Friday, July 11, 2008

Who Wants to Be a Screenwriter? (Part Deux)

Bo Catlett: "You have the idea and you put down what you want to say. Then you get somebody to add in the commas and come to the last page, you write in 'Fade out' and that's the end, you're done."

Last year, I got a little tired of the proliferation of movies that were nothing more than modern spins on old ’70s and '80s TV shows, so I developed my own movie treatments. I’m really surprised that none of the big studios stole any of my ideas because they were gold, people. GOLD. A lesbian version of Kate and Allie? Gold. Joey Pants as psycho building superintendent Schneider? Platinum. Vince Vaughn as Sam Malone? Plutonium laced with diamonds.

But do these idiot producers listen to me? No! They make Speed Racer. Since two people saw that movie, Warner Bros. might have better off just throwing a big money bonfire on the beach. It would’ve been cheaper and lot more fun.

Now, there is already talk of a Sex and the City sequel in the works, and rumors have been swirling about a possible big-screen version of Friends. Regarding the latter, Warner Bros. recently issued a statement that there are no plans for a movie, which translates to, “Friends will be there for you in 2011!” I’m sure it’s just an issue of the studio not wanting to cave too quickly to the actors’ ridiculous salary demands.

Since Hollywood obviously has only begun to mine the TV landscape for more of their half-assed re-imaginings of our favorite shows, I’m offering up some more of my own ideas. Once again, I’m extending an invitation to all of the soulless screenwriters out there to partner up so I, er, we can get rich quick with these future cinematic masterpieces.

* Sein Fear wt (Based on Seinfeld.)
Starring: Keanu Reeves as Jerry Seinfeld, Jeremy Piven as George Costanza, Marisa Tomei as Elaine Benes, Jeff Goldblum as Kramer, Bill Murray as Bob Sacamano and Christopher Walken as Crazy Joe Davola.

Thriller: When we last saw the gang, they were beginning a year-long sentence in a Massachusetts jail for breaking the Good Samaritan law. Just a few weeks after entering prison, news breaks that the man arrested in L.A. for the “Smog Strangler” killings turned out to be innocent. Cracking under the strain of prison life, George convinces Jerry and Elaine to tell the authorities that Kramer was, in fact, the killer as they originally suspected. The three offer up “proof” of Kramer’s guilt to the cops and enlist the help of Kramer’s one-time friend, Bob Sacamano, to plant phony evidence in Kramer’s apartment. Kramer is tried, found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. For their help, Jerry, George and Elaine are set free.

Since everyone in NYC hates them, the three friends move out to the remote Fishers Island, off the Eastern tip of Long Island. After a few months on the beach, the gang starts to feel like their lives have really turned around for the better. Unbeknownst to them, Kramer joins forces with his new cellmate, Crazy Joe Davola, and the duo hatch a plan to escape. When they succeed, the two men head straight for Fishers Island to exact their vengeance on Jerry and his gang.

* B.J. and The Bear
Starring: Adrien Grenier as B.J., John C. Reilly as Sheriff Lobo, and Kate Hudson, Zooey Deschanel, Jessica Biel, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Lucy Liu, and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as The Seven Lady Truckers. (Note: Though “The Bear” was a chimp in the TV series, B.J.’s traveling companion on the big screen is an actual bear!)

Romantic Dramedy: After years of traveling the country in his big rig, B.J. McKay decides that he needs a companion to stave off loneliness. During a stop at carnival in small-town Ohio, he spots an animal trainer mistreating a black bear cub. B.J. scuffles with the trainer, knocks him out and takes the sweet little bear away from his abusive owner. Although he intends to drop the bear off at the San Diego Zoo, B.J. grows to love the little bear as they drive cross country, getting into all kinds of crazy adventures.

When B.J.’s nemesis, Sheriff Lobo, discovers that the young trucker is transporting a highly-trained wild animal across the U.S., he decides to track them down, steal Bear away and sell him to the circus. B.J. and the Bear prove too slick for Lobo, and they manage to stay one step ahead of him with the help of B.J.’s crew of lovely lady truckers.

B.J. realizes that he can no longer keep Bear when he starts growing. He decides to take him to the Zoo when Lobo finally catches them and tries to kidnap Bear. When Bear threatens to maul the Sheriff to pieces, Lobo shoots him. Bear is taken to the Zoo, where the vets look after him. When they tell B.J. that Bear needs a $10,000 operation, he and the girls embark upon a wild fundraising campaign to get the money. When they fall short it looks like the end for Bear, but Lobo’s guilty conscience and newfound love for one of the lady truckers prompts him to make a generous last-minute donation.

* Welcome Back, Barbarino (Based on Welcome Back, Kotter.)
Starring: John Travolta as Mr. Barbarino, Samuel L. Jackson as Principal Washington, Gabe Kaplan as Superintendent Kotter, and Jesse Metcalf, Nick Cannon, Usher, and Wilmer Valderrama as The Sweathogs. Special appearance by Benicio del Toro as Juan Epstein.

Family Drama: Vinnie Barbarino was a high school dropout who seemed to be going nowhere. But one night, long ago, he watched his friend Arnold Horshack die from injuries sustained in a gang fight. Then and there, he and fellow “sweathog” Freddy “Boom Boom” Washington vowed to make something of their lives. Both finally went to college and went their separate ways after graduation. Barbarino had made a career out of public speaking, but presently finds that jobs are few and far between. Suddenly, he receives a call from his old pal Washington, who is now the Principal at Buchanan High School. It seems that there is a new group of “sweathogs” who are even more unteachable than they were. Obviously, they don’t make teachers like Mr. Kotter anymore, because the last nine teachers assigned to that class have all quit. At the end of his rope, Washington begs Barbarino to be the sweathogs’ new teacher, assured that he is just the right man for the job. Barbarino, with no other prospects, reluctantly accepts. The newest crop of sweathogs don’t make the job easy on Barbarino, but eventually come to trust him when he starts to share stories about his life in that very classroom.

Just wanting to blow off steam one day, the sweathogs pull a seemingly harmless prank that ends in the death of Superintendent Kotter. Although everyone realizes that the death was accidental, the “leader” of the sweathogs, Angelo, starts acting strangely and skipping school. Soon, the gang discovers that he’s developed a bit of a drug habit and is considering dropping out and joining a local gang. When an intervention backfires, Mr. Barbarino manages to scare Angelo straight by taking him to visit his old friend, Juan Epstein, in jail. Epstein, who has been hardened by years of prison life, breaks down into tears when he reveals to Barbarino that it was he who killed their old pal Horshack during that gang fight so many years ago. Even though it was an accident, Epstein was never able to forgive himself and gave his life over to drugs, violence and crime.

(The must-have, super-awesomely-cheesy moment: While trying to help Epstein forgive himself, Mr. Barbarino pulls out a note, ironically, TO Juan from Horshack’s mom. The note says, “Dear Mr. Epstein, please excuse yourself for stabbing Arnold. I know you didn’t mean to. Signed, Horshack's Mother.”)

* Taxi
Comedy: Louie is the short, snarky, quick-tempered owner of DePalma’s, a small taxi company located on Staten Island, NY. The company’s eclectic staff is comprised of: a calm, likable everyman, a sophisticated redhead who all the male drivers lust after; a dim-witted former boxer; a pretty-boy wannabe actor; an eccentric foreign mechanic and his kooky wife; and a scatterbrained hippie with a heart of gold. The small cab company catches the eye of Urmomma, the cocky Iranian owner of a cheap new car service in town, Urmomma Don’t Drive. He wants to take over DePalma’s so that he can have a monopoly on all transportation in the area, and Louie's non-existent bookkeeping is making it all too easy for him. A foreclosing bank has stationed attorney-with-a-bad-perm, Zena Sherman, inside DePalma’s to finalize Urmomma's takeover of the company. Louie somehow wins Zena over and she quits her job to join his team of social rejects in their mission to try to save DePalma’s. How? A showdown bowling competition against Urmomma’s crew.

Latka, the lovable mechanic who was a bowling champ in his home country, whips everyone into shape to prepare for the big game, but is tragically killed when a jack breaks and a cab crushes his head. Sure that Urmomma tampered with the jack, Louie and the gang are more determined than ever to beat Urmomma and win one for Latka.

Why, is quite similar to Dodgeball, and my own proposed Cheers movie plot. Thanks for noticing! This one also boasts a somewhat familiar, all-star cast:

Steve Carell as Alex Reiger
Jack Black as Louie DePalma
Isla Fisher as Elaine Nardo
Rob Schneider as Latka Gravas
Paul Rudd as Bobby Wheeler
Will Ferrell as Reverend Jim Ignatowski
Ben Stiller as Tony Banta
Leslie Mann as Simka Gravas
Kristin Wiig as Zena Sherman
Sacha Baron Cohen as Urmomma Iz Afathoor


Barbara Bruederlin said...

Okay, I'd watch it for Urmomma Iz Afathoor alone. Sounds like a winner to me. You know they are making up the merch already.

Some Guy said...

Believe it or not, there actually is a "Welcome Back, Kotter" movie in the works starring Ice Cube. I swear. Check IMDb.

Stupid Hollywood...

pistols at dawn said...

Welcome Back, Kotter was a terrible, unfunny show, right? I've never seen a second of that program that made me understand why it ever aired.

fran said...

Your casting instincts are dead on, as Jeremy Piven played "George Costanza" in Jerry's and George's pilot!

A few years ago, before the actual movie, I had an idea for a Dukes of Hazzard movie that was cast MUCH better:

Luke Wilson as Luke, Owen Wilson as Bo, Cindy Crawford as Daisy, Danny DeVito as Boss Hogg, Tom Poston as Roscoe, and Sir Richard Attenborough as Uncle Jesse.

And I agree with Pistols, I saw "Kotter" about a year ago and it has to be the worst sitcom ever. It was truly awful.

SkylersDad said...

It's all gold, with the exception of Taxi. Nobody is allowed to touch Taxi, my all time fav!!

lulu said...

Special appearance by Benicio del Toro as Juan Epstein.

Fucking Genius, seriously.

Cormac Brown said...

That was worth it just to see Jack Black as Louie DePalma.

cube said...

lol! You have too much time on your hands.

CDP said...

Hilarious. Seriously insanely funny, and your casting could not be better. Leslie Mann as Simka Gravas? Ha!

Keith Kennedy said...

This is some funny shit!

Tony Alva said...

LOVE the new blog photo. You must have entirely too much time on your hands at work.

Bluez said...

I almost wee'd myself reading this


Who Does This Broad Think She Is?

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I am a winsome muse who was sent to Earth to inspire an artist to turn a vacant building into the world's coolest disco roller rink. We fell in love along the way, and I foolishly gave up my immortality. When the disco craze ended and all the roller rinks were shut down, that lazy bum wouldn't get a job. We broke up and I was stuck on Earth with nothing to do and no one to inspire. So, now I write a blog.

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