15 July 2015

Check With The Geeks First

Dear Hollywood,

Whenever you decide to make a comic movie, or a sequel to a beloved sci-fi movie, reboot a franchise etc...

Hire the most rabid of the fan base.

Actually, this can make you money:  Auction the jobs to the fan base at Comicon or something!

The fans will literally pay you to fix the movie.

It will keep you from stepping on your dicks again.

I bitched a little in May about it, but casting a black guy as the Human Torch and a blonde white woman as The Invisible Girl makes the geeks froth.

Susan Richards nee Storm is Johnny Storm's sister.

To cast one black and the other white just proclaims you're doing just to have a black character.

Why not cast a man to be Susan too?

That's different?  How so?

This is just a specific gripe about a much larger problem in Hollywood.

Films based on print properties where it's evident that the only thing the makers of the film read was the title.

Starship Troopers anyone?  The Hobbit for a recent example...

I had so hoped Hollywood was getting over it.

300 is frame for frame Frank Miller's comic.

The Harry Potter movies track well with the books.

The Lord of the Rings didn't do too bad either.

Then where was X-Men Last Stand...  For fucks sake, Singer set you up to segue into The Dark Phoenix Saga!  You could have made three movies to cover that arc and made what Marvel is doing with their "we couldn't sell these and they're all we have left" properties look unambitious and shallow.

If.  You.  Had.  Only.  Bothered.  To.  Read.  The.  Source.  Material.

With 300 lurking successfully in the background you should have realized that Frank Miller kind of knows his genre and you could have made The Wolverine run just like the 4-issue Wolverine comic and had something really epic...  Instead you made up your own sub-arc and plot that make the portions of Miller's work you did keep seem out of place and tacked on.

Both Last Stand and Wolverine suffer from an over emotional Logan pinin' for Jean Gray.  Again if they'd bothered reading Dark Phoenix, they'd have been handed his response on a plate and it'd been self consistent with the character.

Reading the source material and understanding it also lets you know when you can depart from the pages.  Days of Future Past is a very different comic from the movie, but it's OK because the changes mesh with the feel of the original.

It's why we love Heath Ledger's Joker when Cesar Romero's behaved far more like the character from the comics.

Reading the comics also is instructional in how to do a retcon properly and incorporate it into your story going forward.

Checking with the geeks also tells you if your changes are going to be met with disdain or acceptance.

1 comment:

  1. The Harry Potter movies had J.K. Rowling in much greater control than most writers get in Hollyweird. She has more than enough money to tell them to FOAD and do it herself, and they damn well knew it. And the Lord of the Rings trilogy not only had the Tolkien Estate to worry about, there are a lot of serious LOTR geeks in Hollyweird. If they'd FUBAR'd those the way they did Starship Troopers, none of the people responsible would ever eat lunch in that town again...and that's without dodging death squads of crazed fans.

    ISTR reading that Verhoeven basically just wanted to do an action-in-space flick, and had already done a lot when he got the idea of saying it was based off Starship Troopers. I will admit, I'd love to see that book done right.

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