Screenwriter strike leads to revolutionary 20-year plan for repackaging old horror movies.
By Margit Gluckmeister, Hollywood correspondent
November 8 2007: 8:45 AM EST
The Weinstein brothers made a startling announcement during a press event last evening, telling reporters that they had signed a $180 million dollar deal to remake “every horror film ever.” The news comes not long after the screenwriters guild launched a strike for higher shares of DVD, internet and future technology sales. The Weinsteins said that Dimension Films, the genre subsidiary of The Weinstein Company, no longer has any plans to rehire writers.
Michio Hayasaki, a spokesman for the company cited sales statistic showing that Dimension has made 57% more profit on its recent remakes of “Black Christmas” and “Halloween” than any five of its original screenplays from the past three years. Audience polls showed disgust and dissatisfaction with the remakes, but ticket sales proved the recognizable titles were irresistible to young male horror enthusiasts, a demographic that is affectionately referred to as “sketchy, brain-dead gore-hounds” within Dimension.
The company was quick to mention that even sequels will get remade. The advertising campaign will be tailored to market these as both remakes-of-sequels and sequels-to-remakes depending on regional taste.
To keep the potential confusion under reigns, all new remakes will keep the original title, but add a “.2” to the end, adding a “1” for original films. For instance, a remake of the first “Leprechaun” would be titled, “Leprechaun 1.2.” When the press noted the similarity to versioning on computer software, Mr. Hayasaki acknowledged that the connection was not coincidental:
“The decision to use number versioning has tremendous support within the industry and our research division suggests it is likely to catch on with other genres as well. It leaves open an infinite space for future expansion and implies, like a patch for a computer game, that the latest version will fix all the bugs in the original while enhancing the graphics.”
When criticized about the lack of creativity in the new system, Mr. Hayasaki responded that, “Elaborate new titles, previously used to disguise sequels and remakes, only confuses audiences and muddies our attempts at branding. Also, keep in mind that we fired all our writers.”
Dimension also plans to remake existing remakes. The titles will simply add another decimal point and a new series of numbers.
Mr. Hayasaki continued, noting that the computer model fit well with the industry’s greater emphasis on technology. Advancements in CG have made screenplays irrelevant, since studies have shown that dialogue distracts audiences from simulated acts of bloodshed, mayhem and torture. All absolutely necessary dialog would be borrowed from the original films, improvised or digitally inserted by a context-insensitive speech generator. To prepare against rare emergencies in which writer intervention is required, Harvey Weinstein plans to learn how to read and write.
Other technological developments within the Weinstein Company are expected to ease the transition to remakes-only. “Actor Frameworks” have been designed in which original films have the faces edited out. It is then extremely fast and cheap to record a handful of expressions from Hollywood’s hottest young stars and then digitally insert them into the film. The Weinsteins have assured the screen actors guild that they will still be able to draw salaries, “for the nude scenes if nothing else.”
Similar techniques will allow programmers to add extra blood to old movies, patching up inadequately gory scenes presumably left dry due to budget constraints, censorship or poor directing. Already slated for makeovers are such film as “Frankenstein,” “The Innocents,” and “The Others.” When questioned about how blood would be added to scenes without violence, the spokesperson was unfazed, “It can drip from the ceiling. It can stain their clothing. It can pool on the ground or in the glasses they drink from. And who cares where it comes from? It we feel like explaining it, we’ll mute out the dialog and have them spray it from their mouths where they used to talk, talk, talk.”
Mr. Hayasaki explained that interns will also sit through Dimension’s existing collection and press a button whenever the film is boring or redundant. These stretches can then be edited out without recourse to other human staff.
In response to concerns about the continuity, Mr. Hayasaki has this to say, “We think audiences will appreciate the faster pacing and increased dynamism. The jump cuts we are creating will give the film an edgier, attention-grabbing feel. If you look at the best movies out right now, you’ll see that lack of continuity is getting really trendy.”
The spokesperson dismissed concerns about artistic sanctity, claiming he didn’t understand the question.
Pressed for details about upcoming titles, Mr. Hayasaki was reluctant to reveal more details than “all horror movies ever.” However he did drop hints that audiences could look forward to an R-rated version of “Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy” and a ‘hybrid remake’ of “Silence of the Lambs” with “Child’s Play.” Meanwhile, Tara Reid has signed a contract for a record-setting 2,800 parts as the title characters in the upcoming “The Birds 1.2.”
Reid spoke of the casting coup in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly: “I’m really excited for the parts and I think it goes to show how unuseful the screenwriters really are. I wrote, well… dictated, my lines by myself. I mean, who really needs to pay a book nerd to fill a sceneplay with ‘CAW-aw caw-aw caw-aw’?”
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Dimension Films Announces Plan to Remake Every Horror Film Ever
Posted by FilmWalrus at 7:39 PM
Labels: Essay, Horror, Humor, News and Trivia, Shameless Rants
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Does Will Smith only get to go in bad sci fi remakes and adaptations, or can he get in on this sweet, sweet action?
(Also, I hope the talents of both Eli Roth and Tony Scott are co-opted for this.)
My favorite parts are Harvey learning to read and write and Tara Reid using the word "unuseful."
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