We’ve all had those little moments of grandeur where we sit and imagine the wonderful films we’d bring about if only WE got to call the shots in Hollywood. Here are some movie projects I’d love to see happen:
– An adaptation of Frank Miller’s “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” with Christian Bale, directed by Christopher Nolan.
Now, sadly, we’d have to wait a long time — until Bale hits his mid-50s — to see this come to fruition. But based on Nolan’s gritty, realistic (given the absurdity of the overall Batman premise) approach to the material so far, I’d love to see how Bale would revisit the role after presumably a good run of at least three, maybe even four or five films over which the character of the Batman is fully explored and fleshed out. Then, a hiatus of 10 years or so, leading to the point where Bruce Wayne emerges from his self-imposed retirement.
It could be really great, especially if the Bat-films to come starting with “The Dark Knight” this summer deliver on the promise of “Batman Begins.” Harvey Dent would have to survive the third film, rather than being killed off. Ditto the Joker (though sadly they’d have to do some recasting there). But in theory, Bale, Gary Oldman and Aaron Eckhart could all be around to reprise their roles.
Finding a new Superman — not impossible. They’d have to have the Robin/Jason Todd plotline somewhere in the third or later films, since it is clearly referenced in the graphic novel, and it seems to be what causes Batman to retire from crimefighting. (I suspect we’d need a new Alfred, with Sir Michael Caine already now in his 70s, and Bale not nearing 55 for like 20 more years.)
Even though the story was written in 1986, it could still be timely and hard-hitting. Some changes would have to be made, of course (like the nature of Harvey Dent’s big plan and what it involves). But frankly, there is so much depth and good material, not to mention length, that they would probably do better to make two movies out of it. I don’t think you could fit it all into one movie. I am assuming most people who frequent this site have read it, but if not, find a copy. It’s one of the best Batman stories ever told, if not the best.
And I’m certain this would be way better than other late in the day revisitings of action heroes we’ve had recently, like Indiana Jones and John McClane — as long as they stay true to the source material.
– A movie version of Frederik Pohl’s “The Space Merchants.”
Besides being a great science fiction writer, Pohl was a great satirist, and this novel he wrote in the 1960s (I believe) has great relevance today, given the power that advertising and the media have over our culture. The book is short enough to be able to work as a feature film, and I’d love to see someone like the Coen brothers take a stab at it (or maybe Alex Proyas). I don’t think the Coens have ever done science fiction. This is something they could have lots of fun with.
It’s the story of a career ad man in a not-so-distant future who realizes what a messed-up world he lives in after he is the victim of a corporate power play that is intended to leave him for dead — and instead results in him being given a new identity as a factory grunt slaving away in order to give the world’s mindless consumers the crap that they all seem to crave (in this case, a popular “food” called Chicken Little that is some kind of mystery substance that grows in a giant glob which the factory grunts slice up for distribution). It’s clearly a metaphor for the fast-food industry of today. Done right, it could be brilliant.
– A western starring the cast of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” that has absolutely nothing to do with Trek. Just because it would be so cool to see these people in a totally different setting, as different characters in different relationships. Who knows, they might turn in far better work than they were able to in those four Next-Gen movies. And the fact that they are older and more grizzled-looking now would not be such a problem in an old west setting.
– Quentin Tarantino directing a James Bond movie. (Come on. Let him try it. Just once. He may bring a really fresh and original approach, which could be in line with the return to quality of “Casino Royale.”)
– A “Grindhouse” movie that consists only of fake — and funny — coming attractions. Let’s face it, those were the best part of the “Grindhouse” movie we got last year. (And the lousy split-up DVDs don’t even give us those, save for “Machete.”)
– If we must have remakes, at least make them interesting and edgy. I’d love to see John Carpenter do something with “Soylent Green.” It could have a different tone and feel in today’s world, kind of like Abel Ferrara’s approach to “Body Snatchers.” (And why is Ferrara’s version of that always the forgotten one? I’d rather watch that one than the 1978 Kaufman version.)
– One last, great teaming of Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Michael Caine in a movie, together. Before it’s too late. A comedy would seem obvious, but more ambitious would be something harder-edged. I’d love to see something that could serve as the “Mystic River” for these three, sending them out on a high note.
Have you heard the good news? — By Al Schwartz