Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #351: Flogging a Dead Horse & Possibly Raising The Dead

Welcome to the show folks, here are a few quick thoughts to fill that empty void in your life that only my griping about business can do.


Director Christopher Nolan has dropped his plans for a big screen adaptation of Patrick McGoohan's mind-bending series The Prisoner. Some say it's because he is making room for a third Batman movie, but I think this paragraph from the report shows the real reason:
Nolan's departure has thrown The Prisoner into jeopardy - producer Barry Mendel admits they might not get the green light for the project until movie executives have gauged the success of the new TV version, which stars Ian MCKellen and Jim Caviezel and is set to air later this year (09).
I think he took a look at the project, and saw what happened to the Terminator franchise and didn't want that happening to him. In case you don't recall, Halcyon Productions had a Terminator TV series, and movie, and not to say that they underperformed, but Halcyon did just file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Do you see my point?

When people watch a franchise property they invest themselves emotionally in the characters and their situations. However, if you were to ... Oh, perhaps, put out sequels and a TV series that tell you that all the suffering the characters went through in the first installments were all for nothing, because some studio suit thinks they can boost their bonus. Why bother getting excited about how a show or movie series ends, some executive is going to piss all over it and expect you to shell out to see it all over again because it has a familiar title.

Hell, Universal is reportedly getting Bryan Singer to reboot
Battlestar Galactica. So all you BSG fans out there can just forget all you put into the ending of the series's last reboot (which was mere months ago), because this movie is going to be the definitive version.

All that will do is piss off fans, and judging by the domestic under-performance of
T:S, and the cancellation of the series those pissed off fans will stay away.

I think Nolan didn't want to get caught in that kind of trap, and the sort of nasty chatter such boondoggles entail.


Sharon Waxman over at
The Wrap is convinced that the honchos at Relativity Media are planning to take over MGM. Her proof is a document called "Project Smith." Project Smith details the purchasing of MGM's considerable debt to where they can get enough together to force a takeover of the company, by trading the debt for ownership. And guess what, Relativity's financial backers have started buying up MGM debt again.

Now I've talked before how Project Smith could have just been a trial balloon, and that the backers of Relativity could be buying up the debt to make a quick buck. However, there have been some things that are making people think that they are going for a full takeover.

1. Relativity's pre-existing relationship with Universal Pictures (via Rogue Pictures) isn't all that hot, mostly because Universal isn't all that hot and seems to be operating under some sort of gypsy hex.

2. The prices for the debt are pretty tempting for someone looking for a takeover bid. I'm talking 50¢ for every $1 in debt. Which is a pretty good price because...

3. MGM has over 4,000 titles in their library. Many of them perennial sellers like the Bond movies, and other classics. It also has a domestic distribution system, as well as some valuable TV assets. What it doesn't have is the capital to make new product and properly market the product they have.

So, with all the shuffling going on, there might be a takeover in the offing. We can only watch and see if the venerable lion will roar once again.

1 comment:

  1. Battlestar is getting more convoluted as Ronald Moore is also putting out Caprica series as well as another BSG tv movie. At the same time they are doing the Singer BSG film.

    This is what causes franchise fatigue, Star Trek suffered the same fate when they had two tv shows(DS9 Voyager) on the same time as well as movies (Insurrection)in the theatre.