"Crash" the TV show features none of the actors or characters from "Crash" the Oscar-winning movie. TV "Crash" and movie "Crash" share some behind-the-scenes personnel, but most of them (like writer/director Paul Haggis and writer Bobby Moresco) have little day-to-day involvement. The show, though it's set in Los Angeles like the movie, is actually filmed in New Mexico.
So why call it "Crash"?
"Our hope is that people tune in to the first episode and at the end go, 'Well, that was nothing like the movie, but it felt exactly like the movie," TV "Crash" showrunner Glen Mazzara (from "The Shield") told me after the show's press tour session, where most of the questions dealt with the connections, or lack thereof, between show and movie.
(That is, when we weren't busy channeling our inner 12-year-olds and being fascinated by Dennis Hopper -- the biggest name in the show's cast, in the role of a Phil Spector-esque music producer -- revealing that his character is introduced while having a conversation with his penis.)
"You can't make the movie again," insisted Moresco, who showed up at press tour along with Cheadle to represent the film legacy (Haggis did not). "You have to make a television show."
"I think if people are expecting to see the movie done over 13 episodes, that's not what they're going to see," said Cheadle, who said he had yet to do any daily producing work on the series due to his movie acting, and that he and Mazzara have talked about the possibility of reprising his troubled cop role from the movie.
Moresco said the show has the right to bear the name because the setting will be the same (even though they're filming in New Mexico to save money), and because "it's about those people who come to the city of Los Angeles and trying to figure out what they're all going through."
We haven't seen the show yet, just a couple of clips, and as a "Shield" fan, I can see how Mazzara would be a good choice to tackle thematically-similar material. But we'll see if the "Crash" name alone is enough to get people to tune into the first original drama series Starz! has ever done.