Zombie franchises is a series of occasional articles in which Ken Lowe examines one of the deranged intellectual properties that advances slowly by the force of the box office money. Be careful with spoilers for movies that have been out for a while or, in this case, the bedtime stories of a whole culture that have been told for a longer time.
Fast, without googling: Do you remember anything about King Arthur: Legend of the sword? What about that James Franco? vehicle, Oz the great and powerful? How much do you think you will remember about the next disaster, titled simply Robin Hood?
It's easy to see where Hollywood get your less interesting ideas: this line of toys sold enough plastic trash to drown the Pacific, that old movie would be great in China with a younger actor and better CG, comics are surely in fashion now. What is so frustrating about the next Robin Hood is that it's the latest in a tendency to take something from Western culture plus attractive ideas and then executing them exactly the wrong way, with results so predictable that you wonder if Hollywood Executives really lack pattern recognition.
I have already investigated why I believe that in 1938 The adventures of Robin Hood It was the last relevant word in the archetype of the Chaotic Good archer of British folklore (although I am an admirer of Disney's cartoon version). Now I feel I need to explain why this next Thanksgiving week train accident is, as expected, about to occupy the same pile of forgotten failures that I mentioned earlier, the Russell Crowe 2010. adaptation, the Clive Owen 2004 adaptation of King Arthur, multiple Peter Pans (¿Peters Pan?), and what will surely be a series of ill-advised attempts to steal the public domain that even now are making their way through Hollywood meeting rooms
Zombie Franchises is usually here to punish those in the foolish search for more money at the expense of artistic dignity. But today, I am a man pleading: Please, if you ever smiled at a father who told you a bedtime story or heard a committed professor tell you a myth, stop going to these movies. And if you are one of the people responsible for making them, I ask you to stop.
Stories that belong to everyone, "intellectual property" that does not belong to anyone.
It is quite easy to understand why this trend has taken hold, even if it fails to deliver over and over and over again. It costs nothing to a studio to secure the rights to a story about Robin Hood, the green-clad outlaw who visited us from a time before the copyright law and copyright infringement. That means immediately starting from a lower overload than other aspiring franchisees. It's not a bad idea in theory if your intention is to count beans instead of creating a memorable movie.
In practice, it means that you are necessarily telling a story using characters everyone already knows. This presents a very real problem for screenwriters and directors, who face a failure to live up to the Platonic ideal in our collective imagination or (very likely) when it comes to making a new take that does not seem totally silly. To consider King Arthur, the 2004 film by Clive Owen. The direction in which the creative team decided to leave sounds great on paper: What happens if we tell the story of King Arthur, but we place ourselves in a strictly historical context, in the context of the decline of the Roman Empire? That places the film precisely in the historical setting of Arturo's oldest myths. (The film was marketed as King Arthur's "true story", which is absolute nonsense). It could be interesting, right?
It was not a movie that barely resembles the representations of King Arthur we've seen before, and not in a new and exciting way. All the battlefields, the bored villains and the knights of the round table can not make any impression (except the great bald guy, who I think was Bors? Was it Bors?). We can not understand how silly it is that all these men are from the same Iron Age culture when they have names like "Lancelot" and "Galahad". The most we get from the forbidden love between Guinevere and Lancelot is A sad look before Lancelot dies, damn it. Arthur is not even the "king" until the end of the movie. There is not epic tragedy, so you should be doing a retelling of Arthur.
It makes you wonder why these studies want to adapt these specific stories when they have no interest in the elements that make them memorable.
Steal a rich story to create a poor imitation of another story.
Take a look at that trailer for Robin Hood 2010 again (you know, Russell Crowe's that you probably did not see). Remember that it was announced for the first time as Nottingham and went through three completely different interpretations of scripts before landing essentially in "Robin Hood, but not a single green pixel anywhere in it, and it is a medieval cut-and-attack epic".
This is simply Kingdom of heavens or Lord of the Rings but with a different "intellectual property" attributed to it. With that in mind, look at this nonsense now, in the Year of Our Lord 2018.
Their The dark knight, but it's Robin Hood: washed colors, gritty and gritty strokes, training montages, the oldest and wisest figure to chide the young, brash hero, the scene of all Bruce Wayne's Batman movies chuckling blue blood , "This & # 39; Batman & # 39; sure It's crazy, right?
We notice several alarming indications of the story only in this trailer. The first is that it will be a history of origin, despite the fact that we all know why Robin Hood is Robin Hood, and this can be summed up in a sentence, and that sentence is "The rich are out of control, what he steals. " to feed the poor. "Apparently, he needs archery training before he can really be Robin Hood, and there's even a point in the movie that he makes fun of not stealing, which means there's going to be a Enough stretch of this movie without steal, which is what Robin Hood does that are turning it off They try to justify why he will steal money from the Sheriff of Nottingham, something that worries me deeply, because I fear that the answer is not "To fuck the man".
If you are going to adapt a story, why are not you adapting the damn history? Robin Hood is a centuries-old character, so rooted in the English language that you can invoke his name in a conversation and it has a very clear connotation: violating unjust laws to help the injured in an extravagant and striking way that is probably going to get into trouble That's not the story that this new movie tells, but tells a story of ingenious superheroes.
Just give us a direct adaptation now.
A "reimagination" of Robin Hood (or Egyptian mythology, or Greek mythology, or King Arthur, or Peter Pan or whatever) is ultimately counterproductive because most audiences do not want to see a thing like that. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, the 1991 film starring Kevin Costner's laughable accent, did it very well in theaters and is still pretty well regarded today and is a direct retelling: Robin Hood returns from the crusades to find Nottinghamshire downtrodden and his own seized lands, builds his happy men, then deposits the evil sheriff of Nottingham. Except for a few framing details, that's basically the plot of the iconic 1938 film, as it is more or less the plot of the adored Disney adaptation of 1973.
Make Robin Hood in Batman or James Bond It's stupid because Robin Hood should be Robin Hood. Yes hollywood He took a deep breath and put aside his formulas for a minute, could have a splendid and serious adaptation of the story of a visionary director and committed actors. Most people liked 1998 and 2012. the Miserables movies, and they did not turn Jean Valjean into Batman. As it is, the studies feel that everything should be served with a nod and a push, stuck in the rhythms of history that do not fit with others, better films whose arguments we already know, probably because those arguments supported franchises of five films.
Robin Hood 2018 is approaching, and at best it will be boring and, at worst, terrible. It will be striking and stylized, overproduced and little thought, and the box office will not accept it. Maybe they learn the lesson before the inevitable. Robin Hood: The Legend of the Five Happy Men (2024, probably).
Kenneth Lowe wanders through the woods looking for fights. You can follow him in Twitter And read more in his blog.