“There’s always a Friday Night Lights movie just around the corner – always just around the corner.” – Peter Berg
Last we saw Eric and Tami Taylor on Friday Night Lights, they’d left Texas for Philadelphia, where Tami became dean of admissions at a prestigious school and Coach was starting from scratch with a new crop of inner-city football players. But series creator Peter Berg and showrunner Jason Katims had barely wrapped the show’s five-season run in 2011 when both men began dropping hints that they wanted to bring these beloved characters to the big screen. (Of course, the television show was itself based on Berg’s 2004 movie, which in turn was based on Buzz Bissinger’s 1990 book.) So thanks to their big mouths, the show’s beloved cast has had to answer movie questions every time they do an interview (or speak to any human being in the course of a day, most likely).
Monday night on Watch What Happens Live, Nashville’s Connie Britton told Andy Cohen that she’d love to make another Friday Night Lights movie, but that such plans are being complicated by someone crucial to the story who doesn’t share her enthusiasm. “Some people are really excited about it and other people aren’t,” she said. “I love the idea. I think it’d be a great idea. But my former [TV] husband… “
Watch her throw Kyle Chandler under the bus below:
Yes, Panthers/Lions fans, Coach Taylor is playing hard to get. Or – gasp – he just doesn’t want to make a FNL movie. But despite today’s headlines about this most recent “development,” this is hardly news. Britton’s remarks only echo what Berg told Bill Simmons on The BS Report podcast last month:
Simmons: You told me there’s not going to be a Friday Night Lights movie because Kyle Chandler doesn’t want to do it.
Berg: Unless you guilt him into it. I’m looking for a national letter writing or email campaign to Kyle. I’m tempted to give you Kyle’s email over your podcast. Maybe if we write enough letters, he’ll do it.
But even that wasn’t the first whiff that Chandler, who had small roles in Argo and Zero Dark Thirty and will next play an FBI agent in The Wolf of Wall Street, isn’t keen on the idea. He’s always been pretty upfront about not wanting to ruin what he thought was a perfect ending for his character and the show. “My general attitude about Friday Night Lights is, it was a great movie … and it was a great TV show – I’ve never had more fun doing anything,” Chandler told MTV last December. “I still like watching the show again, because it was so creative, the process. But they ended it at exactly the right time, in exactly the right way as well.”
He told EW pretty much the same thing in August.
Chandler didn’t respond to EW’s sheepish request for comment today about Britton’s recent WWHL remarks (POSSIBLY BECAUSE HE’S RESPONDED TO THIS ISSUE – OFFICIALLY OR UNOFFICIALLY – APPROXIMATELY 4,772 TIMES. GIVE THE MAN A BREAK! HE’S THISCLOSE TO GOING ALL WILLIAM SHATNER ON YOU BLOODSUCKERS: “GET A LIFE! FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, IT’S JUST A TV SHOW!”)
In Berg’s podcast conversation with Simmons, the director also said they had a FNL movie script and that “this show is something that will keep reinventing itself.” He even mentioned the possibility of bringing back some of the characters from the original movie. Holy Billy Bob Thornton! Can you imagine his Coach Gaines taking over the football team in Dillon? The first five minutes of the movie could be like the Newhart finale, in which Connie Britton – who also played Thornton’s character’s wife in the movie – wakes up, rolls over expecting to find Eric Taylor in bed and instead finds Gary Gaines. Then she could spend the rest of the movie with nothing to really do or say, just like in the first film. Texas really forever. The end.