By Tim Parks
When I was a little boy one of my favorite books was Dr. Seuss’ “If I Ran The Zoo,” in which a young boy daydreams about changes he would make to his favorite zoo. And much like Gerald, the young protagonist in the aforementioned childhood tome, if I could get my mitts and wits on Hollyweird for just one day I’d see to making a change or two…or a thousand.
So let’s take a look at some areas of the entertainment industry that could use the Gaywatch touch.
You Want Franchise With That?
Get ready for a slew of movie heroes of yesteryear to start showing up again at your local multiplex, and don’t take that statement as Jean Claude Van Damme will be tearing your ticket stub in two, although that wouldn’t be too far of a stretch –whatever happened to the “Muscles from Brussels,” anyway? No, we will start seeing everyone else that had a movie franchise back in the day on the big screen soon. Sorry, Jean.
Indiana Jones 4 is finally set to begin filming after an almost 20 year absence from The Silver Screen, now that George Lucas has given script approval. Um, anyone that wrote Star Wars: The Phantom Menace should be left out of that decision making equation! Anyway, the production is set to star filming this summer with Steven Spielberg behind the lens and 65-year-old Harrison Ford donning that famous fedora once more.
Here’s my suggestion: in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade audiences were introduced to Indy’s father (Sean Connery), and since Ford is getting a little too “seasoned” to pull off the hero bit – why not give him a son as a sidekick? Now who else looks good in a hat? Didn’t Jake Gyllenhaal wear a cowboy hat in Brokeback Mountain when he wasn’t swappin’ spit (for lack of a better term for the tent scene) with Heath Ledger? They could even name his character Montana Jones as an homage to Brokeback. (The rumor mill is actually naming actor Shia La Beouf to portray Indy’s kid, and Cate Blanchett as Indy’s love interest.)
Another actor who enjoyed huge success with a character was Eddie Murphy in the Beverly Hills Cop movies – well, the first two anyway, the third one’s storyline should have been about how to diffuse that bomb of a movie! And Murphy is on board for Beverly Hills Cop 4. My suggestion for this outing is to have Murphy’s Axel Foley investigate the “disappearance” of an actor who lost for Best Supporting Actor during the Oscar telecast. Talk about art imitating life! And bring back Serge (scene stealing Bronson Pinchot) to give the flick some gay sensibility.
Sylvester Stallone is trotting out Rambo again with 2008’s John Rambo! Back when he did Rambo: First Blood Part II in 1985, Stallone was in his prime, pectoral muscles glistening with sweat and vibrating from machine gun fire, definite eye candy.
And then my mind focuses on the present Stallone, and wonders if his old man moobs will be swaying to and fro, like so much sand filled socks. To allow for plausibility, they should set this installment in a retirement home from which Rambo needs to escape from, and I can just see him fighting his way out wielding a cane ala a sword. Oh, wait did that come off as ageist? My bad, I meant for it to come off as bitchy!
Superman: The Man Of Steel is slated for a 2009 release date, so that means there is still time to help director Bryan Singer deliver a better movie than Superman Returns. Thank God! For the sequel, the three Kryptonian villains from Superman II should be brought back; but if they do, please write in a love scene for General Zod (played by Terence Stamp), as he spent so much of that movie saying “kneel before Zod.” Poor fella, all he wanted was a hummer! And please don’t make Superman’s son, who was introduced in the last movie, his sidekick “Asthma Boy.”
When it was announced that there would be a movie version of Dallas, I met the news with the usual trepidation, mixed with “how are they going to f**k it up?” Well, for starters, the one-time casting of Jennifer Lopez as Sue Ellen Ewing never really sat well with me, if only for the fact that Sue Ellen was always so fragile of a character (as portrayed by the incomparable Linda Gray), and J. Lo seems the opposite of that in real life.
The problem is, I cannot really think of any actresses that could really do the role justice (possibly Susan Sarandon), but I could see John Travolta as J.R. Ewing, and as it stands right now, he is the only one still attached to the project! The worst idea with the movie is that the powers-that-be want to make it funny (huh?) and make it a movie-within-a-movie ala the failed version of “Bewitched.” My idea is to scrap that project all together, sounds like it would be s**t on toast!
There is still hope for the “Sex & The City” movie to get made, now that hold out Kim Cattrall has seen the err of her ways. If her stalemate had gone on much longer, and I was her agent, I would have whispered these magic words into her ear, “Ice Princess 2.”
What card carrying gay and lesbian didn’t love Lynda Carter as “Wonder Woman?” So maybe a little gay hope mixed with Amazonian strength is what is needed to get the now stalled Wonder Woman movie off the ground, and there is only so much twirling around in a circle in anticipation I can do before I yak! So the scoop is that “Buffy” scribe Joss Whedon has left the project and there is still no star cast to fill Lynda Carter’s satin tights right now. Some actresses names have been thrown around (Charisma Carpenter of “Veronica Mars” is one), but this movie needs an unknown attached to it and more elbow grease applied to getting it in the can. Wow, did that sound overtly sexual or was it just me?
Music Makes The People Come Together
The ABBA-centric hit stage musical, “Mamma Mia,” is being primed to make itself into a film adaptation starring Meryl Streep. Ok, stay with me on this one people…Madonna was originally vying for the role that Streep won. Now, I know that Madonna has what could be considered a “spotty track record” with movies, and Streep does not, but who would you rather hear belting out an ABBA tune? Maybe this is payback for Madonna winning the role of Evita over Streep back in the 90’s?
One musical redo not on the docket, but should be, is an updating of Footloose, but with a twist! Ever notice how gay the 1984 version with Kevin Bacon was? I always felt he had more on-screen chemistry with the late Chris Penn than he did with Lori Singer, especially during the scenes where Bacon teaches Penn to dance. So in that vein, the film should get the full gay makeover as Footloose and Fancy Free –let’s hear it for the boy, indeed.
In Other Related “News”
Britney Spears’ recent rash of bizarre behavior can be filed under “s squared” (so sad), and I have this bit of career advice for her. Buy an island, disappear off the radar completely for a few years, and then stage a comeback.
To decide the paternity of Anna Nicole Smith’s baby, the fathers in question should be forced to go on “Maury” and submit to a paternity test. “Howard K. Stern, you are not the baby’s father!”
Cut.Print. That’s A Wrap!
So there you have, that’s what I’d do “If I Ran The Zoo.” Maybe it’s a good thing I don’t – did I really suggest Madonna to act over Streep? Until next time, that’s all of the news that’s fit to print.