Ron Howard is one of the most prolific directors around, and he thinks one of his previous films would be perfect as a tv show. Of course, two of Howard’s films have already jumped to the small screen. His 1989 comedy Parenthood was adapted into a successful series of the same name for NBC from 2010 to 2015. Currently, his 1988 fantasy epic Willow has a sequel series streaming on Disney+.
However, one of his more grounded dramas would be his next choice. If given the opportunity, Howard would jump at the chance to adapt his 1991 classic, Backdraft for a modern audience. “Backdraft would be really good,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “Backdraft would be fun. You could get the scope and the intensity that we had to do all in-camera — now we could do it efficiently and safely.”
In Backdraft, Kurt Russell and William Baldwin portray two estranged firefighter brothers who must join forces to take on a deadly arsonist menacing Chicago. The film featured a lot of practical fire effects before CGI became all the rage. Howard confesses that some of the fire-heavy scenes were dangerous to film. “We were kind of on the borderline there when you throw the safety question into what we were doing,” he explained. “I was so relieved when we wrapped. But now I believe we could tackle it and be just as ambitious visually and be a little safer.”
Even though the filming was hectic, Howard believes the setting of Backdraft would be the perfect fit for a tv show. “It’s a great world and there have been some shows around firehouses,” he reasons. “There’s something about a family of firefighters.”
Ron Howard wanted to be more involved in ‘Willow’, but it was in capable hands
Indeed, shows about first responders heavily populate networks right now. Still, Howard admits that a Backdraft show is just a pipedream for now. “We’re not actively working on it,” Howard explained. “Although [producing partner] Brian Grazer talks about it from time to time, so maybe one of these days.”
In the meantime, the busy director revealed that he wanted to be more involved in the Willow series. Howard’s disappointment was palpable as the time restraints prevented him from directing any of the show’s first-season episodes. If a second series ever comes to fruition, he would undoubtedly love to take on an episode. “I wouldn’t want to make any promises as I’ve already got a few things that I’m dreaming of doing. But if we’re fortunate enough to be able to carry on with the show, I am going be as involved as I can be, as I was this season, because it means a lot to me.”
Willow‘s Showrunner Jonathan Kasdan is no stranger to the world of film, as he is the son of renowned The Empire Strikes Back screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan. The accomplished duo even co-wrote Solo: A Star Wars Story together, which was directed by Howard. This meant that Howard tried to be as hands-off as possible with Kasdan.
“I didn’t have to be the bearer of bad news at any point,” Howard said. “But I offered up notes, criticisms, and ideas. That’s the way I was utilized and activated. It fell completely on Jon [Kasdan]’s shoulders.”