In an inspired bit of cinematic cross-promotion, HBO’s own Game of Thrones is about to become the very first television series to get the IMAX treatment. The hit series will make its way to the big, big screen at the end of the month, when two episodes of the series (sadly, not new ones, but still the final two episodes of season four, “The Watchers on the Wall” and “The Children,” which were awesome) and a brand new trailer for the series’ fifth season will be available in various IMAX theaters around the country. Per HBO, this is the first time that a television series will appear on IMAX screens and, as the episodes are being remastered specifically for the format and the exclusive new trailer was reportedly created precisely for the big screen, it seems they’re really doing this thing up right.
But why should Game of Thrones have all the fun? And, if this is the start of a new trend, what other (currently airing) shows should make their way to the IMAX screen? We’ve got some ideas.
1. Doctor Who
Although Game of Thrones will be the first television series to hit IMAX, plenty of other popular shows have gone the big screen route before – including the beloved Doctor Who, which recently hit multiplexes with a special showing of the “Day of the Doctor” episode…in 3D. Sure, GOT is breaking new ground here, but the long-running BBC hit has also capitalized on a strong fanbase and its cinematic feel to pull viewers into watching it outside the confines of their couch and a cuppa. This list is (technically) not ranked, but Doctor Who is still our top pick for going IMAX big.
2. The Walking Dead
With a strong combination of zombies and an uptick in quality over its previous seasons, The Walking Dead is a prime pick to go IMAX strong. The last time zombies hit the giant screen, it was with 2013’s World War Z, which was mostly disappointing when it wasn’t splashing brain-hungry hordes of dead guys and gals on the screen. Make it 3D, and watch even the biggest fan of the series crumble in their seats.
3. The Americans
The tricky spy thriller could translate quite nicely to IMAX confines, and we’d love to see its Cold War trappings on the biggest screen imaginable. Even better in amped up size? The heat between Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. Hey, IMAX can capitalize on big love, too, okay?
4. The Simpsons
Animated outings look fantastic on the IMAX screen – think How To Train Your Dragon 2 — and seeing the beloved long-running series in a fresh format would probably please old fans and newbies (it seems impossible to imagine there are Simpsons neophytes out there, but it happens) alike. Also, colors. So many colors.
None of the Hannibal Lecter films have ever gone IMAX, so why not change that with an IMAX version of the beloved prequel show?
6. Black Mirror
Each episode of this British series – the first season is available now on Netflix! – is a standalone story, with some episodes pushing far into theatrical runtimes. At least one of the episodes has already been optioned for the big screen (Robert Downey Jr. picked up the rights to the very popular episode “The Entire History of You” back in 2013, per THR), so it’s already got its big screen bonafides. The anthology series is a solid pick for getting an IMAX run – no need to worry about lack of continuity.
7. American Horror Story
The visually stunning (read: often totally gross, but enthrallingly so) series doesn’t quite look like most television series, and its sensibility seems well-suited for a giant screen. The star-studded cast also boasts plenty of big talents, the kind that wouldn’t look out of place at the multiplex. And, let’s be honest, of course we all want to see an IMAX feature about carnies.
Now the the Showtime series has gotten back into the swing of things, why not adapt some of this past season’s best episodes for the IMAX? All those big locations, big sets, and big goddamn crying jags would stun on the mega-screen.
More than anything, Supernatural has a super-dedicated fanbase. These people would turn out in droves to watch their long-running series on the big screen, and their fervor just might spark newbies to give it a go. (Personal aside: I’ve always planned on watching the show, it’s never happened, but I would definitely check it out in an IMAX version.) Bonus: scary, satanic monsters! Ahhh!
You can find out where Game of Thrones is playing (on IMAX!) near you by hitting the IMAX website.
What other shows would you like to see translated to the big screen?