February 11, 2014
In the wake of the board game turned SF action/comedy/drama Battleship, we may wonder if Hollywood is done mining our childhood nostalgia as a method for generating big-budget, CGI-heavy movies. Given that The Lego Movie is in theaters right now, I don’t think so. In order to cash in, I’ve come up with the following movie pitches based on the ephemera of my childhood.
Sea Monkeys: In this surreal animated children’s film, Dr. Artemia (Benedict Cumberbatch) fuses human and brine shrimp DNA to create a new aquatic race that can survive the flooding of the planet caused by a runaway greenhouse effect. After a group of anti-GMO activists trap the Sea Monkey King (Sean Connery) and Queen (Helen Mirren) in a plastic water bottle adrift in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Dr. Artemia turns to the only person who can save the day, The Man in the Bubbling Old Time Diving Suit (Johnny Depp). Directed by Tim Burton, screenplay by Neil Gaiman, soundtrack by Danny Elfman.
Jarts: Aliens bombard Earth with large dart shaped projectiles. Is this an invasion? No, it’s a really popular outdoor game among the children of the galactic races. In this near-future SF legal thriller, Ralph Nader IV (Joaquin Phoenix) must launch a crusade for product safety legislation in the Galactic Congress to prevent the accidental genocide of the human race, but the corrupt Senator from Sirius (Kevin Spacey) is in the pocket of the evil Jarts Multigalactic Corporation. Directed by Joel Schumacher, screenplay by John Grisham, soundtrack by George Clinton and Parliament.
Oregon Trail: A grueling journey into the dark heart of the Old West with a metaphysical twist. While crossing the wilderness and watching his charges fall to measles, snakebite, typhoid, cholera, exhaustion, drowning, broken legs, and lots and lots of dysentery, the Guide (Keanu Reeves) begins to wonder what kind of world would allow such evil to be inflicted on innocent people. After noticing how pixelated everything is, the truth begins to dawn on the Guide…THEY ARE ALL IN A FRUSTRATINGLY DIFFICULT COMPUTER GAME. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, executive producers the siblings Wachowski, screenplay by Cormac McCarthy and William Gibson, soundtrack by the Spaghetti Western Orchestra feat. Daft Punk.
Trapper Keeper: Curiously mature, high-school student Jayden (Michael Cera) and his curiously mature girlfriend Jadenne (Emma Stone) find a colorful binder in an unclaimed locker. Upon opening the binder, they find that it’s infinitely bigger on the inside. A label on the binder says it is the property of the curiously mature new kid Jaiden (Taylor Lautner) who disappeared earlier in the school year. When curiously mature jock bully Jay Don (Channing Tatum) is revealed to be an alien during a pep rally, Jayden and Jadenne think there’s a connection. They enlist the help of their enigmatic substitute science teacher Mr. Schroedinger (Bryan Cranston) to rescue Jaiden from Jay Don and save the future of the human race because the Trapper Keeper actually contains the entire universe itself. Directed by James Cameron, screenplay by James Cameron, soundtrack by James Cameron.
Already anticipating my future as a Hollywood mogul,