Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #409: It's Not Rocket Science

Welcome to the show folks...


Okay sometimes I really despair over the development process.

Marvel, Sony, and Sam Raimi are putting together, or developing, the script they need for Spider-Man 4. I'm hoping that they've learned their lessons from the creative and over-expensive mess otherwise known as Spider-Man 3, but now I'm thinking that those lessons just went way over their heads.

Okay here's the skinny.

They've been setting up Dylan Baker to play Curt Connors/The Lizard since at least the second movie. However, the studio is balking from having a villain without a human face, and want Anne Hathaway and John Malkovich in the movie.

Now folks have been musing for months that Miss Hathaway will be playing The Black Cat, and more recently that Malkovich will be playing the The Vulture.

Except some recent reports say that they're only half-right. Malkovich will play The Vulture, but Anne Hathaway will not be the Black Cat, but instead will be playing a new creation called, wait for it, The Vulturess.

Someone call a doctor, because we need to get someone's head out of their own ass stat!

The whole concept of The Vulturess is lamer than OJ Simpson's last defense, and just reeks of someone in a position of power dropping brain-farts for the sake of hearing their own voice, even if it means losing Anne Hathaway in a skin tight and revealing Black Cat outfit.

Here's what you do...

Act 1. Since Curt Connors research is all about regeneration, it would be natural for the aging Vulture to go after it, and for Black Cat to want it to sell to the highest bidder. Spidey gets on their tail, there's a big kerfuffle at the Connors' lab and whoops, poor Connors is now The Lizard.

Act 2. The Vulture finds a way to control the Lizard and use it to get the materials he needs to bring back his youth. Black Cat joins forces with Spider-Man to catch them, after a few sexy rooftop encounters, and the hunt begins.

Act 3. Spider-Man wants to cure his friend and teacher, Black Cat doesn't really care. There's a battle royale on the roof of the Chrysler building or some other landmark. Spider-Man narrowly saves the day, and is possibly betrayed by Black Cat who has her own agenda.

Toss in Mary Jane getting jealous, J. Jonah Jameson ranting and raving, and Aunt May being feeble and helpless, and the movie writes itself.

Like I said, it's not rocket science, it's Hollywood.


James Schamus the President of Focus Features* actually expressed some honesty, which has left me shocked and appalled.

Just look at what he told Variety:

"We all feel pressure to hit homers, but 'A Serious Man,' a film that has no definable genre or business plan, is the solid double we hoped it would be, and 'Coraline' got more Annie nominations than 'Up,' " Schamus said. "Of course, I got my ass kicked on 'Woodstock.' That is going to happen, but you've got to keep making movies you believe in, at reasonable costs."

What's all this talk about reasonable costs and reasonable expectations?

That's pretty much blasphemy for someone in the movie business.

I mean anyone in the movie business knows that the secret of success is spending immense amounts of other people's money and declaring that anything that makes less than $100 million is the most dismal failure in the world, because you pissed away more than $100 million.

By Xenu, I don't know what to make of someone who wants to make inexpensive movies with reasonable box office expectations, especially when they seem to use a passion for the material as their guide over a desire to get a leg up on starlets and shareholders alike.

I'd like to take a look at the books over at Focus Features and see if this crazy method is actually working, because it just leaves me gobsmacked.

* Focus Features was spawned by the union of Gramercy Pictures (Polygram Filmed Entertainment), USA Films, and October Films by parent company Universal Pictures and Barry Diller, and now acts as the NBC-U "indie" and art-house subsidiary.

No comments:

Post a Comment