Malcolm Johnson, acid and brilliant, on my five non-Western myths, fairy tales, and religious figures who would make great movies:
Hey, Alyssa. We got your memo in Development, and…well, I’m afraid we’re going to have to pass on all of these movies. First off, some of this stuff sounds kinda Foreign, making it real impossible to get available locations here in L.A. (psst, actually I meant Vancouver, but don’t tell the local Unions that).
Second, I have to question whether or not there are any bankable stars we have that could make any of these work. Brad Pitt? Angelina? Well, maybe. But some serious reworking of these stories would have to be done in order to get them to sell to an American audience. (And I think you know what I mean). Plus, do you remember how much work we had to do in order to convert Red Tails into a movie that featured all white people before George took his ball and went home? Don’t want to relive that again.
What was that? You wanted to put actual “actors of color” to be in these movies?
Alyssa, this is Hollywood. We don’t do that.
Moving on to Marketing. They’re concerned about a lack of viable merchandizing tie-ins. Yeah, sure we could sell a couple of children’s book tie-ins, but where’s the action figure going to come out of that Ananzi thing? I mean what? Doesn’t that guy just whisper stories in people’s ears all day? I mean, at least transform into a car or something. Plus, Hasbro has called and expressed some doubt that they’d generate any sales for this stuff in the South. After all, these characters are hardly Christians.
Plus with the amount of Special Effects these movies would require…
Hmm? What? These stories don’t require that many effects? Ehhhh, I gotta pass anyway, and yes I sticking wtih CGI expense as the reason.
Look, next time you got something with Fighting Robots (of any size) come on into the office and pitch it. Better luck next time.
The hurdles are very, very high. But I have to believe that with a combination of shame, killer marketing plans, and empirical evidence, they will eventually be surmountable. We’ll win because we’re right. And because our ideas make for better entertainment.