Producers, Directors and Actors All in Agreement: Originality is Box Office Death

By John V. Brennan October  2007 

     Three of Hollywood's youngest and most successful producers - Morris Dewey (Chainsaw Beach Party Hip-Hoppers), Lawrence Cheatem (Return to Vomit High) and Jerome Howe (Nubile Cheerleader Torture Porn Bloodbath XXIII)  -  spoke for the entire city of Hollywood today when they announced that the movie industry is finished with originality and will now dedicate itself to remaking every film in history, starting from the late 1800s.  "We're going to begin with The Kiss," said Dewey, speaking of the 47-second silent film clip that shocked people in 1896.  "Then we'll tackle Fred Ott's Sneeze and that funny one about the guy with the water hose and the kid stepping on it.  After we get our feet wet with those, so to speak, we'll pull up our pants, zip up our flies and get started with remaking every movie ever made."

Fake Poster     "There are just so many movies that nobody but geeky film students ever see any more," said Cheatem, "and we think it's time to update each and every one of them for a new, more sophisticated movie-going generation.  Yesterday's films with the New Millenium Wow Factor that only today's stars can bring."

     "We have a new saying in Hollywood," said Dewey. "'Originality Opens at 2 Million'.  But remakes often make 20, 30 mill on opening weekends, so that's the way we're heading."

     They will start, appropriately enough, with the silent era.

     "Can you imagine Borat in a remake of Charlie Chaplin's City Lights?" asked Howe, laughing heartily at the thought of the racially insensitive but laugh-inducing comic Sacha Baron Cohen redoing Charles Chaplin's sweet, silent comedy about a little tramp who helps a blind girl get her eyesight back.  "I'm not knocking the original, which is probaby a quote - unquote 'classic', but we gotta remember that Charlie Chaplin was from another time, a time that nobody remembers or cares about, nor should they, really. People weren't even in color then.  I know - I've seen newsclips.  Everybody was in black and white and walked too fast.  Ever see Babe Ruth running around the bases like a girl who has to pee?  What the hell was that about?"

     "Try showing City Lights to young audiences today," said Cheatem, "and they will be asking 'What's up with the subtle pantomime, expertly timed comic routines and timeless characters?  Where are the penis jokes? Where are the gratuitous ass-shots of twenty-year-old actresses?  Where's the F-word?'.  I mean, they paid ten bucks admission, plus twice that much for a candy bar and soda, so they expect - no, indeed they deserve - jokes based on bodily fluids and those extremely graphic sexual situations that today's highly urbane 13-year-olds enjoy so much." 

     "Back in the nineteen-whatevers," said Howe, "Charlie Chaplin didn't have access to vomit gags and good, wholesome funny stuff like that.  By remaking everything he ever did, we will be rectifying that situation.  I'm sure he would love to have lived to see his timeless characters accidentally drinking their own urine, and if he had thought of it back in the day, I am sure he would have had the Blind Girl do it."

     "I can see that!" laughed Cheatem.  "In the remake, she could say to Morgan Freeman 'I may be blind, but this tastes like f---ing piss!'. "

     "Oooh, jot that down! That's hysterical!" said Dewey.

A thingy!     The trio gave a rough outline of Hollywood's plans.  Using the classic textbook A Short History of The Movies by Gerald Mast, they will skip over all the early Fantascope and Zoetrope stuff ("Who wants to watch a lampshade with holes in it spinning around?" said Howe) and then go page by page, chapter by chapter, until they've remade every movie mentioned in the book.  Then they will go to the most recent Leonard Maltin movie guide and start work on everything else in alphabetical order, starting with 1952's Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick

     "We know that the first movie in the Maltin guide is now Aaron Loves Angela," said Howe, "but I've already got a remake of that in the works with Mark Wahlberg and Scarlett Johansson.  It's set in the future, when everybody's rights have been taken away by an evil corporation run by a guy that looks like Dick Cheney.  He lives in a huge vat with tubes that feed him human blood.  Wahlberg's an underground activist in a futuristic wheelchair that flies, and Scarlett's a sexy robot in one of those tight, white, ass-hugging polyester jumpsuits that we apparently will all wear one day."

     But what of, say, the great Alfred Hitchock? Do his films really need to be remade?

     "A director like Hitchcock was good for his time, simple-minded though those times may have been," said Dewey, "but now imagine North by Northwest with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston, and Morgan Freeman as a wise old black character who says pithy things in a calming yet jocular tone.  All of them running from spies and they wind up hanging from Lincoln's nose on a CGI Mount Rushmore."

     "And Lincoln sneezes!" Cheatem chimed in.  "And now Ben and Jennifer are covered in all this green goo!"

     "Yes!" Howe exclaimed.  "And Stiller is all like 'Oh, no, I'm all covered in Lincoln snot! And I have to pee!'. And Jennifer Aniston is like 'Well, don't pee on me, I'm hanging on Lincoln's skeezy nose here'. Man, this is comedy gold here! Anybody jotting this down?"

     How about the depressing, dreamlike films of director like Ingmar Bergman?

     "Imagine The Seventh Seal," Dewey replied, "with a hip-hop soundtrack and Death played by that puppet on the tricycle from the Saw movies.  Later he morphs into Robin Williams and he's all like, you know, wild, just crazy doing that schtick he does.  And the Knight no longer plays chess with Death - it'll be dodgeball. And Death gets hit in the nuts!  The pain is so much he wants to die, and he's the only guy who can't!  Two words - hilar - eeous!"

     And the beloved westerns of director John Ford?  Dewey has an answer for that too.

Fake Photo     "Imagine Stagecoach with Borat in the John Wayne role and Jessica Alba as the whore with the heart of gold!  We'll set in an apocalyptic future when mankind has polluted the Earth so much, Borat must now fly to other planets because his toilet is overflowing with toxic waste or some such.  And Jessica Alba, a half-cyborg, half-hottie prostitute from the apartment upstairs, tags along with him, but their spaceship is being chased by weird CGI zombie aliens who eat intestines.  And while all this is going on, Borat is saying all sorts of unintentionally inappropriate things to Jessica Alba because of the whole language barrier schtick he does, while Morgan Freeman quietly chuckles to himself and gives wise advice in a warm yet authoritative voice."

     There are just so many possibilities," said Howe.  "The Ten Commandments with Samuel L. Jackson as Moses. 'I hit the muther-effin' rock with the muther-effin' staff, now where's my muther-effin' water?'. "

     Dewey offered more ideas.  "Scarlett Johansson, Will Ferrell and Borat in Some Like It Hot. They dress like women, she dresses like a man, and everybody's gay but nobody knows it!" 

     "Or how about Bedtime For Bonzo," Howe cut in, "with a CGI-recreated Ronald Reagan in a Terminator-like role.  Plus Ben Stiller, Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson, Borat, Jessica Alba, Scarlett Johansson, Borat and Morgan Freeman as a wise old black character who always seems to know just what to say in a voice like warm graham crackers.  And Bonzo will be a CGI-chimp who says the F-word and likes to grab boobies and hump legs."

     Would classic animated cartoons  - Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse - also be remade?

     "Let's face it," said Cheatem, "nobody wants to see 2-D hand-drawn cartoons anymore.  Yet, when you look back at them, they were sometimes faintly amusing in their archaic way.  But nobody gets those gags about rubber shortages and air raid blackouts any more.  So we'll take the best of the old cartoons and bring them into the 21st century.  Picture, if you will, the entire Bugs Bunny back catologue redone in 3D CGI, with gentle global warming messages mixed in and jokes about Elmer Fudd's penis, vomit and Halliburton.  It just feels like something that should be done, doesn't it?!"  

     Would they dare remake Citizen Kane, Orson Welles' 1941 tale of the life of a newspaper tycoon as seen through the eyes of those who knew him best?  Surely they wouldn't remake the film that is nearly universally hailed as the Greatest Movie Ever Made?

        "In a heartbeat we'd do it," answered Dewey. "Just think of the corporate tie-in possibilities that were not around in the previous century.  Back then, you went to see maybe one movie a year because ten bucks was hard to come by, and when you did have ten bucks, you spent it on bootleg hooch. So maybe you'd see Citizen Kane one night and then you went home in your Model T Ford or whatever and put some 78s in your CD player and danced the hucklebuck 'til you passed out.  And you never saw Citizen Kane again until ten years later when you bought a television.  And you were probably dead by that time, because people didn't live so long years ago.  But when we remake Citizen Kane, parents will be able to buy their children little Citizen Kane remake action figures with every McDonald's meal. Kids'll be like 'Ooh, Mommy, Mommy, I need a Jed Leland!  He's gotta finish that review of Susan Kane's opera debut!' or whatever."

     "Charle Foster Kane built his Xanadu," added Cheatem,  "but soon every child's room can become their own personal Xanadu."

    "Speaking of which," said Howe, "we probably won't be remaking Xanadu.  I mean, really... Olivia-Newton John, the Disco Roller Skate scene... hell, you can't top perfection."

    But remaking everything else?  What about the films of the most successful director of all time, Steven Spielberg?  Jaws?  Close Encounters?  Schindler's List?

    "Bring it on!" laughed Howe.  "Can you imagine Will Ferrell as Schindler?  It would be classic. Picture it - he's running around saying to Morgan Freeman 'What do I do?  There's just way too many Jews!  God, where do I put them all?'.  And then he could try and pass them off as a Gay Olympics Team, only to realize that the Nazis were against homosexuals too - what a total crackup!  And then Schindler accidentally sets off an atomic bomb at a Hitler Youth Rally and they're all chased by a mutated fifty-foot CGI Hitler voiced by Robin Williams.  That would be hysterical --- ooh, that's a jotter-downer idea right there."

     When asked how long it would take to remake every single film ever made, Dewey sounded hopeful.  "If we work really hard, and keep budgets and retakes to a minimum, we could do it in less than fifty years. Once everything is remade, then we start on sequelizing everything."

     "I'm looking forward to The Godfather Part 2, Part 2," said Cheatem.

     "But we've got to get started on all this stuff soon," added Howe.  "After all, Morgan Freeman isn't getting any younger."

Ready for the Closeup     The Stuff You Gotta Watch

Copyright © John V. Brennan, 2007.  All Rights Reserved.

Stuff You Gotta Watch
Copyright © 2010 John V. Brennan, John Larrabee