The Movies That Made Us is finally here, and creator Brian Volk-Weiss is eager to make more episodes of the Netflix original series. Volk-Weiss' beloved docu-series format from The Toys That Made Us works just as well for movies, it turns out, and now he is looking ahead. In an interview with PopCulture.com, he listed some of his top picks for future episodes — if there are any.
Volk-Weiss was excited to discuss movies that he would cover in future episodes of The Movies That Made Us. However, he made sure to mention that so far, the show has not been renewed, and no more episodes have officially been ordered.
"You never know. I have not been told anything, so — and if there's anything I know about show business, until that first check or wire clears, nothing is for certain," he said.
With that in mind, Volk-Weiss was more than happy to list some of the movies he wants to cover if the show continues on. Many were not surprising, knowing what fans do about his interests and his passions. However, there were some surprising picks on the list as well.
Given the format of the show, it is important that movies picked for the series have a distinct and captivating story to them. Volk-Weiss explained his process of picking recognizable properties with at least some story behind them that fans know, but hopefully a lot more under the surface.
"If you look at all 16 episodes between Toys and Movies, what they really are, is a study of failure and risk," Volk-Weiss pointed out, "and that's the thing that people respond to even if they don't know that they're responding to it. It's like I keep hearing about Home Alone where people are like, 'Oh my God, I can't believe it was almost shut down!'"
"[Those topics] are in every, every single piece of DNA of the shows," he went on, "people are like 'oh, they're business stories,' and fair enough, I guess so, but it's really my obsession with failure and risk that's embedded into these shows."
Volk-Weiss also told us that his choice for the next movies to cover would depend a lot on what kind of renewal deal the show gets. With more episodes secured, he would be more open to experimenting on less common movies.
"It's funny, if they greenlight four [episodes], they greenlight eight, or they greenlight 12 and the greenlight 30, you know, my answer is different, you know?"
Here are some of the movies Volk-Weiss is hoping to cover in future episodes of The Movies That Made Us.
Asked what movies he would like to cover on his show, some answers came naturally to Volk-Weiss. Others he had to search for in his mind, but in the case of Aliens, he was surprised by how long it took him to blurt the name out.
"Um, let me see off the top... Oh! F—ing Aliens — I can't believe I didn't say that," he said excitedly.
Aliens is the 1986 sequel to Ridley Scott's 1979 hit Alien. Written and directed by James Cameron, it features an all-star cast, some horrifying sci-fi monsters and some of the most quotable lines ever uttered on-screen. It is the perfect film for a show like The Movies That Made Us.
'The Breakfast Club'
"I'd love, love to do The Breakfast Club," Volk-Weiss told PopCulture.com.
This was one of the first movies that came to his mind when asked what else his show could cover. The 1985 teen drama by John Hughes perfectly matches his show's M.O. of finding iconic properties with plenty of story behind them. The story on-screen on The Breakfast Club is likely the tip of the iceberg for real nostalgic drama.
Volk-Weiss said he "would love to do Pretty Woman" in a future episode of The Movies That Made Us. The movie helped launch the career of Julia Roberst in 1990, when she played a sex worker hired to accompany a wealthy businessman played by Richard Gere.
The movie is enduring for its brilliant performances and its nuanced portrayal of people from different social stratospheres, and there is undoubtedly more to know about how it became a cultural powerhouse.
Another James Cameron classic Volk-Weiss is clamoring for is Terminator. The original 1984 movie imposed a simple story on a complicated premise — woman flees from deadly threat. From there, Hollywood has spent decades adding bells and whistles to this story, for better or worse.
After the box office flop of this year's Terminator: Dark Fate, it may be the perfect time to dissect this franchise and see what kind of cybernetic skeleton is underneath.
'Breakfast at Tiffany's'
One of the oldest movies on Volk-Weiss' to-do list is Breakfast at Tiffany's, the 1961 romcom starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. The movie was made back when "technicolor" was still a selling point worth printing on the poster, yet it is an enduring cultural touchstone to this day.
For many lifelong fans, it would be a joy to see how and why this movie became a part of the pop cultural canon.
"I'd love to do Clueless," Volk-Weiss said while trying to imagine what lies ahead for his show.
The 1995 teen comedy has a lot of quirks that make sense for The Movies That Made Us. For one thing, it is loosely based off of Jane Austen's 1815 novel Emma, though most contemporary fans probably do not recognize that in its story. All this and more could be laid out by researchers if Netflix orders enough episodes of the docu-series.
It is no surprise that Pulp Fiction is the first Quentin Tarantino film on Volk-Weiss' to-do list. Released in 1994, this non-sequential crime movie remains one of Tarantino's most beloved works and is considered by many a lynchpin of their tastes in media. There is almost certainly enough material for multiple episodes of The Movies That Made Us picking apart the influences, urban legend and truth behind Pulp Fiction.
The 1984 film adaptation of Dune is not at the top of Volk-Weiss' list, he admitted.
"It's funny, if they greenlight four [episodes], they greenlight eight, or they greenlight 12 and the greenlight 30, you know, my answer is different, you know? I mean, like, more than eight, I would do Dune."
Dune is a cult classic for sci-fi fans, based on a lauded 1965 novel by Frank Herbert with the same title. The book was made into a film at the height of the first Star Wars craze, and in 2020, a new adaptation from director Denis Villeneuve will be released. Before that happens, we may see the team behind The Movies That Made Us explaining its significance.
'The Princess Bride'
The Princess Bride is a 1987 movie based on a 1973 novel by the same name. Writer William Goldman wrote the book, then later adapted it into a screenplay, riffing on his own work. It is a family classic that is full of classic quotes and quirky moments that still resonate with fans to this day. For the audience of The Movies That Made Us, it is a perfect fit.
There may be no film on this list that lives up to the title The Movies That Made Us more than Batman. The 1989 take on the Dark Knight arguably launched modern day super hero movies as we know them, and today those movies make up a huge percentage of pop culture as a whole.
There is no doubt that The Movies That Made Us could take fans on a bizarre, delightful nostalgia trip into the making and cultural impact of Batman. Given the most recent string of screen adaptations, it might do fans good to look back on these days, warts and all.
While a few movies on this list have reboots or sequels coming up, Blade Runner just had one go by. The original movie was released in 1982, and after 2017's Blade Runner 2049, fans would probably love to see a breakdown of the original now that some time as passed.
Blade Runner is a neo-noir based on Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? which came out in 1968. Blade Runner was directed by Ridley Scott, and considered a sophisticated counterpart to more pop-oriented science fiction of the day. The Movies That Made Us might have a thing or two to say about how that perception holds up.
Finally, if there is one film Volk-Weiss wants to cover on The Movies That Made Us, it's RoboCop.
"RoboCop, RoboCop. RoboCop," he said without hesitation, as soon as we asked what he wants to do next. "I'd do f—ing eight episodes on RoboCop!"
The creator has spoken before about his unwavering love for the 1987 movie and about how badly he wants to do an episode about it. To hear Volk-Weiss tell it, he is a little surprised RoboCop didn't make it into the first season of his new show. He told us that Die Hard was included this time around because the season was released near Christmas, which was planned. Otherwise, they "definitely would've done RoboCop."0comments
RoboCop is a sci-fi drama starring Peter Weller as a police officer nearly killed in the line of duty. He is resurrected as a cyborg law enforcement machine. it is often lauded for its tight, resonant story in the face of its more silly title and premise. The movie had a reboot back in 2014 that did not quite stick, but perhaps with all his enthusiasm, Volk-Weiss could explain why.
The Movies That Made Us Season 1 is streaming now on Netflix.