The purpose of this column/series is to emulate how a meeting would go between a studio executive and a person, a passionate person, with an idea (pitch) for a movie. In this case, or every case for that matter with regards to this series, yours truly is that aforementioned passionate person.
Now that was the polite way of putting it.
In reality, the uninspired suited gatekeepers, who hold all the green light power, need a blunt kick to their out-of-touch bloody skulls! Yeah, they say you get more with honey (being nice). And in order for some these over-paid clowns to buy into a cinematic concept, and then move forward with funding the production, being nice can be the ideal approach. But since the world, specifically the realm of Hollywood, is already fake enough with people constantly masquerading with tactical kindness, let’s just cut the crap and, ironically, have a black-and-white old-school chat.
It’s not that Hollywood F’s it up all the time, but they sure do miss golden opportunities that can be quite baffling to the fans.
And that brings me to this week’s pitch/bitch: Independence Day 2.
TIME, DON’T LET IT SLIP AWAY…
Each of you take this piece of paper and give it a looksee:
–The Witches of Eastwick (1984) / The Widows of Eastwick (2008)
–Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) / Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
–Psycho (1960) / Psycho II (1983)
–Bambi (1942) / Bambi II (2006)
–The Godfather Part II (1974) / The Godfather Part III (1990)
–The Birds (1963) / The Birds II: Land’s End (1994)
–Tron (1982) / Tron: Legacy (2010)
–Carrie (1976) / The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999)
–Blues Brothers (1980) / Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)
–Basic Instinct (1992) / Basic Instinct 2 (2006)
…(7 minutes pass)…
So as you can plainly see mouth-breathers, the films listed on here show how much time elapsed from the original to sequel. And though that may seem obvious, the common element is that while the originals were met with praise, the sequels were as pleasurable as a sandpaper handjob.
Of course there have been a few cases where an abundance of time has passed between installments within a franchise and they’ve worked out (well-received by adoring fans and the lovely critics). None off the top of my head, but at the risk of sounding ignorant, I’m sure there are one or two instances out there (ahem, Escape from New York (1981)/ Escape from L.A. (1996)).
Point is, this method that never really pans out, does it children? And since your motivations are clear in why you resurrect titles at such random junctions, and may I add you can all go fist yourselves in shamelessly baiting the cinematic knuckle-draggers of the world to pluck down their loot to see your uninspired cash-trap, it really needs to cease and desist.
Hey, someone’s gotta fight for the weak-minded.
SMALL RAY OF HOPE
Now correct me if I’m wrong (I rarely get corrected by the way), but a common business practice in La-La Land is that if a marketable original is successful, plans for a sequel are put into motion right away, especially with summer blockbuster titles. So naturally after the über-successful Independence Day back in ’96, a blueprint for a follow-up was drawn up. And this task was given to the co-writer of that sci-fi action juggernaut, Dean Devlin.
By all accounts, including his own, he was paid a handsome sum of cash to craft the next chapter. But in a shocking move of integrity, most recently seen with The Hangover writers not opting to deal with sequels (looking like geniuses now), Devlin completed the script, yet didn’t turn it in. Instead, he gave back the small fortune to you kiddies.
The reason for this refreshing act: he didn’t think his scribbles lived up to the first one.
Whether his judgment was sound or not, you have to admire that action. And with that, he ushers in that nugget of belief that perhaps since he is now ready to unveil another with director Roland Emmerich, then maybe they have a worthy idea to justify bringing this back to the cinematic universe.
Only thing that needs to be noted with that piece of info: you people need to invent one of those alien gadgets that can erase memories, so we can all forget that Emmerich just blasted us with White House Down.
RELAUNCHING THE REDUNDANT
First off, new title please! “ID Forever?” Pure garbage. Sounds like a second tier dating site or something (most likely the “or something”).
As for the thing everyone is focusing on, the returning cast, who give a rat’s ass. This doesn’t need Will Smith to endure. And although Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum (the only one you really want back anyway) are linked to coming back, you should just worry about the ebbs and flow of the script.
Some elements that would be nice to see revolve around the aliens battling on land since Independence Day predominantly took place in the air. The key is to not overexpose their weaponry though. One aspect that was handled extremely well in the first go-around was how the aliens were merely a presence about half the time, which projected out a titillating suspense because you never knew how and when they would strike. So going balls-out in trying to cater to today’s A.D.D. audience must be resisted.
Regarding the storyline, it’s no secret that the human race is now aware, and fairly prepared, to deal with an alien invasion after ransacking all the extraterrestrial toys from the fallen ships spread across the planet. And liberties could be taken with the technology, so setting this somewhere in the 2020s is a novel idea. Granted, that could lead to a more even playing ground, which negates the David vs. Goliath theme everyone digs. But here’s how you remedy that…
Triple-threat match, baby!
EXPERIMENTAL MÉNAGE A TROIS
Now it’s not as simple as you think (what three-way is?). We’re not going with humans vs. alien vs. new alien species. Seeing what the Alien vs. Predator installments executed has kind of destroyed that direction. And although the angle of humans vs. alien vs. creators (god-like beings) has potential, Prometheus danced with that angle and kind of ruined it for future plot devices encompassing that.
What really works as the third-party is something we see commonly in disaster movies; and I’m not referring to Universal Pictures’ products released the last few years (I chuckled). No, we’re going to add the survival element to this and have almighty Mother Nature throw her eclectic hat in the ring.
It goes like this: The returning aliens launch a fancy weapon that indirectly affects Earth’s atmosphere, causing all the typical violent weather patterns. And we should modify one, like a non-stop hurricane, that never loses its strength as it flails all over the planet. With all that going on and none of the respective combatants prepared to handle this twist, humans and aliens are still battling each other, yet must fend off catastrophic blizzards, tsunamis, etc. When it boils down to it, extreme and unprecedented weather as seen in flicks like The Day After Tomorrow, Twister, 2012, and The Perfect Storm elevates that vindictive nature bitch to an always formidable antagonist for a movie. By going with that, it also provides a fresh backdrop to essentially tell the same story using advanced filmmaking CGI.
Having digested all of that, the one thing I hope you people take away from this: PLEASE CHANGE THE TITLE! Oh, and can I get an R-rating for this mo-fo?