaptations of middling action movies. Not to be outdone, CBS announced today that it would be moving forward with a similar adaptation, this time bringing the sorta-but-not-really 2003 movie S.W.A.T. to television.
According to The Wrap, the pilot that CBS ordered will follow the same basic narrative as the show’s predecessor(s), featuring a S.W.A.T. officer “who is torn between loyalty to the streets and duty to his fellow officers.” In a bit of good news for action fans, the pilot will be directed by Fast Five and Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin, ensuring that — if nothing else — the action sequences will be bright, fun, and accompanied by a killer soundtrack. Lin will serve as Executive Producer on the series, so if S.W.A.T. is another boring CBS hit, at least the profits will be going to a director we like.
What’s funny, of course, is that the movie S.W.A.T. was itself a movie version of the popular ABC series that ran for 36 episodes across 1975 and 1976, making S.W.A.T. a television adaptation of a movie adaptation of a television spin-off of another television series (The Rookies). I guess when we asked executives if they could stop bringing mediocre movies to television, we probably should have been more specific.
Then again, who knows? In fifty years, I might be explaining to my cyborg children why exactly the new Stranger Things immersive miniseries has more in common with the original Netflix program than its blockbuster trilogy, or why the CGI holograms of Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in True Detective's 30th season lack the nuance of the actors when they were alive. On that day, I might look back on the brief run of CBS’s S.W.A.T. with something akin to nostalgia and good cheer.