Strike Back fans are rejoicing at the rumors that the Cinemax series might be headed to the big screen. Media reports indicate that producers Left Bank Pictures and British broadcaster Sky are discussing a feature film adaptation of the action series, which wrapped up its five-season run on Oct. 9. We’re certainly on board with the idea – but only if a certain few pieces fall into place. Here are the five things that any Strike Back movie needs to have:
1) The original stars
There’s absolutely no point in a movie if it doesn’t involve Sullivan Stapleton (who starred as former Delta Force operator Damien Scott) and Philip Winchester (who played Section 20 veteran Michael Stonebridge). The chemistry between the two actors, and the strength of each as performers, is what made the series so successful. If they’re not on board – which might be dicey as Stapleton is starring on NBC’s Blindspot and Winchester is the lead on NBC’s The Player – it’s not really Strike Back.
2) Michael J. Bassett directing
When a movie gets made, the tendency is to look for a big-name movie director. That would be a mistake with Strike Back, which has a very specific tone and style that’s like a mini-film every week anyway. Whoever makes the film needs to hire someone from that talent pool, and first on our list would be series co-executive producer and director Michael J. Bassett, who has guided the show for several seasons and directed some of its most important episodes, including the finale. Bassett also has feature film experience. There’s no better choice to direct this movie.
3) Scott and Stonebridge as the focus
It was great to see Spooks jump to the big screen, but in The Greater Good the existing characters were mostly supporting cast in favor of new characters led by Kit Harington (Game of Thrones). Likewise for 24, which is rumored to be in consideration for a Kiefer Sutherland-less reboot. Doing that here would be a disservice to Strike Back. The film needs to be about Scott and Stonebridge, and not the two of them teaming up with some newer, younger soldiers that they can pass the baton – and most of the screen time – to.
4) A big enough budget
Strike Back is a big show. We’ve seen helicopter evacuations, massive explosions, huge gun battles and all manner of insane stunts over the show’s run, both on Sky and later in co-production with Cinemax. That means it’s not a cheap show. Whoever wants to make this movie needs to be willing to pony up the money to allow the creative team to do what they’re capable of doing. If the Strike Back movie isn’t on par with the quality of the show, the series’ devoted fans are going to notice and they won’t be happy.
5) An explanation for the ending of the series
The final episode of Strike Back ended on a pretty definitive note, with Stonebridge faking Scott’s death and leaving the service, and both of them headed to Las Vegas alongside Scott’s son Finn (Christian Antidormi). Any movie would obviously have to address how Scott would come “back from the dead,” so to speak, and what would make both him and Stonebridge want to come back to soldiering after their own government tried to have them both killed. The bridges were pretty well burned, so what could believably happen next?
The movie rumors are still just that, rumors, as Left Bank and Sky are still in the exploratory stages of a Strike Back movie and have not made anything official. But the reports say they’d like to shoot the film in South America next year, so fans should theoretically be hearing whether it will or won’t happen sooner rather than later. Here’s to hoping that it comes through – and that it does so in a way that Scott, Stonebridge and the show’s loyal fans would be proud of.
It won’t be the only continuation of the Strike Back franchise – it was announced in June that Chris Ryan is penning a new Strike Back novel called Deathlist, which will be a prequel focusing on season one protagonist John Porter (who was played by Richard Armitage). Deathlist will be released in January.
Strike Back is available on Cinemax on Demand and MAX GO.