Who Green Lights These Movies In Hollywood?
Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Warning: Warning: Warning: Spoilers lie ahead for those that wish to see X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Ryan Reynolds plays the fan-favorite character Deadpool in 20th Century Fox's upcoming X-Men prequel, a casting choice which initially pleased fans and spawned rumors that Fox was planning a spin-off Deadpool franchise. A ninja-like mercenary in the comics, Deadpool is known for his use of a wide variety of guns, swords and witticisms to cause a ruckus across several titles. He's aware that he's a comic book character, talks to the audience and is, for the most part, psychotic.
When a test print of Wolverine leaked onto the internet in late March, longtime fans erupted over the film's treatment of "The Merc with the Mouth" who appears in the film as a shirtless warrior with no mouth, laserbeam eyes, and swords coming out of his arms.
Making changes to a franchise comes with the territory of an adaptation. Lord of the Rings cut several minor events from the book in its transition to the big screen, and the films' core nerd audience still embraced the franchise. This is mainly because there was never a meeting where someone said "Let's have Gollum in it, except now he's a fire breathing dragon with swords coming out of his arms."
The World Without Us The Movie
In 2007, writer Alan Weisman published The World without Us, a study showing what would become of the world if humanity disappeared. The book reveals two things: everything is going to be an awesome city/forest hybrid, and that Mount Rushmore and the Statue of Liberty are going to be about the only things left to freak out alien archeologists. Weisman's study sold well around the world and spawned several knock off cable documentaries.
Now, Fox and I Am Legend director Francis Lawrence plan to make the book into a fictional drama. Somehow.
The problem lies in the transition. Transforming a speculative non-fiction book about a world without humanity into a fictitious movie with characters and plot will ultimately rely on some pretty silly story ideas. The movie will end up being about generations growing up after the fall of society or a botched time travel expedition. Worse yet, it could end up like I Am Legend without vampires-and who wants that? Still, there's no use in complaining, we'll all be dead from Pig Flu in a couple of weeks anyway.
David Cronenberg's Videodrome is an odd movie. The film stars James Woods as a television executive looking for a new program that will shock an increasingly desensitized audience. In the process he finds Videodrome, a pirate signal that transmits snuff films from an unknown source. Then he has sex with a television, sticks a videotape into his abdomen and causes tumors to erupt from cracks in man's flesh. Universal wants to remake this.
According to Variety, Universal hopes to "modernize the concept, infuse it with the possibilities of nano-technology and blow it up into a large-scale sci-fi action thriller." Considering the project's writer Ehren Kruger (who wrote The Ring, The Ring 2, and Rings) it's essentially guaranteed that this will mean "let's put some YouTubes in there and see what happens."
Remember when "2010" in a title meant that it would be set in the future? Not only will this Rashomon remake turn the Akira Kurosawa landmark original into a dull modern courtroom drama, the remake will also serve as a bitter reminder that the future isn't as cool as everyone thought it would be.
Renaming Jonny Quest
The rumor behind the Zac Efron starring Warner Bros. adaptation of Jonny Quest doesn't make a lot of sense. The rumor goes that Warner bought the rights for "The Adventures of Jonny Quest, a 60s cartoon about an 11 year old adventurer, cast someone ten years older and decided to change the character's name to avoid people drawing associations with Speed Racer.
Shying away from Speed Racer isn't a bad idea, but going through the trouble of disassociating the film from its source feels counterproductive. What's the point of owning the rights to Jonny Quest if you're just going to turn around and call it Kid Adventure, or Zac Expedition? Besides, Speed Racer was originally a Japanese property, and Jonny Quest was a Hanna-Barbera property. This would be like getting a Jetsons movie and renaming the family out of the fear that people will associate it with Voltron.
The Descent 2
Every few years a horror movie comes along that blows crowds away with its brutal originality. 2005's The Descent dragged audiences through the lightless, unforgiving tunnels of an unexplored cave, and threw in some mutant mole people in there for good measure. Of course, as with every successful horror movie, a sequel is in the works that will send us back through the same movie again.
With limited input from the first film's director, Neil Marshall, The Descent 2 picks where the second left off which immediately grinds the film's potential to a nub. The original film had two endings: the British one, which leaves viewers feeling punched in the gut and closes off potential for a sequel, and the American one, in which the movie "stops" rather than "ends." Is it that hard to remember that there's a thin line between The Descent and The Cave?
Story by Kris King
Starpulse contributing writer
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