7 Great Sports Movies That Got TV Spinoffs


The return of The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers not only gives the Disney+ series a second season but also continues the story from the original sports movie. But while there have been a number of great sports movies over the years, only a select few have gotten their own television spinoffs.

With a wide variety of sports and tones, these shows attempted to recapture whatever worked in those original movies. Some fell far short of the beloved originals while others may have even surpassed them but the movies all inspired these shows to continue their sports stories.


7/7 Field Of Dreams (1989)

The baseball movie Field of Dreams mixed a sports drama with some fantasy elements. Kevin Costner stars as an Iowa farmer who begins hearing voices in his cornfield instructing him to build a baseball field. Despite becoming the joke of the town, he soon finds that the newly constructed baseball field allows the spirits of old forgotten baseball players, including Shoeless Joe Jackson, to return and play.

Though the series has yet to air, there is one in the works from The Good Place creator Michael Schur. There are very few details announced for the project which may in fact be in trouble as it is reportedly shopping for a new home after being dropped by Peacock. If the series does gain momentum it will be interesting to see how the story is adapted for the small screen. With Schur at the helm, it is certainly an exciting project to have on the horizon.

6/7 Teen Wolf (1985)

Along with being one of the best werewolf movies according to fans, Teen Wolf is also an outlandish sports movie. Michael J. Fox stars as a high school student who is on his struggling school basketball team. But when he finds himself turning into a werewolf, he discovers that it helps him become a phenomenal basketball player, turning him into the star of the school. It is a wacky 80s comedy that is largely held together by Fox’s charm.

The teen television remake goes for a more dark and brooding take which seemed to work for fans. Though there is less emphasis on the sports aspect of the story this time around, young Scott McCall does become his school’s top lacrosse player with his new werewolf abilities.

5/7 The Bad News Bears (1976)

One of the funniest sports comedies of all time, The Bad News Bears remains a beloved classic all these years later. Walter Matthau stars as a washed-up baseball player hired to coach a little league team. Seeing this heavy-drinking and uninterested coach with a group of outcast athletes is hugely entertaining.

After a couple of failed sequels, the story was revisited as a TV show with Jack Warden in the coach role of Buttermaker, now trying to avoid jail time by coaching the incompetent team of youngsters. While it didn’t live up to the original, it managed to last two seasons.

4/7 The Karate Kid (1984)

The Karate Kid was a 1980s movie starring Ralph Macchio as Daniel La Russo, a young kid who movies to a new home in California with his mother. After being bullied by some local kids, led by Johnny Lawrence, Daniel is taught to defend himself by a karate trainer named Mr. Miyagi. This leads to Daniel taking on Johnny and his Cobra Kai karate group during a climactic karate tournament.

Given the love of 80s nostalgia, it is not all that surprising that The Karate Kid was revisited. What is surprising is how excellent of a continuation Cobra Kai ended up being. Set decades after the events of the movie, Cobra Kai is about redemption, playing around with the characters of Daniel and Johnny as adults while also introducing some fun younger characters.

3/7 A League Of Their Own (1992)

While there have been a number of sports movies based on true stories, A League of Their Own helped expose a little-known aspect of baseball history that provided a compelling and hugely entertaining story. Set in the midst of World War II, the movie follows an all-female baseball league which was started in the United States. Tom Hanks plays the reluctant coach of one of the women’s teams while the focus of the movie was on two sisters who found themselves on opposite teams.

The recent Amazon series A League of Their Own referenced the movie in some fun ways but also took its own approach to telling this fascinating story. One of the best aspects of the show was how it explored the gay community that existed within the women’s league as well as Black players seeking their opportunities in the game.

2/7 The Mighty Ducks (1992)

Another movie about a reluctant former athlete becoming the coach of a ragtag sports team is The Mighty Ducks. Seen as one of the best hockey movies, it stars Emilio Estevez as Gordon Bombay whose community service punishment is to coach an underdog hockey team. Of course, the group of youngsters eventually wins over the heart of the self-centered businessman and the movie won over audiences enough to earn two sequels.

Though there was also a bizarre animated action spinoff series, the movie was given a proper continuation recently with the Disney+ series The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers. The series stars Lauren Graham as the mother of a boy rejected from the winning Ducks team and enlists Bombay to form a new team. The series returns for its second season with a casting change as Josh Duhamel replaces Estevez.

1/7 Friday Night Lights (2004)

Based on the book by Buzz Bissinger, Friday Night Lights was adapted into a movie directed by Peter Berg. It starred Billy Bob Thorton as the coach of a high school football team in a rural Texas town where football was all that mattered. The movie delved into the pressure these young athletes were under with characters like the unproven player thrust into the spotlight, the star whose future is thrown into question with a serious injury, and the young man living in his father’s shadow.

The series explored similar themes and characters in its five-season run with Kyle Chandler stepping into Thorton’s role as Coach Eric Taylor. The show also had a lot more heart than the movie which was one of the main reasons it became so beloved among fans. It also introduced some exciting new talent like Michael B. Jordan and Jesse Plemons.

NEXT: 10 Best Sports Movies Ever Made, According To Reddit


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