In preparation for the early ’90s slumber party that network television hopes to throw next year, NBC is developing a TV series based on 1989’s Say Anything, adding it to a Blockbuster sack of VHS crowd-pleasers like its own Real Genius and Problem Child shows and Fox’s Big. As Deadline reported yesterday, Better Off Ted’s Justin Adler is writing the project, which is set 10 years after the events of the movie—and 25 years after the film became a coming-of-age classic that ensured its place in the hearts of many a romantic teen.
But coming of age means coming to terms with reality, such as the fact that eventually your romantic teenage years turn into cynical adulthood, and that Say Anything will inevitably be remade as an NBC single-camera comedy where Lloyd Dobler is now an aging loser who’s “long since been dumped” by Diane Court, and it’s only her unexpected return home that prompts him to reevaluate his shitty life.
Still, just like convincing the smart, pretty valedictorian to go out with an average goofball, then revisiting that love story a decade later as something bitter and sad, nothing about this will be easy. For one thing, everyone involved with the original Say Anything doesn’t even want to be seen with NBC: After John Cusack blasted the suggestion that he was involved (“Hell no!!” he tweeted), director Cameron Crowe offered his own statement on behalf of himself and his cast, making it clear to NBC that they don’t go out with networks like you. No way. Brains stick with brains.
And as Deadline reports again in this morning’s follow-up, Crowe’s objections—like those of John Mahoney in the film, the triumphant overcoming of which apparently didn’t even matter just a few years later—may have the effect of shutting down this budding relationship. While NBC and 20th Century Fox are within their legal rights to get together on a Say Anything series, it means little without the blessing of its father. So Deadline speculates that the project may already be over before it began, thanks to Crowe’s stern words.
That is, of course, unless NBC finds some way to woo Crowe from afar with some grand romantic gesture. Then we could revisit that gesture 10 years later, as a painful reminder of how their romance quickly turned sour—you know, as a sitcom.