Fox has handed out a pilot order for an adaptation of John Moore’s Behind Enemy Lines. It is the first feature-film to be taken on as a pilot in 2017.
As the name implies, the program is a military themed action series about U.S. service members trapped in enemy territory. Following multiple perspectives, ranging from the soldiers themselves to the intelligence officers attempting to assist them, the series will follow the trials and travails of the protagonists as they attempt to make their way back home. The adaptation will not draw entirely from Moore’s film (set in Bosnia) and is expected to appeal to modern audiences with topical commentary and settings.
With the pilot order, Fox has landed huge names in the production room. The Hollywood Reporter has named Joseph “McG” Nichol as set to both executive produce and direct the pilot. Additionally, Nikki Toscano has inked her shot at a second Fox pilot after being taken on to pen 24: Legacy and Behind Enemy Lines. John Davis, of hit show The Blacklist as well as the original feature-film, is set to take on a role in production as well.
While getting a pilot to air is never easy, having names such as Davis and McG linked is a huge boon for any series in getting off the ground. Toscano has clearly already wowed studio heads with her work on 24: Legacy as well, creating a perfect storm for the series’ path to air. Barring a serious issue, Behind Enemy Lines is in a great situation.
It is unclear how much, beyond the premise itself, Davis, McG, and Toscano plan to borrow from Moore’s 2001 film. The original film starred Owen Wilson in his first non-comedy role in addition to Gene Hackman and Charles Malik Whitfield. Detailing the woes of a maverick fighter pilot stuck in Bosnia after a reconnaissance mission gone wrong. It grossed $92 million in revenue and was received generally well.
Reboots seem to be doing well in pilot season so far, with adaptations of cult vampire film The Lost Boys, sports dramedy Varsity Blues, and Best Picture winning Scorsese thriller The Departed already in the works across the television landscape. Fox has been rather selective with pilot orders so far this season so it remains to be seen what route they will take with Behind Enemy Lines.
Stay tuned to remain up to date on more big news coming out in pilot season 2017.