Training Day, the 2001 dirty cop drama that earned star Denzel Washington his second Academy Award, has taken its place in my personal pantheon of perpetually watchable films. Like The Godfather, Goodfellas, or The Untouchables, when it’s on, I have to stop and watch it. It’s just that good, and doesn’t lose a step in repeat viewing.
Now that film’s director, Antoine Fuqua, is set to write and produce a television series which will build on its premise. From The Hollywood Reporter:
Described as a reimagining that begins 15 years after the film left off, CBS’ Training Day centers on an idealistic young African-American police officer who is appointed to an elite squad of the LAPD where he is partnered with a seasoned, morally ambiguous Caucasian detective.
That last bit is a racial role reversal from the original film, where Denzel played the morally ambiguous veteran training Ethan Hawke’s idealistic young officer.
It’s hard to assess this news. The involvement of Fuqua should not be discounted. But part of what made Training Day work as a film was its confined timeframe. The entire story takes place in one 24-hour stretch, and the perspective of Hawke’s character is radically changed by his experiences in that time. Perhaps the show could take a page from 24 and stretch the “training day” into a literal number of hours. In any case, it’s hard to believe that a network television show will capture the same flavor of the film.