When the 2000 New Line sci-fi dramatic feature Frequency was released, it wasn’t a mass-appealing success, opening third at the box office with $9M and legging out to $45M. The film starred Jim Caviezel as a grown man who communicates with his late father, a former fireman (Dennis Quaid), across 30 years via a ham radio and attempts to save dad’s life before he perishes in a warehouse fire.
The pic is one of two written by New Line chief Toby Emmerich, the second being The Last Mimzy.
Rebooting old movies as TV shows is a wild trend now. There are some successes such as the Emmy-winning Fargo on FX, which has taken on a life of its own on the tube. That was an Oscar-winning cult-fave property from the Coen brothers, which maintained the auteurs’ absurdist storytelling sensibility. But movies-turned-TV shows such as Limitless and Rush Hour haven’t done wonders for CBS.
So why is Frequency, a property with a limited following, being rebooting on the CW?
The new series, set in present day, swaps the son in the movie for a female detective played by Peyton List, who radios her detective father in 1996.
Defended EP Jeremy Carver: “It was a popular movie in my heart. I really enjoyed it. From the moment I saw it, I was struck by the central relationship between father and son. Whether it was popular or not doesn’t affect how I decide what I like or don’t like; it was that central relationship. When I saw that there was a possibility to do it, I leapt at the chance. I might contest that the movie wasn’t popular; it was very well liked. There’s a certain element of the movie that flies beneath the radar, which is a plus for us because it allows us to develop new characters and takes (on the story).”
Frequency star Lenny Jacobson agreed. “It’s safer to reboot something that’s not untouchable. It’s not like with Ghostbusters, where that was rebooted and now you’re messing with their childhood.”
Said EP Dan Lin: “It’s an interesting title. It causes you to lean in.”