Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Lost thoughts

Several years ago I was watching a film with several friends. The film was not that great and was kind of silly, but it had a few funny moments. Not many directors can do drug humor effectively for the non-using viewers and his previous films were far superior to this effort. In one scene when a particular character was introduced my friends and I got the pop-culture reference right away and even chuckled a bit. Then a few minutes later when the joke was repeated for those that were slow or of a different generation I knew something was horribly wrong.



"OH, CRAP!"

"What's wrong?"

"He's going to be in the movie. Oh, no. Oh, crap. This is bad."

"
What movie?"
I was right. Within a year Ferrell's name was being thrown about with increasing frequency as a possible lead in a Land of the Lost film. One argument for why Ferrell would be "great" for the role of Will Marshall was because he had curly hair like Spencer Millligan! What?

I have speculated that even back then the MW&H name-dropping was not a coincidence and Ferrell likely had an idea that he would have been attached to a future project based on the television show. If that was not the case and it was just a humorous happenstance, then millions of dollars have been invested and an entire motion picture franchise owes its existence to an obscure throw-away joke from a film about profane weed-smokers.

There are less compelling and auspicious reasons to bring a film to the screen and attach a star to a project, I'm sure, but I'd be hard-pressed to fund one. My problems with the idea of the film stems from being a fan of the SF elements of the television show who would like to see the source material go in another direction. I don't want to see an expanded children's show, which is what it appears the Ferrell version will be leaning towards. Land of the Lost is going to be a family film and by all accounts the story will pretty much parallel the recent Journey to the Center of the Earth. Imagine instead if the source material was treated as a cross between Alien and Jurassic Park? That's at least ten years of good franchise money right there.

I hope the film does well and isn't going to be as bad as I think it will be but Ferrell's involvement and the tailoring of the subject material to meet his wacky comedic style does not bode well for an enduring franchise.

4 comments:

  1. I'm feeling your pain. Jonah Hex is slated for 2010 and will feature vampires & zombies.

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  2. You have GOT to be yanking my chain! Well, something else to be irrationally upset about.

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  3. Ferrell has said in interviews that it was a complete coincidence...though I can't help wondering if there might have been a cause and effect relationship going in the opposite direction, i.e., the folks who owned the film rights to LotL remembered the joke name and thought "Yes, that's it! A comedy! With the unbeatable star power of Will Ferrell! After Bewitched breaks all box office records, the audience will flock to see this! We're geniuses!"

    I'm sure fans of the original Bewitched will recognize your hope that the film won't be as bad as you expect...but like them, you may find yourself relieved when it actually is that bad, bombs terribly, and is soon forgotten, leaving everyone free to appreciate the virtues of the original once more.

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  4. I always figured Gordon Lightfoot was a shoo-in for the role. Coz, you know, curly hair. Also, Spike Milligan. Or Rik Mayall. Or the guy who played Peterman on "Seinfeld" and liked to wear safari jackets.

    Hey, you know who would make a great Cha-Ka? I'll give you a hint: she sang the theme to "Reading Rainbow".

    Sigh. I will be satisfied no matter how crap the casting is, so long as they get one thing right: the pylons should be as intimidating/scary as the monolith in Space Odyssey.

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