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'Chuck' - When Will the TV Series and Movie Intersect?

Zachary Levi is Chuck and it seems as though his final unofficial mission to launch a Chuck movie is nearing completion. Each of its 91 episodes was effectively a mini movie, which is possibly what has kept Levi's hopes of a continuation alive since 2012. That and his vowing to never give up the pursuit. The cast's reunion over the pandemic was not only a smash hit but a reminder of how special and magical the series was for everyone. The Chuck table read cast reunion (video below) shows just how many fans are still waiting for the Chuck continuation to happen.

Chuck Movie

Levi believes it will be best served as a movie. Made with an "almost no money budget and no time", the series managed to create a show every week - so what's stopping Levi and series creators Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz (no, not Chuck Lorre) from doing it all over again with "a little more budget and a little more time".

So what's it all about? Chuck is essentially a spy action comedy sci-fi television series about the misadventures of a tech store computer nerd who inadvertently downloads the CIA's database to his head. Much like Inception, it's quite a leap of faith to get from ordinary tech support guy to CIA asset but the series wasn't so much about technical accuracy as it was about lovable characters in what could be described as a blend of Office Space and Get Smart with a little Matrix thrown in for good measure - not surprising considering it comes from Warner Bros.

Featuring Zachary Levi in a star-making performance as Chuck Bartowski whose spy alias is Charles Carmichael, this series has some serious replay value with a reasonably big and loyal fan base. While its affection for Charlie's Angels means the retro vibrations haven't aged all that well, it's charm, naivete, heart and spirit go a long way to overcoming some of its dated depictions and boy's club affectations.

Yvonne Strahovski has gone onto much more serious award-winning roles in The Handmaid's Tale but Chuck was a break out role for the Australian actor, even if she was essentially playing Spy Barbie. Wearing skimpy outfits and high heels aren't ideal for serious spy work. If you watch Point of No Return based on Luc Besson's Nikita, you'll notice that going from high heels to barefoot is probably the best way to carry out special orders... even in a busy restaurant. Strangely enough, Sarah Walker whose real name actually seems to cause a bit of trouble in terms of continuity, picks up the character as a sort of Nikita in reverse... moving from super assassin to eventually soften as Chuck's handler turned girlfriend.

Rounding off the trio is Adam Baldwin as NSA agent John Casey. A throwback to everything '80s, it's Casey's photo of Ronald Reagan that tips us off to his patriotic, gung ho and even gun ho spirit as the unflappable hard man's grunts and one-liners become a regular source of amusement. Out of his time, his penchant for ammunition and love for taking down the bad guys effectively makes him a Terminator in T2 type character - sworn to protect the asset at all costs.

This three-card trick is the core of Chuck about a team of agents who try to protect and leverage the vulnerable yet invaluable Chuck who becomes so much more than just another job. Blazing the action comedy budget True Lies style, this action-orientated element keeps the secret agent man thrill of undercover work ever-present and suspenseful as they attempt to maintain the cover of chain store employees.

Chuck Cast

Chuck is about spy action comedy but it wouldn't be the same without the good ole Buy More. This is the name of the appliance department store where all of the characters find themselves at one or another time as a cover or a customer. A distraction and subterfuge for their actual jobs as spies, this Office Space type environment works as a daily grind comedy with oodles of comic relief.

Playing off the store for many missions, it serves as a playground for the show's stalwart supporting acts. Morgan Grimes played by Joshua Gomez is Chuck's heavily-bearded best friend, a Chewy to Hans Solo, a Luigi to Mario, whose absolute devotion to Chuck almost singlehandedly fuels their bromance and love for the geekiest fandoms.

Jeff and Lester, better known as the rock cover group Jeffster, played by Scott Krinsky and Vik Sahay respectively, are creeps but have a strange bromance of their own as they skulk about the Buy More as resident employees, tricksters, trolls and occasional heroes. Mark Christopher Lawrence follows through as lovable store manager "Big" Mike, eventually becoming a veritable mascot for Subway product placement, while the regular extras come to form part of Buy More's expansive comedy team.

Not far from home (actually next door) are Devon and Ellie, Chuck's brother-in-law and doting sister. Better known as "Awesome", Ryan McPartlin could easily have been cast as Ken instead of Ryan Gosling in the new Barbie film, a handsome former "Abercrombie & Fitch" model turned doctor who frequently appears shirtless. His dalliances with the spy life are always funny as he gets on with simply being awesome.

Ellie, played by Sarah Lancaster, gives Chuck family roots as the two hark back to their days of raising one another after their parent's disappearance and estrangement. A link to the past, Ellie's also the voice of reason and the audience's frame of reference in terms of thinking that Chuck's just not living up to his full potential - caught in a dead-end day job.

Armed to the teeth with charming and lovable characters, it's quite amazing to think just how many episodes Chuck served up. Creating fresh missions, new evil organisations and diverging character dynamics, Chuck managed to keep a good level of consistency across its five seasons and 91 episodes. Many of the adventures were pretty far-fetched and could be picked apart quite easily if you really had to analyse the story. So how do you explain its crowd-pleasing yet critical acclaim with an 8.2/10 and 90% ratings on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes?

What kept the series going was its underlying concept's big what-if and wish fulfillment, which may have motivated Levi's casting as Shazam!. For unfulfilled outsiders to become important, mission critical and win over the prom queen, there was a certain amount of Revenge of the Nerds energy bubbling under. Secondly, what really got people to just roll with it was the characters and ensemble's chemistry. Whether just there for comic relief or doing some serious action choreography - their absolute commitment and love for their characters shone through episode after episode.

Together with flexible action, comedy and action comedy writing these factors popped, got audiences emotionally invested in the characters, the on-and-off romance as well as the long-running spy games. What made Chuck truly special beyond these bonds was its pop culture appreciation. Given a special place, able to thrive on a great deal of wink-wink charm with outlandish and funny scenarios, Chuck was also just loosey-goosey enough to hire recognisable and typecast stars to poke fun at their strong character affiliations and craft something bold, entertaining and new in the process.

Chuck became a pop culture magpie, summoning up the spice of fan culture in crafting a television series that payed homage and worshipped at the shrine of Hollywood and TV cool, resurrecting stars with recurring roles that served to lampoon and honour simultaneously. Tony Hale leans into his Arrested Development Buster quirk, Brandon "Superman" Routh is effective as "Chuck 2.0", Timothy Dalton inverts his 007 fame, Linda Hamilton spins off her Sarah O'Connor from Terminator type, Scott Bakula acknowledges the show's Quantum Leap sci-fi verve... and many other guest stars embroidered the rich tapestry that was and is Chuck.

Full of heart, spirit and love - it's always difficult to conjure up the same spirit of the series in full swing. This is especially true for actors who became so invested in playing a specific part for so long. However, as long as it has been since the series drew to a close... there's still a broad fan base of people who would love to see their beloved Chuck characters reunite for a film or possibly even a reboot series. If Zachary Levi is committed to seeing this happen - whether through an Intersect flash or the utterance of "Shazam!"- one does feel that there will be enough impetus to see it happen!