Elmore Leonards 1990 novel “Get Shorty,” told the story of Chili Palmer, a Miami loan shark, who decided, as a change of pace, to get into the film producing business. The dark satire of Hollywood movie making became a hit movie in 1995 starring John Travolta, Renne Russo, Gene Hackman, and Danny DeVito. A sequel, “Be Cool,” depicted Chili’s entry into the music business. Naturally, and inevitably, someone thought about making “Get Shorty” into a TV series.

A gangster goes to Hollywood in a new Epix series

Get Shorty” is due to start on the Epix cable Channel in August. It stars Chris O’Dowd and Ray Romano as the gangster and a washed-up movie producer who has to show him the ropes of Hollywood filmmaking.

However, for some reason likely having to do with a legal issue, the names of the characters have been changed. Chili Palmer is now Miles Daly. Harry Zimm, the name of the movie producer in the novel and the film, is now Rick Moreweather.

The characters and situations are more violent

Plenty of shootings and violent deaths took place in “Get Shorty” -- the book and movie. However, the violence seems to have been ramped up a bit for the series. While Chili was a loan shark, Miles is a hitman who is quite comfortable with killing people. Chili Palmer liked to use his epic self-confidence and body language to intimidate people into doing what he wanted, usually to pay a debt that they owed. He would use deadly force only as a last resort, almost always to defend himself and others. Even when he beat someone up, Chili was always solicitous toward his victim once he was subdued.

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In the trailer for the series, Miles casually asks his victim to move to one side so that his brains would not damage a bookcase that was behind him.

Will the series lose some of Elmore Leonard’s subtle humor?

By making the main character a contract killer, the series version of “Get Shorty” runs the risk of losing some of the subtle humor that was a hallmark of Elmore Leonard’s crime fiction. The trailer suggests that the entertainment business, at least as depicted, has a lot of similarities to organized crime. That depiction may be true to a certain extent, but one does not hear of producers solving their problems by removing them with the barrel of a gun. Still, the “reimagining” of the story, a ten episode series written by Davey Holmes, is worth at least a first look if one happens to have the Epix Channel available, which not everyone does.