Reel TV is a column at Movies.com that takes an ongoing look at the growing intersection of movies and television. If there's a big screen talent making the move to small screen, even temporarily, we want to tell you about it.
Ever have that strange moment when you learn of or see something for the first time and then it starts popping up everywhere? That's happening this week with Coma.
Despite being a huge fan of Michael Crichton as an author, and of most of the films based off his work (curse you, Timeline!), I'd never seen or even heard much about his 1978 film Coma, which he wrote and directed based on a novel by Robin Cook? about a doctor investigating a suspiciously high number of coma patients at her hospital. For whatever reason when it came to talking about the ex-doctor's directorial work, all anyone seemed to talk about was Westworld or The Great Train Robbery. So when Coma hit Blu-ray earlier this week, it felt like discovering a long overlooked film.
I'm sure that wasn't the case. I'm sure this rather clever medical thriller starring Geneviève Bujold and Michael Douglas has plenty of fans who think of it often - its strong female lead and nonchalant handling of unnerving medical producers is indeed quite memorable, but for me it was a sort of out-of-the-blue discovery. And now the same can be said for a remake of the film. Despite being produced by Ridley and Tony Scott and starring James Woods, Geena Davis, Richard Dreyfuss, Ellen Burstyn, and Lauren Ambrose, this made-for-TV 2012 Coma was nowhere on my radar. And yet here it is, less than a week after first watching Coma, with a teaser trailer and a behind-the-scenes sizzle reel.
The talent involved is fantastic (it was even written by Black Swan's John J. McLaughlin, who was just in the news this morning), and the teaser package looks like it's striking the right tone, but anyone who was burned by the Ridley and Tony Scott-produced remake of Crichton's The Andromeda Strain will no doubt approach their latest venture with A&E TV with some amount of trepidation when it begins airing this September 4th. We hope it's a fantastic updating of its fine source material, but even if it isn't, at least it probably caused Warner Bros. to release Crichton's film on Blu-ray.
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