Friday, June 24, 2005

A lathering wall punching FIT! (Or: An Open Letter to Hollywood)

A Lathering Wall Punching Fit!
Hey. I've got an Idea: Why don't we:

-Turn Batman into a murderer. Sure he'll end up waxing all the A-list villains but it's cathartic for the audience. Never mind that it's antithetical to his nature.
-Let's make Two Face a comedic character, instead of the tragic character he truly is and let's make Mr Freeze into a musclebound lummox. While we're at it, we'll make Poison Ivy into an oversexed scatterbrain.
-Let's put Superman in a black suit, take away his ability to fly, and have him fight polar bears and giant spiders...And give him a gay robot pal.
-or we could have J.J.Abrams script for Superman, which feature villains we've never heard of, and a Lex Luthor who is secretly a kryptonian.
-Let's put Tom Sawyer into The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, regardless of the fact that he's American, from the wrong time period, and has nothing to do with the story.
-Let's take John Constantine and make him into a decidedly non British new york homicide cop. After the studio bigwigs say that nobody "gets" that whole British thing anyway...This in the age of Guy Ritchie, and Harry Potter.

Why would you take a basic property. Something that people like and groove on. And then start screwing with it to the point that it's unrecognizable in the vain attempt to update it or make it palatable to a wider audience. Especially, when it has been proven time and time again, that all this accomplishes is the confusion of the wider audience and the utter alienation of the core audience. Why would you kill your word of mouth? Why piss off the people who could sell your movie for you?

Arrogance is why. Because some shmuck sitting at a desk in Hollywood knows better than YOU, the comic book reader. This presumption that Comic book readers are ignorant is actively poisonous..And it won't make you money. Most of your projects will go down in flames if you go on the assumption that people don't know or care.

They do know. They do care.

This is not say that "Re-imaginings" of material don't work all the time. Marvel has made a science of it. Mainly because they hire talent that understands the source material and stay the hell out their way, They let the merchandising and marketing take care of itself, instead of micromanaging the creative process at the get off so that the product becomes like a bonsai tree, stunted and unnatural, but sure to sell plenty of toys at Taco Bell.

I am so heartily sick of my favorite comics being turned into celluloid dreck. I have read the new Superman script online and I can feel the bile rising in the back of my throat. I don't even particularly like Superman and I can feel nothing but loathing in my heart for what they've done to him.

Stop changing creative elements simply so you can reap phat cash from your little chunk of intellectual property that you now own...It doesn't do you a bit of good when the movie tanks does it?

Try casting people for roles in comic book movies that are right for them. I don't care how much dick Marlon Wayans is sucking in Hollywood, If I see him get considered for another role that he's totally wrong for I'm going to BARF. (You do know that he was up for the part of Robin, at one time right?) Even if you have to cast an unknown to do it right. Do it right damnit! I could never see Nicholas Cage as John Constantine (He should have played Ghost Rider, but that fell through) Get malcolm Mcdowell, or Ewan MacGregor (in about 20 years) or even,God, this make me breath a little shallower, Terrence Stamp. By god, that would be a movie I'd see in a theater multiple times. And buy it on video to boot.

Stop making us suffer. Or there will be vengeance.

Will we picket? Naaah. We understand that you corporate pinheads consider even bad press to be useful to a movies shelf life. We'll simply turn our backs on deeply inferior product. Maybe even launch a denial of service attack on the server where the crappy website is. We'll kill you with silence until you straighten up and fly right. Maybe if we executed Jon Peters...

Sono Finito.

I should never write while angry. It's never a good idea. But many times the way us fans are treated by Hollywood makes me angry I could chew tinfoil. Not to mention the fact that it's not only the fans who get screwed but the creators too. And as a creative type, I can tell you it would make me less inclined to make with the creating. I honestly don't know how Alan Moore has put with the shit that he has from the film making community. It seems like there is almost a concerted effort to miss the fucking point of every single one of works, when making them into a film.
Still, posting while angry is not a good idea. And I also owe an apology to J.J. Abrams over the whole Superman script thing. It came to light after I had written this incoherent screed, that the script that had been leaked to the net was in fact an EXTREMELY rough draft. I honestly should have known better. J.J. Abrams is a genius, responsible for one of the best shows on TV (Alias, in case you don't know) and the idea that he's attached to Mission Impossible 3 (as of this writing) makes me very happy indeed.
I still think we should execute Jon Peters though.


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