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Bourne, Sex and the City, and the Three Other Most Copied Formulas in Hollywood

Tomorrow, Salt, 90 minutes of Angelina Jolie impressively kicking ass while dealing with identity issues, arrives in theaters. Thanks to the aforementioned action and soul-searching, the movie has long been described as “The Bourne movies with a chick.” In November, the director of The Hangover, Todd Phillips, reteams with Zach Galifianakis for Due Date, which also goes by the title, "The Hangover with Robert Downey Jr." The Bourne franchise and The Hangover have both become high concept, easily understood bywords that explain a project and its tone with minimal verbiage, and, as such, they’ve got a lot of copycats — but they’re not the only commonly shorthanded titles out there, both in movies and TV. On the occasion of Salt's opening, we take a look at the five film and TV shows that have spawned, and continue to spawn, the most knockoffs. (We left Dallas off the list out of respect for the elderly).


Films and TV shows that have yet to be released are marked with an asterisk.


Bourne Copycats

The Green Zone: Bourne in Iraq.

Quantum of Solace: Bond as Bourne.

Robin Hood: “Medieval Bourne”.

*World War Z: Bourne with Zombies.

The Hangover Copycats

Hot Tub Time Machine: The Hangover with time travel.

*LASt Vegas: The Hangover with old dudes.

*Business Trip: The Hangover with women.

*The Bachelorette Party: The Hangover with women.

*Untitled Bollywood Project: The Hangover gone Bollywood .

*The Hangover 2


Sex and the City Copycats

Grown Ups: Sex and the City with middle-aged dudes.

Pretty Little Liars: Sex and the City in a murderous high school.

My Boys: Sex and the City with a mixed-gender group of friends.

Girlfriends: Sex and the City with black women.

Big Shots: Sex and the City with guys.

Lipstick Jungle: Sex and the City with three chicks, not four.

The L Word: Sex and the City with lesbians.

Desperate Housewives: Sex and the City in the suburbs.

Women’s Murder Club: Sex and the City with crime-solving.

Related: Sex and the City with family members.

Cashmere Mafia:Sex and the City that got canceled even faster than the rest.

Lost Copycats

Flash Forward: Lost where everyone blacks out all at once.

Heroes: Lost with superheroes.

Invasion: Lost with body snatchers.

Surface: Lost with sea creatures.

Threshold:Lost with aliens.

Jericho: Lost with nuclear apocalypse.

The Nine: Lost with a bank robbery.

Six Degrees: Lost as less supernatural, with more romance.
*The Event: Lost with a mysterious conspiracy to be
named later (but probably having to do with aliens).

Friends Copycats

(In the interest of keeping this one short, and not running through every show inspired by Friends — from Coupling to How I Met Your Mother to Sex and the City itself — we will instead note Friends' resurgent influence and all of the upcoming TV shows inspired by it.)

*Better Together: Friends with sisters (so no friends).

*Traffic Light: Friends with three male friends.

*Perfect Couples: Friends with three couples.

*Happy Endings: Just Friends.

*Friends With Benefits: Friends with more sex.

Photo: Universal pictures, Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images