Fox wants to remake Big as a television series. Finally, we have show to decode the mystery that is the man-child!
The 1980's comedy Big, starring Tom Hanks, is being developed as a half-hour comedy by writers Kevin Biegel and Mike Royce, the creators of the underrated workplace comedy, Enlisted. That show — canceled by Fox in May after playing outs its first season at 9:30 PM on Friday nights, also known as viewership wasteland — was a heartfelt and funny take on life at a rear detachment U.S. Army base. In fact, the show felt too warm and kind for Fox, which for years has trafficked largely in gritty, bloody, loud and snarky programs.
But Big seems to continue a shift in a gradual directional shift for Fox, a networks that's expanding into broader, family-friendly programs like Bob's Burgers and Red Band Society. Hiring talented writers Biegel and Royce, who split credits across a variety of TV shows including Men of a Certain Age, Cougar Town and Lucky Louie, is a smart move. And the plan to limit the show to a "cable model episode count," according to The Hollywood Reporter, could help save the show from creative burnout.
The comedy, which has received a script plus penalty commitment from Fox, is described as an event series based on the movie that explores what it means to be an adult and what it means to be a kid - and how in today's world, those two things are more confused than ever.
As I said up top, now's the best possible time to adapt Big and unpack what actually happens in this deranged movie about a child who warps into the body of a grown man. I believe Lena Dunham noted on Twitter at some point how poorly Big ages, how the things a child in a man's body does in the 1980s aren't that different than a grown man's behavior today. Just look at that image of Hanks. He's a gold visor away from cosplaying Master Chief. My generation has blurred the lines between childhood and adulthood in both good and bad ways, and the concept of Big is ideal for digging into all this anxiety we share about growing up.
We've seen lots of films and shows that feature stereotypical man-children, but few have bothered to explore the reality of generation that has been forced into an peculiar stasis by the collision of rapidly advancing technology, the all-but-mandatory pursuit of a college decree and a paltry job market. What sort of kid wants to be a grown-up today?
The show is one of many film-to-TV adaptations in the works, including Minority Report at Fox, and Real Genius and Problem Child at NBC.