Thursday, 11 February 2010

Hollywood Babble On & On #453: Overture, Brand, & The Terminator

Welcome to the show folks...


Liberty Media is looking to sell Overture Films, their indie film distribution arm after a string of phazed cookies and only the occasional modest money maker.

That means that MGM, Miramax, and Overture are now for sale, and Lionsgate in a position (slightly bent over) where if things don't improve, and soon, it's going to get nailed with a hostile takeover. There is quite literally a glut on the market for independent film companies.

So here's my offer for Overture Films:

I'll give you $10 for it.

Remember, there's an expiry date on this offer, so don't dawdle.


Warner Bros. has inked a deal to do several projects with British "comedian" Russel Brand. I put "comedian" in quotation marks because I can't actually bring myself to remember any of Brand's material. I mean I've seen him at work, but the moment he walks off the stage, total blank.

He's the comedy version of singer John Mayer, I mean I can't remember anything he's sung, and like Brand, he's better known for shagging chicks and being obnoxious than what he's supposed to be known for.

I've said it before that Russel Brand leaves me cold. There's too much carefully sculpted artifice for him to be his real self, or even a character, he's an image. But he's not just any image, he's the image of the corporation friendly rebel. He dresses in black, carefully tailored to look "rock star" ragged, with his hair, semi-beard, and eyeshadow constructed for that "Oh, he looks like a junkie, he must be rebellious, dangerous and deep" look. He also delivers precisely crafted "outrages" very careful not to step on the shibboleths of his corporate masters, that also serves his own career. Take the incident that marked his departure from the BBC. He didn't challenge the attitudes or politics of the fashionable set that dominates the management of the media industry in general. Instead he made a bunch of sexually explicit crank calls to a beloved and very elderly performer about the sex life of the man's granddaughter.

That outraged listeners, and gave him the excuse to walk away from the BBC to the greener pastures of Hollywood, but it made the hearts of media executives flutter. The message was, he's obnoxious enough to attract a lot of attention, but knows enough to not say anything that might offend the people who write his checks.

Personally, I think this rush to sign Brand to everything is a mistake that's even bigger than Taylor Lautner being signed to every potential movie franchise being made for the next ten years. At least Lautner, is a young actor and has the potential of doing something different with the right script, and right director. Brand is so wrapped up in his image of the "rockstar rebel wannabe" that his idea of playing a different character is to put on a hat. (as illustrated)

I also read that one of these films is a remake of Arthur, which means that Dudley Moore's charming tippling gadabout will now be a rude and obnoxious junkie who refuses to wash his hair.

But he will be wearing a hat to show you that he's acting.


William Wisher, the man who I now suspect made the scripts for the first two Terminator films coherent says that he hopes the folks who now own the franchise will give him a shot at making T5 and T6.

While I wish Mr. Wisher well, I just think that the whole Terminator franchise is a dead horse that's been flogged into oblivion. The giddy thrill from the novelty of an unstoppable killing machine with an unintelligible accent, is gone, and has probably lapsed into parody.

And let's not forget the curse. Every company that's made a Terminator film has either gone defunct, or went bankrupt. The movie biz is just too unstable to lose another company to this hex.


  1. As for Terminator, I would not mind of Bethesda the people who made Fallout 3 got ownership of the video game rights again. back in the 1990's they made Terminator Future Shock for the PC it was without a doubt one of the best terminator games ever.

  2. Oh......well, that's interesting. I'd always thought that Cameron had sole writing credit on T1 and T2 (not counting the nod to Ellison). He wasn't alone in writing them? Well, that shakes things up a bit.

  3. T1's script is credited to Cameron and producer Gale Ann Hurd, Wisher is credited for "additional dialogue," and the plot was ripped off from Harlan Ellison's work for The Outer Limits.