Oh dear, you're probably thinking. Here comes another spin-off discussion when we know that spin-offs are rarely successful, but please hear me out.
The problem with most spin-off movies or TV shows from movies is that they take a well-known character from a popular franchise (eg Wolverine from X Men), develop a more detailed backstory for that character and then give us an "origin" movie. That's the formula, right?
I think that the secret to success here is to take a lesser used character than the franchise's main protagonist (but no less loved for all that) and develop a movie or TV series that is similar in theme to the original, but with minimal reference to the original.
How about if we go back to the M of the original movies (as played by Bernard Lee), who is meant to be the M as portrayed in the books as one Admiral Sir MIles Meservy RN and imagine his World War One adventures as a young midshipman and his subsequent rise through the ranks. He would be instrumental in developing SIS (MI6) as we know it today and the series could even stretch to World War Two, when as a senior officer (say Commander), he has a chance encounter with an upcoming wet-behind-the-ears RNVR whippersnapper called James Bond.
I don't think this would make a good movie franchise (although it may well), but it could be a good TV series. I hear Eon are looking to branch out into other media, so why not do something with a character that they have full rights to?
What does everyone think?
In reality I'm pretty sceptical of spin-offs. My own effort was merely a side project that I dipped into when I suffered block on any other pieces.
As regards a Leiter spin-off, I'd be interested to see a sample of your spec script, because Leiter is one of the most under-used characters in the Bond movie canon. I suppose the fear is that he'll upstage Bond if he's over-used. However, I feel that the Leiter of the Fleming novels complements Bond very well, rather than upstages him, and it's a pity this doesn't come out in the movies more.
Yeah, which is why you'd need a f*** tonne of US investment. It would still essentially have to be a character piece first and foremost.
As above, you run the risk of it looking cheap without substantial American backing.
True, production costs would be a little on the steep side, but IFoyle's War[/i], which was a rip-roaring success on British TV. If the same level of success can be reproduced in the "Bondiverse", then the rewards may well be substantially higher.
It's certainly feasible. You'd film it in the UK, but I think you'd want to co-pro it with the US just to guarantee a level of gloss. It could look great.
Any TV Show would hurt the legacy of the movies.
A big fat NO
what are the precedents for a successful movie (series) to spin off onto TV?
It's very unlikely a Bond TV spin off will ever happen, but I'm indulging the OP as at least he wants to discuss something other than the relentlessly tedious 'Craig' threads.