'Friday Night Lights' exec producer Jason Katims talks plans for a(nother) big-screen movie

When the Riggins brothers clinked beer bottles and pledged, “Texas forever,” in the series finale of Friday Night Lights last month, apparently they weren’t messing around. At a Television Critics Association event yesterday, FNL executive producer Peter Berg revealed that he was developing a big-screen version of NBC’s revered family drama about high school football, which means that the book that became a movie that became a TV show could very well become a movie once again! In hopes of scoring more information about the project, EW respectfully blitzed FNL executive producer/showrunner Jason Katims. “It is something that we had talked about for a couple of years, almost in a half-kidding way,” shares Katims. “And then a few months ago, [executive producer] Brian Grazer and Pete called me saying they really wanted to do this. We had some meetings and we came up with a direction that we really loved. The trick was to figure out a way to both honor the series and not move away from that, but still find something that would be a satisfying movie in and of itself. It’s still very early — I’m just beginning to plot out the story for the script — but it’s something that we’re all excited about.” 

Under what circumstances would our eyes be clear and our hearts full again? Nothing is set in stone, cautions Katims, but the movie would probably “start with a time jump from when we ended the series, and quite possibly a considerable time jump.” And although the series wrapped up — SPOILER ALERT — with Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) and wife Tami (Connie Britton) ensconced in Philadelphia, much if not most of the action would likely bring us back to Texas. As for the cast, Berg, who directed the 2004 FNL film, seemed to indicate that the plot would revolve around Chandler’s and Britton’s characters. “I haven’t talked to them about it that much because I feel like the first thing they’re going to want to know is, ‘What’s the story?’ and that’s understandable,” says Katims. “So the best chance we have of bringing back not only Kyle and Connie but at least several other cast members is by first moving forward with the script.”

And for those who wonder how the FNL team is already ready for some more football, bear in mind that it’s been a longer off-season than you might think. “Even though the series just finished its run on NBC, it was close to a year ago that we finished production, so I’ve actually had some time to reflect on it,” says Katims, who’s also the exec producer of the Peacock drama Parenthood. “One of the things that’s most exciting for me is to be able to go back into that world through writing the story.”

(Twitter: @dansnierson)

Read more:
‘Friday Night Lights’ series finale review: Teary eyes, broken hearts for fans
‘Friday Night Lights': Clear Eyes, Full Hearts… Don’t Go!


Comments (109 total) Add your comment
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  • D

    Oh Lord let it happen!!! I’m still in FNL withdrawal!

    • Lukreto

      Texas Forever!!! Hell yeah!!!! :)

    • g

      PLZ LET THEM MAKE THE MOVIE…BEST SERIES EVER

  • CG

    This is the best news that I have heard all day! I really hope this happens.

  • Ronnie1

    LOVED the book…LOVED the original movie…LOVED the series!! And now…first the NFL lockout gets resolved, and as icing on the cake, there could be an FNL movie!!! TEXAS FOREVER!!

  • Jillian

    AMAZING!!!!

    • Sunny

      I would be very happy with a TV movie every couple of years.

  • Colin

    Maybe somebody can explain this to me…. but why do we need a movie based on a TV show that was already based on a movie?

    • LOL

      Because America loves crap.

      • Jason

        Obviously you never watched one of the best realistic drama series ever or you wouldn’t be asking that question!

      • Matt

        Sorry, wrong article. I think you meant to post about Transformers or something.

      • Mike

        Definitely not warranted here, LOL. First of all, most of the country didn’t even watch FNL, but its small dedicated fanbase is what helped propel it to stay on the air for 5 years somehow. The fact that they’re making a movie is because they creatively want to keep telling more stories with these great characters and know that this “small” fanbase will come to see it. So, I know you love to post your “trademark” phrase (which is awful by the way) on every movie related column and it usually refers to whatever movie has topped the charts this week. And I hate the expression I’m about to use because I think we all know it has been overused….but you just Jumped the Shark with your trademark phrase. And even if you aren’t the original LOL, then your wannabe imitators have Jumped that Shark for you. Have a wonderful day, whoever you are.

      • LOL

        I’m sorry, but it is warranted here. America’s obsession with a child’s game is detrimental to our nation’s well being. If they want to make television shows out of films, they need look no further than the Fast and the Furious franchise. I only want to see Vin Diesel on the big screen, but he could perhaps make a cameo in the first show, introducing his best friend, and then go from there.
        Trust me Mike I don’t like saying the phrase, but America needs tough love.

      • Mike

        LOL, if you even watched one episode of the show you’d realize that football is just a backdrop of a great character drama. So I will not take back what I’ve said.

      • Kevin Wilson

        I’m not going to be lectured about detrimental entertainment by a Vin Diesel fan.

      • CoachT

        LOL, your post is as laughable as your name. Let’s break down your statements…

        1)America loves crap…well most of America did not watch this show because they are too busy watching junk like cars going fast and possibly getting blown up…(yawn, stretch, yawn) “ohhhh ahh wow, special effects”, that was impressive maybe back in 1993 with Jurassic Park.

        2) “Child’s game” Whether you love, or even like football or not, the show was still very entertaining. That was actually one of the reasons people give for not watching it….this leads me to believe you never even gave the series, probably even 2 episodes a shot here.

        3) “I only went to see Vin Diesel on the bigscreen”…Well, any credibility about what makes a quality movie/show you may were seeking on this board was simply diminished by that staement.

      • MissGabbieGirl

        Dear LOL,
        “America’s obsession with a child’s game is detrimental to our nations well being.” Let me guess- you’re an anti-sports, artsy type that thinks culture only comes in music, paintings, performance and written word? Any body that is that close minded on something brings communities together just doesn’t get it.

        I am not huge on football, but I am a single mom and my son is. I started watching this show to try and learn more about the game…and boy have I succeeded there! But I have also succeeded in falling in love with a show that has a married couple as the lead characters and guess what- they actually love each other and want the marriage to work. They’re not making millions, cheating or plotting to kill one another! They are raising two children and doing what they love to do most- mold other people’s children into outstanding human beings. This show is not about crime solving in various cities, its not about lawyers or doctors or bad representations of the citizens of NJ. It’s a character drama with characters that are actually relate-able, full of heart and possibility.

        If my son can play football and be coached by someone like Erik Taylor…he’ll not only learn to play a game he loves but he’ll also learn comraderie, sportsmanship, brotherhood, strength, dedication…the list goes on and on. Football is not just a game…it’s a lifestyle.

        PS- He also loves playing piano, reading and making people laugh. He’s well rounded…and you obviously are not.

    • Rolo Tomasi

      Movie based on a TV show that was based on a movie that was based on a book.

      • dave

        Yeah, they covered that in the article, but thanks for the recap.

  • Ann

    Sounds good to me.

  • chris

    Hope it happens.

  • Trey

    I haven’t seen the original Friday Night Lights movie, but I LOVED the tv series, so YES PLEASE!

  • Nauts

    OMG !! Love this series !! Pls bring back the cast for the movie !!!!!

  • Warren

    I would love to revisit these characters, especially if they find a way to come back to Dillon.

  • bruno

    here’s hoping they let a terrific show end where it ended. this is a horrible idea. betting it just won’t happen. hoping even more that that’s true.

  • jo

    Don’t get me wrong….I was/am a huge fan of the show. But if they could not get viewers to tune into the tv show despite it being so well written and acted how are they going to get people into a movie theater (other then that small group of people)and drop $10??

    • Sunny

      Millions of us watched – even at a cr@ppy timeslot like 8pm on a Friday night. NBC doesn’t deserve to stay on the air. ABC either.

    • Sunny

      I don’t think that it should be made for theaters. I don’t go to the movies because of all the morons that can’t keep their idiotic mouths shut. I blame soccer moms and their ‘everyone gets a trophy,’ ‘you are sooooooo special’ failed-parenting techniques. Regardless, the movie(s) should be on cable.

      • jo

        Yeah…I have to really..REALLY want to see a movie to drop the money and deal with all the idiots out there who feel the need to gap and refuse to shut their mouths during a movie. Would rather just sit on my couch…drinking a beer…watching my big screen tv.

      • mrsandyd

        Ummm….people talk in movies because soccer moms want everyone to get a trophy? RIiiight, it’s everyone else that has an idiotic mouth…

    • Sarah

      Well they moved it to a DirecTV channel and I didn’t have DirecTV so I just watched the entire season the last few months thanks to the wonder that is Netflix. I’m all for a movie especially if Kyle Chandler is in it. ;)

  • graco

    Not sure that the TV show didn’t end perfectly. Are they sure they want to mess with that.

    • Al

      I agree. The ending of the show felt like the right place to end the series. Not sure how much a movie would add…unless they got away from high school and coach goes back to visit all his old students….two of which would be in the NFL, Vince and Smash, and Street would be a high powered agent a la Jerry Maguire….but once again that may be too outlandish for one of the best, yet grounded series on TV.

  • harry

    DO IT MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!

  • Amy

    If they do it I hope the story is great, with the same realism of the TV show. If it is not going to be up to that high bar, then please don’t do it. But either way I will be there to see it. Texas Forever!

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