Is Hollywood Really Out Of Ideas?
I have a production list for the upcoming year in Hollywood movies, and from the look of it, the idea bank is bust.
‘Reservoir Dogs’ – the remake? ‘Happy Feet 2’? How desperate has The Business become?
What’s interesting is a perusal of what sells here in the middle of the world – I’m in the Virgin Megastore, Dubai, looking at hit titles. A third are Arabic, a third are French and Spanish and the rest are small US indie films that are affordable to release, which at least gives them a chance of becoming hits. Hollywood blockbusters are notable more by their absence than anything else. They’re probably too expensive.
Meanwhile in the UK, the censors are back, hacking minutes out of horror films and ‘reclassifying’ films that don’t fit into neat demographics. I take heart in the recent resurgence of indie SF, with ‘Moon’, ‘District 9’, ‘City Of Ember’, ‘Splice’ and ‘Monsters’ being interesting (but not necessarily totally successful) standouts. Comedies like ‘Four Lions’ and ‘Heartbreaker’, thrillers like ‘The Secret In Their Eyes’ and ‘Exam’, but virtually no good horror films.
I really don’t mind derivative movies so long as they’re fun, and ‘Les Aventures Extraordinaires D’Adele Blanc-Sec’ really hit the spot, with its tough-gal heroine and its lovely baby pterodactyl bombing about the streets of early 20th century Paris.
I loved two Hollywood blockbusters; ‘Inception’ and the wonderful ‘The Social Network’. The executives who greenlit these should be proud of themselves. Maybe this is how film always was, and always will be – I think of myself as an outsider and am attracted to outside movies – the mainstream loves Justin Beiber (apparently more popular than the Dalai Lama and Obama).
Some wonderful authors are coming out of copyright, but in Hollywood nobody reads, so no-one will ever know about them. My last Hollywood script presentation consisted of something called a ‘Look Book’, a sort of children’s picture-book version of my script for dim executives.
If anyone wants to make a film of one of my scripts, apply here. I’m off to calm my frayed nerves at the beach. When I get back it will be mid-January, and February in England is grim enough to make you wish you were dead.