The impressive Blackberry movie has been playing in cinemas – but now it’s being broken into three television-sized episodes.
Sneaking briefly into the top ten at the UK box office the other week was the smart sort-of tech biopic Blackberry, that charted the rise and fast fall of the smartphones bearing the same name. Matt Johnson directed and co-starred in the film, alongside Jay Baruchel and Glenn Howerton, and reviews were very much on the positive side. Rightly so as well.
Still, good reviews means little when it comes to cash through the box office tills, and the low budget film – it cost around $5m to make – currently has takings amounting to around half of that around the globe.
Unsurprisingly then, the film is heading to the small screen pretty quickly. More surprisingly – and that’s no understatement – is that the AMC network in the US is basically reframing the movie entirely. To the point where it’s no longer being sold as a movie, and instead AMC has begun promoting it as a three part limited TV series.
Beginning on November 13th, it’s splitting Blackberry – which has a 121-minute running time – into a trio of episodes. On the one hand, it’s likely to put more eyeballs onto a production that very much deserves that. On the other, well, it was made as a film, sold as a film, released as a film. It seems an odd path that if a movie doesn’t set the box office alight, it can just be chopped up and reframed.
Here’s AMC’s promo, announcing the, er, ‘limited series’.
Get ready to witness the meteoric rise and catastrophic demise of the world’s first smartphone.#BlackBerry: The Limited Series premieres as a 3-night event starting November 13 on AMC and @AMCPlus. pic.twitter.com/2TfoxZK95w
— AMC TV (@AMC_TV) October 22, 2023
Ironically, this comes just a week or so after we got the trailer for Baz Luhrmann’s re-editing of his movie Australia, which he’s gone back to the excised footage and is releasing as the TV show Faraway Downs. But then that was Luhrmann’s specific choice to go back and oversee the whole process himself. There’s little sign that’s happened with Blackberry.
The Blackberry film/limited series/hopefully this trend gets knocked on the head is still just about playing in UK cinemas.
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