Fox Orders the ‘Behind Enemy Lines’ Series We All Must’ve Wanted
Here are some facts you may not know about the 2001 Owen Wilson-led war thriller Behind Enemy Lines. First, despite overwhelmingly negative reviews, the movie was a box office success, grossing over $90 million worldwide. Second, the film spawned three loosely related direct-to-video sequels: Behind Enemy Lines II: Axis of Evil, Behind Enemy Lives: Colombia (starring Joe Manganiello!), and SEAL Team 8: Behind Enemy Lines. And finally, despite nobody anywhere requesting it, Fox is about to give us our very own Behind Enemy Lines television show.
As noted by Variety, Fox is set to turn the 2001 thriller into a “military soap opera” about a group of soldiers trapped behind enemy lines. The show will also follow the military personnel and intelligence officers back home that are working tirelessly to bring these soldiers home. Noted action director McG has signed on to direct the show’s pilot and serve as Executive Producer, apparently taking a break from his hard work on that Masters of the Universe movie reboot he’s been working on for the last couple of years.
While we might make fun of a Behind Enemy Lines reboot as symptomatic of Hollywood’s lack of creativity, there’s money to be found in films and television that play off the patriotic. Universal’s Lone Survivor was a surprise hit of late 2013, grossing over $150 million worldwide and sparking a series of Peter Berg movies about the blue collar heroics of Mark Wahlberg. Just this past month, the History Channel went all-in on the special forces theme with Six, the SEAL Team drama starring better-than-this Walton Goggins. By the time Behind Enemy Lines finally hits the air, odds are good we’ll be thinking less about the original film and more about shows like 24, Fox’s action-drama television cash cow.
And there’s always the redemption narrative for McG, the former music video director who broke out with Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle and sank with Terminator Salvation. McG has spent the past few years working exclusively as a television director; will Behind Enemy Lines give him the leverage he needs to get his film ideas off the ground? Your guess is as good as mine.