What Would a Chuck Movie Look Like?

Since the Veronica Mars Movie kick starter seems to have shaken up a lot of assumptions, like the follow on movie to tie up lose ends in the series that was canceled too soon won’t happen, and a Chuck movie seems to be more of a question of when rather than if, it got me thinking about what a Chuck movie would a) absolutely need and b) look like.  So just for fun and to put a positive twist on our Chuck thoughts I made up a few polls to see what people think.  After the jump.

First off we all know Chuck and Sarah are the absolutely essential ingredients for a movie.  Others in the cast might be essential to some fans (Casey for me) or extraneous for others (Morgan for many).  Here are the ten* nine outside Chuck and Sarah that I’d consider “main cast” by the show’s conclusion.  I’ll be generous and allow 5 picks.

Now that we have the main cast out of the way we need to populate Chuck and Sarah’s world with a few familiar faces.  Friends and family and, former love interests abound, but enemies, we’ll save for later.  Up to 8 picks.

Now we need a villain.  Assuming Chuck and Sarah are out of the spy game it would probably take a blast from their spy-past to get them back in.  Which defeated but not dead villain would you most like to see come back in a movie.  Again up to 8 picks.

*When making the first poll I inadvertently had Morgan entered twice.  I corrected the poll but forgot to correct the text.


About Ernie Davis

I was born in 1998, the illegitimate brain child and pen name of a surly and reclusive misanthrope with a penchant for anonymity. My offline alter ego is a convicted bibliophile and causes rampant pognophobia whenever he goes out in public. He wants to be James Lileks when he grows up or Dave Barry if he doesn’t.  His hobbies are mopery, curling and watching and writing about Chuck.  Obsessively.  Really, the dude needs serious help.
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92 Responses to What Would a Chuck Movie Look Like?

  1. joe says:

    “Generous?” GENEROUS??? Only 10 of those indispensable leading cast members, Ernie? I WANT ALL 11, because you forgot Emmett, who’s alive and well and working in a Buy More in Alaska.

    Yeah. That’s the ticket. It’s also my story, and I’m sticking to it.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I know Joe, when I think of Chuck it doesn’t seem like it’d be Chuck without the whole gang.

      • Jenny says:

        I really forced myself to choose only the indispensable! But in reality, i would want them all, yes, even JEFFSTER!
        It’s been a while! I send my love to all of u. MUAH!

    • joe says:

      PS, I’d love to see Colt come back for a movie, but sadly, Michael Clark Duncan has left this mortal coil.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Yes, I’d forgotten that when I made up the poll, but I figure it can be a tribute to the big guy’s popularity with Chuck fans.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah it would be great to see Colt return if only because he could.

    • atcDave says:

      I’d also like to see Emmitt back. Although generally, I could do without the Buy More.

  2. Chris Dunlap says:

    Ernie, hope you are right on the movie deal. Looks as though the major cast members are certainly up for it. Timing is everything, though. One another note, really enjoy the comments on the season three rewatch(s). Love the counter perspectives between you and Dave.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      Well it appears that there is a real appetite for this. Zach Braff has started a kickstarter for his project and while not getting Veronica Mars results is pretty likely to meet his goal. It seems obvious that Braff’s reason for going this route is creative control as opposed to problems getting outside financing, so that alone is reason enough to be glad this is catching on and giving the creative side of the business options that it didn’t have before.

  3. joe says:

    Is it wrong of me to want to see Fernando and Skip Johnson in a/the movie too? 😉

  4. garnet says:

    Sad to day my favourite guest would be Stephen Bartowski and he is not on the list of options, and if Shaw was not dead Stephen MUST be out there somewhere.

    • joe says:

      You know, I’d be willing to stretch my credulity enough to see Stephen come back. After all, if Bryce and Shaw could be resurrected…

    • garnet says:

      that’s sad to SAY…

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I’d thought of it, perhaps for flashbacks or something, but Schwedak have been pretty adamant that he’s going to stay dead. I thought for sure he’d be back when he died just outside a Ring re-animation lab with an intersect room. I mean Mr. Chekov is that a gun on that table or what?

    • FSL says:

      Yea. Quite surprised that given they have a whole lab to resurect Shaw, surely Chuck can work that lab to resurect Stephen. It’s like the tech is already there. And everyone just somehow forgot.

  5. Ernie Davis says:

    One other notable entertainment development, Amazon is trying it’s hand at a new way to develop original shows. Alan Sepinwall’s thoughts are here.

  6. joe says:

    I think we’re starting to see the outlines of what Chuck vs. The Movie would look like. Beckman has Bryce and Stephen unite with Chuck and Sarah to fight Shaw, Colt, Vincent AND Roark while Casey rounds up the Nerd Herd (represented by Fernando and Skip) AND Scooter to save the planet from Jeffster, who’ve taken over beer halls throughout Austria and Germany

    • atcDave says:

      Gee Joe, I’d prefer a story that was played more for laughs. That just sounds too dark…

      • Jason says:

        did I read the shaw vote right? 3 out of 74 when I looked.

      • joe says:

        Yes, Jason. I see 3 out of 76 now for villain, and 2 out of 135 for returning guest star.

        Of all the votes, Morgan as #5 for “must have” surprises me the most, but at the same time, Casey and The Woodcombs really should be higher than the little bearded man.

        I’m not sure that a movie couldn’t be made without Beckman, though, even if Ernie would boycott it. I recall a made-for-TV Man From Uncle movie that used a photo to represent the late, great Leo G. Carroll, who played Alexander Waverly, their boss. They could do something similar for Beckman if they had to.

        Nostalgic trivia: NCIS had Gibbs telling Ziva that Ducky “looked like Illya Kuryakin” in his younger days. Images of David McCallum.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        Actually Jason you need to remember that with multiple choices it is an even higher fraction. I’m looking at 81 total votes with a minimum of 16 unique voters (you don’t have to use all your choices to vote), meaning that with 4 votes up to 25% of our readers who voted want to see Shaw back.

      • Jason says:

        Makes sense sort of, I wonder how 16 people out of 16 voted for a new villian to make sure Shaw would not be considered. Oh well, 25% makes more sense that 5% for sure. I would guess a poll of how much would you dislike the show if Shaw was on vs other characters, OK, I’m getting into bad territory. Good job on the poll. WOuld genre type be a good poll question, or first / second / third genre – comedy – sci fi – romance for example 1-2-3.

    • joe says:

      Yes, Jeffster taking over the beer halls of western Europe would be a bit dark… 😉

  7. uplink2 says:

    Ok, a couple of things for me. NO RESURRECTIONS! Please make death actually mean something. Not that I wouldn’t like to see Stephen and Bryce again but they are DEAD! Keep them that way.

    The only way I would ever want Shaw back was if the Ring Director is in the next cell and has him killed in the opening sequence before he escapes a la a Bond film. He did get him captured. But I’d have a real problem putting money up to bring back Shaw.

    I do find it interesting that Morgan is fifth behind Beckman and Carina is first. But please don’t let Nick Woohten write Carina, it has to be Ali. lol

    • joe says:

      Heh! Good point. But how about flash-backs for Stephen and Bryce? I wouldn’t mind that.

      Ernie, someday we should have a poll about the writers too. Seriously.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        The writers become a contentious issue when raised. There are strong opinions and raw feelings on both sides so I’m reluctant to raise it. Maybe if people promise to play nice we could do one later. I was worried enough about putting Shaw on the list, but a lot of fans think he’s the best villain they’ve ever done, so he had to be there.

      • atcDave says:

        I think we can leave writers alone for quite some time yet.

  8. atcDave says:

    Ernie this is a really fun way to deal with this issue! One of the other things I’ve thought about is sets and physical locations. I figure the old apartments are not a big deal; Chuck and Sarah in a house, only Morgan and Alex remain, and we could probably go a whole movie (or two, or three…) and not need to see their place.
    But the Buy More and Castle sets are gone and would be hard to replace. Both were signature parts of the show! Now realistically, it’s not hard to imagine a story where they aren’t needed at all. Since Chuck and Sarah quit the spy life and sold the Buy More the old locales no longer matter much. But it sure would be fun to see the old haunts, at least briefly. Maybe a shuttered/abandoned Castle?

    I also have some fears about cramming too much into a movie. I know I’ve seen reunion projects before that have so many cameos and brief appearances any new content is overshadowed. I would rather have a fun story that focuses on the main characters than something that tries to cram everything in. There obviously does need to be some sort of villain to provide an excuse for some action and adventure; and while an old enemy could work, I also like the idea of something going wrong in their new security biz. Perhaps they uncover something that’s far bigger, with ties into something of national importance. It could work if an enemy from the past is involved, but it’s not required for me.
    My biggest concern/worry is that they not try to draw too much drama from the Chuck/Sarah relationship. I’ve seen more than enough of that. I want to see them happy together for two hours. Although a few flashback scenes involving Sarah’s recovery would be a good idea. But I will get cranky if they do something that undermines the promise of the show’s end; that includes drawing things out too long. I’m willing to accept Chuck spending a couple weeks in the guest room or on the sofa; I’d be (much) less enthused about a story where Sarah went back to the CIA.
    This issue may be a flash point among us when we get closer to actual production. Hopefully a story can be found that will please most of us.

    • uplink2 says:

      See I think those are easy to get around. The white house with the Red Door still exists on the WB lot and from my POV they have already moved in there. Second, Sarah was already looking for new property for the new Carmichael Industries so that covers Castle. As far as the BuyMore and the apartment, those places actually existed and why not just go back to the same locations they used for the pilot?

      • atcDave says:

        The original Buy More was a recently shuttered CompUSA that is likely something else by now.
        But yeah I mentioned that a while back, pilots are typically shot more on location with few actual sets built until the show is actually bought by someone. So the reunion movie would likely reverse the process, with more locations and fewer sets. The actual apartment complex is likely still a possibility. But as I said, I don’t believe residences are a problem at all. It’s the other big sets that could be tricky. And logically even they aren’t needed, it’s just that it would be fun to see them again. I’m just not sure how much expense it’s worth for that little “gee cool” moment.

        It’s like, do you remember the Star Trek: TNG episode “Relics”? Picard took Scotty to the holo-deck where he created the Enterprise’ bridge from TOS. They didn’t NEED to rebuild that set is such exact detail. But it was so COOL that they did!

  9. uplink2 says:

    Ok here is a hokey, corney idea for another opening sequence. It opens with shots of Chuck putting on the gloves, getting the flashlight, comments between Chuck and Morgan, then you see Chuck drop something into his messenger bag and take off running. He jumps through a window and runs down a street. He crashes through a door, sldes under a table and then stands up in a baby’s room pulling a bottle out of his hand giving it to Sarah who is holding 6 month old Stephen Bartowski.

    Sarah gives him an eye roll and we see her rings on her finger as she takes the bottle. She asks “what took you so long?”

    “We were out of formula and I had to run the all night Large Mart.”

    Cue the opening music.

    • atcDave says:

      I would love that sort of opening, pays homage to the Pilot while starting on a fun note. They could later flashback to some of the difficult days and challenges, but not at length, move the story forward with new adventures as the main focus.

      There’s also a sort of middle road they could take that might work, with Chuck and Sarah happy together, but Sarah still having major holes in her memories. Then as part of the main story, something happens to trigger her total recall. I think it would be a fun excuse for an epic clips montage as all of Sarah’s memories come flooding back. Something like that would likely even be cheap to produce (using mostly existing footage), so I say go for broke and run like four full minutes of Charah clips.

      • Robert says:

        That’s also what I believe happens; Chuck and Sarah happy, but she still doesn’t remember every single detail, and as their”mission” goes on, old memories are flooding back in Sarah’s mind. I’d be very happy to see the movie addressing that.

      • joe says:

        I’m not banking on total recall for Sarah, myself.

        Ellie mentioned something about “emotional memories” iirc, and for me, that’s related to the one line from Sarah that dispirited me the most – I’m not feeling it. I’d like to see the highlight be the moment that she clearly does “feel it” again, more than we saw in The Goodbye, which doesn’t have to include her complete recovery.

        …Only “enough” of it to make that happen.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah Joe “feeling it” is more important to me than the actual memories. I’m mostly satisfied she was there at the end of the series, but that is the exact thing I always wanted to be more clear.

      • Ruthiesw says:

        Yes, Dave. No prolonged angst or opening with them apart. They have to be together, but the memories aren’t necessarily all there yet. However, by the end of the film, I’d like to see Sarah remembering almost all of her history with Chuck and their relationship being stronger as a result of everything they’ve been through.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah I like that Ruthie.

      • uplink2 says:

        It’s funny but for me if they started with them being apart it would make everything Fedak said about the finale a lie. His comments and attempts at PR concerning it have boxed him into a corner if he is involved with the film. “It was a happy ending and Chuck and Sarah are together having babies and building a new company.” With that being the jist of what he said how could he start with them apart? He has said the ambiguity was about whether she gets all her memories back or not, never about whether they fall in love again.

        For me what’s important is also the “feeling it part” plus that Sarah remembers things that are specifically about Chuck. We saw none of that in the finale and I think that was a mistake on their part. They wanted to keep the WTWT going until the very last scene by showing nothing where Sarah remembers something specific to Chuck and her. All of her memories were about things, places and herself in terms of the carving. It was never about him. I believe that was intentional but I really think instead of the cold, unfeeling distant Sarah that walks up the stairs it would have been nice to see some growth from her related to her remembering Chuck. It made the 180 degree turn at the beach less enjoyable and felt more contrived. It that was showing Sarah “feeling it” and falling in love with Chuck again it was too big a jump from the scene where she walks up the stairs. That I’d like to see more defined.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree with the first part of that Uplink, I think they pretty much have to start with Chuck and Sarah together, we’ve been told that emotional healing took place on the beach, and that’s how it must play out or the finale ended with a lie.

        But I would say I saw the end a little differently than you. And maybe this small degree is why I found at least a little more peace with the end than you seem to have; I did not see a “cold” Sarah on the steps leaving Castle. If anything I saw the opposite. I think if Chuck had finished the thought, and gave her an excuse to stay, she would have. She was already ready, or at least ready enough to want to talk to Chuck. The beach just raised it another notch. It brought the emotional intensity (plenty of both laughs and tears) to the point where Sarah can’t deny herself, and she knows where she belongs. So I think she was ready to return home on the steps, but I KNOW she was ready to return home from the beach.

      • oldresorter says:

        Dave – something I think you’ll find interesting, ABC let the ‘Revenge’ showrunner go, because the show was heading in a direction that fans and critics both disliked. Wow. I’ll bet you can read what was on my mind when I read that – LOL!

      • uplink2 says:

        I agree Dave that maybe that was the difference. I see nothing really significantly different in the Sarah on the stairs than the Sarah at the fountain at the end of 5.12. None of what happens in Goodbye can be seen in her expression to me as it pertains to her falling for Chuck again. That all happens at the beach and it is too abrupt and not sustained enough to make it deserved. The woman on the stairs is very different than the woman at the beach to me. She is much more like the woman at the fountain.

        Her interaction with Casey is cold, professional and shows absolutely no connection with him like she had before. That is part of my overall problem is that Sarah never interacts with anyone else in any manner that shows who she had grown to become. All that growth was thrown away and it seems no one except Chuck really cares what happens to her specifically except maybe Casey but their goodbye is very much season 1 and all growth was gone. Ellie’s abandoning of Sarah, her sister in law, is unforgivable.

      • uplink2 says:

        O.R. you make an interesting point. With the industry the way it is now can shows afford to piss off the fans and tell a story that both fans and critics see huge flaws in? The Good Wife Showrunners changed their plans when fans hated the arc they were telling. Now it seems that even Showrunners can get canned because of it. See Smash season 1 as well. In it’s case the altered season 2 is much better than season 1 but it was too late to change the inevitability of it becoming a joke and a flop. Some may see this as limiting a writer’s ability to tell their story and I can see that but I think what it really does is force them to make that story work in execution more. After the ridiculous relationship geometry failure of Chuck S3 it’s second biggest failing was execution of the spy story. Those kind of flaws and failures seem to have less room for error now than even 5 years ago.

      • atcDave says:

        Well you know I’ve said all along I would have fired Schwedak as soon as I saw the script for Pink Slip. Okay, I might have given them a chance to re-write, but if I were studio exec, I never would have let that episode get made.

        I think its good if we’re seeing more accountability in commercial television. An advantage of the internet and twitter is more immediate feed back on what’s getting made and a better chance for studios to respond to what their customers actually want. I’m not really eager to see show runners loose their jobs, but I am eager to see them be more responsive to their viewers. As I commented several years ago; in fine art a patron is unlikely to pay for a still life if a landscape had been commissioned. I would like for show runners to have this sort of accountability to their fans; to actually produce the sort of show they promised. I do “get” that is occasionally difficult to know. But in the case of Chuck S3 it wasn’t. They failed.

        Uplink I’m not sure what looked cold to you? She looked positively eager to me to be “let in” with her friends, but was at a loss on how to do it. I would have said she was in mid-S2 mode and catching up fast. In fact, I think the big good-bye from Casey was huge for her. It was a glimpse of how even cold spies could change, and she knew she wanted it. I even talked to one friend about who commented they could have ended the episode right there (as Sarah left Castle) because it was obvious to him that everything was going to be fine. Now I don’t agree with taking it that far, he was an extreme minority as far as I could tell, but obviously I wasn’t alone in thinking things were looking up at that point.
        I agree completely though about Ellie. Horribly written scene. They should have mirrored the end of Honeymooners and had that scene after the beach, with Sarah happily back at home.

      • uplink2 says:

        Well that is just our own different perceptions I guess. Each time I watch that scene at Castle with her walking up the stairs it still looks much more like the Sarah saying goodbye at the end of 5.12 than the Sarah opening up at the beach. Maybe it’s because of my earlier point, none of the memories she started to regain were about her direct connection to Chuck. There was no emotional connection from them. They were things, places and her own actions nothing that directly connected her emotionally.

        There is no explanation that works for me regarding Ellie’s betrayal of her sister in law. The extended cut made it better but it was still head scratching material. My only explanation was that it was to ramp up the angst that Chuck would be alone and Sarah was “unfixable”. Everybody was moving on but Chuck and Sarah. It was cheap and diminished Ellie’s character. It made her appear selfish and driven by career and money and not family like she had been for 5 seasons.

      • oldresorter says:

        I thought Sarah in the entire final never acted like even S1 Sarah. More like Zombie Sarah. S1 was attracted to Chuck right away, season five’s last two ep Sarah appeared to not like Chuck at all, almost treating him like she did Shaw in S3 before she started sleeping with him. That was the tradgedy of the final. Almost like she was giving in, because she had nowhere else to go.

        I have a few hints that tonight’s Castle is going to be shipperifick! Odd considering what we know happens, almost like getting Honeymooners before Pink Slip.

      • uplink,

        Totally agree with you about Ellie. TPTB spent 5 seasons portraying Ellie as nurturing and a mother figure for Chuck. Yet we’re supposed to believe she would pack her bags and leave Chuck and Sarah behind that way.

      • uplink2 says:

        Didn’t we? Colonel before Pink Slip was pretty much the same thing.

        You’re point is interesting. Yvonne said when she read the script she had trouble trying to figure out how to play it. She was so in-tuned with how Sarah had grown as a character for five seasons and that she had built her into something the fans really loved and now in her final 2 episodes ever playing her she had to throw all of that growth away and play a different role. I think that is part of why it is clear to me and from reports that she was not happy with it.

  10. garnet says:

    Although I like the idea of the polls, I like the idea of new content even more. Why recycle an old villian when you can have a new one. Guest stars??? I know we went through a whole mittload of stars over the years, but I’m sure we could find a few nerdtastic guests…any ST TNG stars…Kate Jackson (Scarecrow and Mrs King anyone?), And where is Buckaroo Banzi (sp) when you need him?

    • atcDave says:

      …someone out there is crying…

      • garnet says:

        I’m not sure who’s crying so this went over my head. Kate Jackson would be great although last I heard she was not doing much acting at present. The connection with Chuck would be that Scarecrow was Awesome’s dad, and Kate Jackson/Scarecrow did the sort of Spy/Nerd thing but in reverse (it was also a WB production). BB was a forgettable (unless you are a real fan in which case I say sorry) sci-fi adventure “across the 8th dimension”. It starred Peter Weller (RoboCop and Stan Liddy on Dexter) and John Lithgow. My point was really that there are lots of great new people out there who would be good for Chuck characters.

    • joe says:

      Nerdtastic stars? I just saw Marina Sirtis last night on NCIS. But I have to confess – it took me a moment to recognize her.

    • lappers84 says:

      If there was a Chuck Movie I’d love to see someone like Jonathan Frakes or maybe even Michael Biehn

  11. lappers84 says:

    Bring back Harry Tang and Stanley Fitzroy – they can be a double act lol.

  12. dkd says:

    Honestly, it’s so hard to envision what the movie should have or shouldn’t have without knowing the scope of the project. A “straight to video/internet” movie would have a different scope than something intended for theatrical release.

    When you are talking about bringing back guest stars and villains from the past, that seems to lack ambition. It’s like the project is only for hardcore fans and no one else.

    If it were a theatrical release and they had a decent budget, they should shoot for adding “name” guest stars who could play interesting new characters.

    I also don’t think this project is going to get off the ground for several years, if ever, so think in terms of a “five years later” scenario.

    • aerox says:

      Serious question, but why do you think they’d wait? Wouldn’t it make more sense to ride on the coattails of the Veronica Mars thing? I’d reckon that the perfect time to put in a Kickstarter project, would be the moment the VM movie gets released. Everyone will be like: “Oh, yeah, I remember that kickstarter project, that was cool” and suddenly another cult show gets it. Actually shooting the thing can take a bit longer then, but to me that seems like the ideal time to publish the kickstarter project.

      • atcDave says:

        I agree Aerox, and the reasoning to delay (the whole series hasn’t played out in some foreign markets) sounds a little flakey to me. My guess would be, the studio wants to wait and see how in plays out for VM. I think the bottom line is, we should keep pushing, be sure everyone (especially Zach) knows there is still an interest.

      • dkd says:

        I generally lean towards the pessimistic, but the reasons I think it may take a while are:

        1. WB will want to make sure all countries where they distribute the show have gotten to the end of the show.
        2. WB probably won’t greenlight anything until they see how the Veronica Mars thing actually does financially. Getting it produced is one thing. Making a profit is entirely different.
        3. Chuck hasn’t even started on Netflix yet. It hasn’t even appeared in any form of syndication in the U.S. yet. VM has been in syndication since it went off air. WB would want to market this thing not only to people who watched Chuck on NBC, but any additional fans it might pick up in the aftermarket. At this point, Chuck is a show they lost money on because all shows are deficit-financed during their network run. Until the show starts making some of that money back, I can’t see WB investing more into it.
        4. No matter how enthusiastic Zac may be for this thing, it’s not up to him. He owns “zero” of Chuck. If you notice his most recent interviews, he’s beginning to offer up more reasons why it will take a while.
        5. A lot of pieces have to fall into place. The key people who need to pull the trigger and persuade WB are Schwartz and Fedek. Zac Levi can talk about this until he’s blue in the face. It’s Schwartz and Fedak who need to say something.

      • Ernie Davis says:

        dkd, all of what you say is true, and a Chuck movie isn’t a done deal, but I think it has gone from the longest of long-shots to a very doable project with the demonstration via The Veronica Mars Movie Project that crowd-sourcing has great potential for niche properties and cult favorites. Zach Braff has also chosen crowd-sourcing and apparently over traditional methods of funding that were available to him for his next movie.

        As to your other points:

        1. I wouldn’t be so sure that would be an obstacle. While it might be an obstacle to international distribution as they wouldn’t want people who haven’t seen the last few seasons to buy the movie it didn’t stop them from making subsequent seasons before they were distributed internationally. You may know more about this, but to me it doesn’t seem to be an insurmountable obstacle.

        2. You are more than likely right about that, but if you can structure a crowd-sourced deal that WB risks little or nothing I think it is doable.

        3. Yes I see it as a little troubling that we haven’t seen Chuck repeats. I would have thought one of the Time-Warner cable properties would have at least tried a marathon or something.

        4. Agreed, but his enthusiasm and resources will certainly help.

        5. I think Schwedak have basically said they’d support the effort even if (at the time of the finale) they had no desire to participate in it other than approval. WB is probably at least open to the idea in the wake of the level of support for Veronica Mars. A successful crowd-sourcing effort not only funds the project, but shows a level of enthusiasm and a potential audience exists.

      • atcDave says:

        I would ditto everything Ernie said and add that the whole point is finding new ways of getting things done and breaking from the traditional business model. A big part of the crowd sourcing is that it puts all the expense on the fans at the front end, and anything the project actually sells becomes profit.

        This whole “we can’t make it because the show isn’t done in some markets” is an utterly bizarre and twisted bit of logic to me. I have no doubt it could be traditional wisdom, and well may be a reason Zach is given by the studio to wait, but it seems a little like saying no rain today because my sofa is four years old. Or should I say, what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? It sounds like non-logic to me; and I work the government, I’m well familiar with such nonsense.

  13. dkd says:

    My response to your response:

    1. I wouldn’t bring up the international piece if Zachary Levi himself didn’t mention it. It doesn’t sound like something he would spontaneously think of as a barrier unless someone at WB or Schwartz’s company hadn’t told him. What may not seem like a big barrier to you may be a big barrier to the people who have to make the decision. It’s their opinion that matters. Not Ernie’s or Dave’s. Even if they were exaggerating it when they spoke to Zac, there had to be a reason for them to do that. Even if its excuse they made up to cover up another reason they don’t want to do it, it is significant.

    2. “if you can structure a crowd-sourced deal that WB risks little or nothing I think it is doable.” Even the money they raise for VM isn’t covering all of their expenses. A significant percentage goes to fees to Amazon. Other portion goes to the gifts they promised the donators. Unless you are imagining a super-cheap movie, I still see WB having to kick in some money. (And I hope that it is not a super-cheap movie.)

    3. The syndication strategy is a mystery to me. They may be getting some money from Netflix, but I would prefer an outlet where viewers can discover the show rather than have to seek it out.

    5. To me Schwartz has basically said “anything’s possible”. It’s a standard response and a far cry from actually starting to do something. Fedak hasn’t spoken, as far as I know. I do agree that WB’s willingness to do it with VM indicates openness to do it with another property. But, I doubt they’ll do another one until the VM thing is measured. Then, we don’t even know if Chuck would be their next property to do. They own lots of shows.

    Very soon, it will be a year and a half since Chuck’s last day of filming. It will have be just over two years when the VM movie comes out in early 2014. It’s true success may not be calculable until months after that. At the very least, the first caption of a Chuck movie may be “Three years later”.

    I’m just prepared for it to take even longer than that.

    • aerox says:

      But what do you think they’ll calculate it on? IIRC, most backers would receive, if not the DVD, then at least the digital download of the film. Surely, WB won’t stand to profit from any of this? After all, they are included in the donations. Maybe if they make a deal with Netflix/Hulu or something to get it streamed on those websites, they’d get some income out of this, but other than that, I have no clue how they’re going to try and profit from this.

      • atcDave says:

        That’s all to be determined. Traditionally, a studio gets a cut of any of their properties. So every disc sale, every download, a percentage goes back to the studio. Sometimes, properties are sold outright, but usually only if the original studio is convinced the property is played out and not worth very much.
        That is one thing that could be to our advantage with Chuck, its conceivable WB would sell the rights pretty cheap. And business models are changing fast right now. Many studios have been in and out of bankruptcy, which leads to properties changing hands and unusual types of deals being made. I think the most likely deal on Chuck is to simply buy the right to make one, single movie. In all probability, WB would still get some cut of later sales. But obviously, the less it will cost WB upfront (ideally nothing. Zach has already talked about an Internet only product. I think that would be great, get away from all the costs of traditional distribution and promotion) the easier it will be to get independent of them.
        Even better yet, get WB to sell the rights entirely to Nerd Machine. For now, that’s a long shot. But in the current business environment its not completely impossible.

  14. Pingback: Joe vs. NBC, Fox, CBS, ABC… | Chuck This

  15. uplink2 says:

    I’m still curious what is going on with the Netflix deal. We all thought the end of March but here it is the end of April and still no streaming.

  16. oldresorter says:

    Some of the posters here appear to be extra knowledgeable about the movie / tv industry. I assume a few might work in it, but for those who are not, I just read a few things about Iron Man 3.

    Downey made 50M, more or less from the 2012 movie and will make more from IM3 at the rate things are going. IM3 cost about 200M to make, and by the end of the weeked, IM3 will have already earned 650M. I would have to think in some universe, some movie, with ZL and YS playing a spy couple should be able to be made for 8-10M and earn 20M??? IM3 was good, but not ‘that’ good.

    • atcDave says:

      I don’t know, IM3 was pretty awesome….

      The differences in cost and production values from TV to movies are pretty staggering. But yeah I think a Chuck movie could be made quite cheaply by comparison. Really, even in comparison to a lot of TV. Zach and Yvonne would not expect Robert Downey’s salary!

      • aerox says:

        It’s all about branding. Iron Man is a huge brand due to an excellent first movie (and pretty decent second one), so it can afford these lavish expenses, because they know they’re going to break the bank the moment they release the film, even if it’s bad.

        Chuck doesn’t have anything like this. They’re solely dependent on a set of hardcore supporters. That, coupled with the fact that WB has finally realized that they burned money by investing in Chuck, makes anything like the profit you mention unrealistic. I think they’re going to have to shoot for a break even, maybe a profit of a few thousand dollars, but nothing more. Simply put, the show just wasn’t popular anymore, and so far, the fandom has yet to pull a Firefly.

      • oldresorter says:

        Dave / Aerox – I know, I get it, I am a huge IM fan. My point only was, since IM3’s going to make billions, shouldn’t ‘in some universe’ (meant to be slightly snarky) some movie be out there for YS and ZL together, even if it only generates 20M or so in revenue? Dave, if a YS / ZL movie generated sales equal to RD’s compensation, it’d be a smash hit, again, that relativeness is my point. But by and large, I was mostly throwing the numbers out there, and trying to interject a bit of humor, not trying to be all that serious in the comparison.

      • atcDave says:

        Yeah it’s funny, Downey’s salary would probably be good revenue for most movies. But I think the math of it is, he’s been the biggest star on the planet for the last couple years.

      • uplink2 says:

        Dave et al. I think your observation is true and in some wys it is a tribute to him based on the “troubles” in his life. He certainly is a great example of personal and career redemption.

  17. dkd says:

    Three words: international box office.

  18. ChuckVStheMovie says:

    MR. Colt would have been my first choice if Michael Clarke Duncan was alive to play him!

  19. gatesoutcast says:

    I just finished watching Chuck two weeks ago on Netflix. I work 70 hours a week, and was so thrilled that I was able to experience this whole show a couple years late, but still the whole crew, and being a hopeless romantic I want a Chuck movie. Get Chuck’s dad back with the help of Adminral Al, Chuck’s dad was really Dr. Sam Beckett who has been “lost” and as he lay dying on the floor we hear him say,”Al you finally found me” We see him leap, and tie up the endings of two shows.

    • joe says:

      Heh! You *are* a romantic, Gates. I have a feeling that we’d find out Admiral Al is Sarah’s maternal grandfather.

    • dkd says:


      As an aside to this post, I do seem to see a lot of messages on Twitter that indicate many people have discovered Chuck on Netflix. I just wish we had an idea of how many and whether it could have any impact on us getting future content.

      • dkd says:

        BTW–I just saw yet another person on Twitter say they got to the end. Does anyone know if Netflix is showing the final episode that aired or the extended cut from the DVD?

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I’ve been checking the iMDB boards for Chuck. About once a week there is a post by someone who just discovered and/or binge-watched. Since those that post represent a more involved dedicated core than the average viewer, I’d guess Chuck’s audience has seen an uptick with the Netflix release. Netflix could probably tell how much, but they don’t usually release that sort of data.

    • Ernie Davis says:

      I forgot to mention one thing I have noticed in the last month or so. Our “back catalog” is getting tons of hits lately. The combined archives hits often outnumber the home page. In particular Faith’s “Blog Episode Guide”, which gives a synopsis, links to reviews and first reaction threads and lists guest stars, etc. is getting a LOT of hits, more than any recent review or article in the last 30 days. It all points to people checking out older episodes and our reactions to them. Sure it’s all anecdotal, but I do get the general feeling of an uptick in interest in the show compared to a year ago.

      • dkd says:

        Given Netflix has about 30 million U.S. subscribers, even if only 3% watched Chuck, that would be another 900,000 people added to the number of people who’ve seen the show.

        I picked 3% because that’s around the rating it had mid-series for A18-49.

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