My first question was WHY?! For the love of God, WHY?! There are warehouses full - I repeat, FULL - of optioned screenplays just pining away and yellowing from years of inactivity and shameful neglect (and a sporadic if not lazy cleaning crew). When I hear news like this I either fly off the handle (as in NOW), or freeze as though playing Statues and silently panic thinking, Good Lord! All the writers on the planet have died! What an appalling, cataclysmic event! There will NEVER be another NEW idea again.
Then I get a grip, realizing I am still alive and I AM A WRITER! And so the torture continues.
We writers of the new thinking, we writers of the fresh ideas, we writers who put a quirky, clever spin on things giving an old story a new twist, suck it up. Apply a little ice to the bruised jaw (and ego) where we took this latest slam and with an attempt at a semi dignified toss of the head, we march onward. On to our legal pads, PCs, laptops, micro-cassette recorders - whatever and whichever tool(s) we prefer to put down for all time our NEW, FRESH, INVENTIVE ideas for stories that would make audiences laugh, weep, gasp, cling to their seat mate in terror, or maybe just spend 120 minutes knocking back some über priced Jujubes and a watered down soft drink to try and forget about the crappy day they had with some entertainment.
AND, many, many of these scripts are devoid of expensive explosions, costly car chases requiring all kinds of payouts for permits to close down highways and neighborhoods in order to capture the carnage, and not a speck of computer generated images in the bunch. Now, while I feel sorry for the actors who will lose wages for not having to don the lime green skin tight technical suits with ping pong balls attached in various locations to enable the CGI folk to make the magic happen, I can get over this.
Some days I feel like Martin Short's character Nathan Thurm (he of slicked down hair, greasy face and endless cigarette ash) who was wont to say, "Is it ME or is it HIM? It's HIM, isn't it?" Some days I feel like Colin Clive as the original Dr. Frankenstein crying, "It's alive! It's alive!" in that way of warning others of something potentially scary and dangerous about to happen. And yet, [spoiler alert if you haven't seen this 1973 film] other days I feel like Charleton Heston shouting, "Soylent Green is PEOPLE!" My point being I feel the need to spread the word, not unlike Peter Finch in Paddy Chayefsky's brilliant Network. C'mon, you know the line. That's right, now I want you to go to your window and open it and shout out, 'I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore!' [Ah, Paddy we hardly knew ye.] Of course, other days I feel like Billie Jenkins who so aptly put it in her genteel way, 'Guess I gotta find a new liquor store.
P.S. The big scuttlebutt is: Who will take over the Michael Keaton role of Beetlejuice? The answer is: Michael Keaton IS Beetlejuice and don't nobody think otherwise.
P.P.S. OK, now I'm really getting PO'd. I realize I may be the last to know in many things, but I just learned that they are REMAKING Superman! For the love of God, WHY?! I don't even want to know what the budget is for this idiocy. I'm sure it is an obscenely inflated amount. An amount that could turn all 10 of my novels into screenplays, produce them in a very tasteful way, and still have money left over.
P.P.P.S. What's the deal with Johnny Depp and his people asking Disney to cough up $250M to make The Lone Ranger with Johnny as Tonto. Now, sure Johnny made 87 of those Pirate movies for Disney and they raked in many billions, but how much do those silver bullets cost? Seriously.
P.P.P.S. And when the Hollywood geniuses decide to make a Gone With the Wind prequel, sequel, or remake - and they will - the answer will be the same. Nobody can replace Clark Gable as Rhett Butler, so just quit it. No, I mean it. Stop it already.