Thursday, October 14, 2010

And The Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay Does Not Go To…

I have seen the future of horror, and its name is Family Circus.  That’s right.  Someone in the upper echelons of 20th Century Fox has decided that there was a gaping void in the American consciousness that could only be filled by turning Bill Keane’s “classic” comic strip into a motion picture.  I can see the pitch now: “It crosses generational boundaries with its poignant observations about modern family life.  Its life-affirming depiction of the American nuclear family and madcap childhood antics will tickle America’s funnybone while capturing their hearts and minds!”  Or maybe it went something like this (imagine a 20th Century Fox executive perusing the L.A. Times’ Sunday comics): “Hmmm… What haven’t we done yet?  Brenda Starr, Marmaduke, Garfield? … Nah, they did that already… Crap, what do we have left?  Hey, how about Family Circus?   Why didn’t anyone think of that before?  It’s been right under our noses, virtually unchanged for the past 50 years.  It’s box office gold!  We can’t lose!”  Once again, Hollywood has voided its creative bowels, and we’re supposed to be its willing recipient.

 Beloved, timeless purveyor of family values or meta-ironic?
  You decide.

It’s a frightening prospect to realize that right now, possibly at this very moment, the powers that be in Hollywood are deciding what other insipid, stale properties will be transformed into movie magic.  The mind reels at the possibilities.  Pretty soon, the creators of Hagar the Horrible and Drabble are going to start wondering, “Hey, where’s our piece of the pie?  If (fill in the blank) can have their own movie, why can’t we?" 

And so it goes… Unlike Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse Five, I have not just become unstuck in time, but unstuck in reality.  When did I slip into an alternate universe, where original, mentally engaging screenplays remain un-filmed, while the most execrable ideas wind up in our nation’s multiplexes?  Don’t even get me started on movies based on video games and board games.  What’s next?  Candy Land the Movie?  Oh yeah… That’s in the works too. 

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