Talkback: Should Friday Night Lights Be a Movie (Again)?

Peter Berg's beloved TV series Friday Night Lights ends this week, capping its rollercoaster five-season run with an Emmy nomination and a fantastic oral history of the show by its creators and stars over at Grantland. But this might not be the end for FNL, if, as reports say, Berg and Co. are trying to get another Friday Night Lights movie off the ground, to pick up where the small-screen storyline left off.

The movie hubbub began when Grantland editor (and famed sports guy) Bill Simmons tweeted yesterday, "PS: We didn't put it in the oral history, but Peter Berg told us he wants to do a FNL movie with Chandler/Britton off the final episode."

TVline followed up with a rep from Universal, who said that no Friday Night Lights film is currently in the works. But Friday Night Lights is nothing if not a scrappy property; fan passion helped keep it on the air through network changes, after all, and series stars like Adrianne Palicki, Aimee Teegarden, and Taylor Kitsch have risen since being on the show.

Of course, there already is a Friday Night Lights movie, which Berg also directed -- the original 2004 film starring Billy Bob Thornton -- which was based on the nonfiction book Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream, about the 1988 Permian High School Panthers football team in Odessa, Texas.

But Berg's Friday Night Lights 2.0 film (reboot? remake? spin-off?) would reportedly follow series lead Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) and his wife Tami Taylor (Connie Britton) after the events of tonight's finale on NBC. So chime in, fans: Is it a good idea for Berg & Co. to continue their Friday Night Lights story further on the big screen, or is it better left to end with some bittersweet closure in tonight's finale?


  • The Cantankerist says:

    Nooooo. No movie, please. The last episode is great.

  • bob says:

    yes please. the finale was great, but tami and eric are such well written characters, i want to see more. britton and chandler have amazing chemistry that would translate to the big screen. make this happen.

  • Christopher Rosen says:

    Agree with The Cantankerist: the final episode is great -- an emotional send-off that worked because of its poignant finality. Tami and Eric will obviously have more adventures off-screen, but I'd rather imagine their adorable arguments than see them play out in a truncated two-hour movie. Which, p.s., is why the show so far exceeded the first movie: the time afforded by having 5 seasons to grow with the characters is what made it work. (SPOILER) If there's a movie, you'd have to start with an entirely new group of players/students, and the emotional attachement wouldn't be there.
    Of course, it's not like we have to worry too much: I assume the FNL movie will hit theaters around the same time as the Veronica Mars movie, the Party Down movie and the Arrested Development movie. And the weekend before the Entourage movie.

  • The Cantankerist says:

    Yes. Sadly I'm busy that weekend; staying at home, drawing the blinds and immersing myself in the four- (or six-) hour Deadwood finale.

  • The Cantankerist says:

    I agree they've got great chemistry, but a lot of that's to do with intimacy, which increasingly television does much better than film. We've had, what, 50 screen hours in their company? I don't think two more would prove to be that significant - and if it did then the writing's pace would have to have been dramatically sped up and the sense of place would suffer. Plus, FNL has pretty low ratings; it only made it to five years because of how comparatively cheap it was to make, and even then it took a co-production deal. Plus: why? What's inherently cinematic about FNL that hasn't already found expression?

  • Sarah says:

    I know what you mean about how they would have to get new players and students. That's kind of annoying. However, one of the most brilliant things about the show was its ability to get you to care about the newbies insanely fast. Luke Cafferty, anyone? One scene with him, and I was hooked. The biggest problem for me is that, emotionally, I don't know if I could handle saying goodbye to them again at the end of a movie. Friday was rough.

  • RobStyles says:

    I agree that the final episode was perfect and provided enough closure while still leaving something to the imagination. That being said, the selfishness in me would love for Berg to make a movie just so that I can have 2 more hours with my favorite TV characters, albeit even if it doesn't live up to the standards of the series. I do think that Berg would come through if he did make a movie, this is his baby and he would not go into this without having a well thought out plan.