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it's so hard to say goodbye

Shawn Ryan Has an Idea for a Shield Movie

THE SHIELD: L-R: Walton Goggins, Michael Chiklis, David Rees Snell and Alex Laughlin.

Fans of The Shield have some new required reading today: This massive oral history of the show is fascinating. Remember when Aceveda was assaulted? (That episode still haunts me.) Remember when Lem died? Remember Shane, and all of his terrible, riveting Shane-ness? Ah, memories. Memories so strong one might hope for a Shield movie! Eh? Eeeeh?

MICHAEL CHIKLIS: "When are you making the movie?" I get asked that question dozens of times a day.

SHAWN RYAN: I don't want to tease fans because if there is a movie it wouldn't be really like the show, so I think people should stop hoping for some kind of Shield reunion. But Michael and I had been talking about a movie prior to Season Seven. I said to him, "Listen, the priority has to be finding the right ending for the series. I'm not going to write a cliffhanger, hoping that we'll eventually get to make a movie. And I reserve the right to end the series in a way that prohibits a movie." After the series ended, I came up with an idea and pitched it to Jim Gianopulos and Alex Young at Fox. The idea was about a young cop who enters the drug gang culture of L.A. and becomes frustrated by his inability to take it down. He becomes obsessed with the idea of bringing some justice to the situation. He then starts hearing whispers of somebody who used to be a cop and might be of service to him. And that's Vic Mackey. So Jim Gianopulos was, like, "Well, maybe—what do you think, Alex?" And Alex, who was a big Shield fan, said, "I love it, I think we should do it." And then, before the deal-making ever got done, Alex was gone.

MICHAEL CHIKLIS: I think Shawn's story is fantastic, and if he were to write it and the studio gave us what we need to make it happen, then I would be in.

SHAWN RYAN: Maybe someday we'll do it. But I'm very comfortable with the legacy of the show and creatively where we ended up.

A movie could be great, but The Shield already has arguably the greatest finale of all time. It's hard to want to mess with perfection.

Photo: Prashant Gupta/FX