Film Threat founder Chris Gore recently revealed what he would do if he had power at a major movie studio – and many of us are going to be on board with this fantasy booking.
In continuation of his relatively recent interview with Film Courage, Gore was asked for his list of five movies he’d greenlight as a studio head, and right off the bat, he said he would redo the Star Wars sequel trilogy.
Declaring the J.J. Abrams films an unfitting finish to the nine-film arc, Gore asserted that it’s “a safe bet” that starting over with the Star Wars sequel would be the right move.
Three sequel movies take a decent chunk out of any top-five list, so Gore was left with only two non-Star Wars answers to greenlight, which he revealed be respective adaptations of two different popular novels.
The first would be an adaptation of John Kennedy Toole’s 1980 novel A Confederacy of Dunces, which has come close to being developed as a motion picture several times but always stalled.
Source: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole cover, AmazonRelated — The Daily Stupid: Penguin Books Author, Loony Bin Twitter User, Al Gore, And California
The second would be an adaptation of the book Survivor, written by self-described transgressive writer Chuck Palahniuk, which uses the narrative device of a voice recorder to tell the story of a cult-inspired plane hijacking.
Given the book’s set pieces and spectacle, Survivor is probably the trickier story to adapt. Comparing it to Fight Club, Gore said a Survivor film could happen if big-budget money was thrown at the project without a care, as he feels any price tag would be worth it to realize the novel’s awe-inspiring visuals.
Gore added that he reads Survivor every few years to rekindle his admiration for the bounds that can be broken with writing. He also noted that a line from the book was the inspiration for naming the tattooed SuicideGirls pin-up models.
He also mentioned he’d like to see a documentary on George Lucas’s ex-wife Marcia Lucas. To that end, Gore also discussed how respected she was in her time and her work fixing the first Star Wars film.
Marcia Lucas is credited with cleaning up New Hope’s “unwatchable” rough cut by, particularly, cutting out inappropriate humor and moments like Han Solo sitting with a woman who walks away when Obi-Wan and Luke Skywalker show up.
The next things Gore wishes he could develop are a truer adaptation of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns – which certainly inspired Zack Snyder but was only cherry-picked from – and the obscure Marvel comic Strikeforce: Morituri.
The series, created by writer Peter B. Gillis and artist Brent Anderson, lasted from 1986-89 and was a spin on the alien invasion trope that saw humans given powers to fight back, but with the catch they’d only live for one more year if they survived the war.
“I guess if I’m a Hollywood executive I’m greenlighting big-budget franchise films,” Gore said.
Adding there are things he would cancel, Gore declared he would strike the last five years of franchise reboots from the record because “there has almost universally not been one that’s succeeded in a way where everyone is like ‘that was awesome.’”
Continuing, he said he would wipe out franchise reboots made after 1992 like the 2016 Ghostbusters and Terminator: Dark Fate if he could perform the “Thanos snap.”
What Gore would rather have produced is movies about why we are so divided as a society. “I don’t know why there are so few films about that,” Gore stated. “Why are we so divided? Why is it that people living in the same country, who want the same things, why are we so divided?”
While there are several documentaries on the subject, Gore views the documentary medium to be too polarized by the left and the right. “As a viewer, I would like to be able to come to my own conclusion rather than be led to one you determined before you started making the movie.”
As an executive, Gore added, he doesn’t think he’d want to tell his audience how to think, but would instead instead listen to what they want. He further claimed he would give them something they don’t expect, hoping they like it, but without “pounding them over the head with some sort of agenda.”
However, Gore also shared that he is disappointed in the sweeping spectacle-driven direction science fiction has taken since Gene Roddenberry was in charge of Star Trek.
“Not every science fiction movie needs to have over-the-top spectacle with the fate of the universe at stake,” said Gore. “When you look back at some of the old Star Trek episodes there’s so few special effects shots.”
He continued, “Star Trek really delved into the realm of ideas and I’d like to see science fiction come back to dealing in the realm of big ideas, and you don’t always need big spectacle or big budgets to tell those stories.”
From there, Gore expressed his belief that Hollywood lost touch with Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey – a summation Chuck Dixon would disagree with – and especially its aspect of failure.
Using Luke Skywalker, Rocky Balboa, and Indiana Jones as examples, he pointed out that these characters suffered varying degrees of loss at the ends of The Empire Strikes Back, the first Rocky movie, and Raiders of the Lost Ark, before emerging relatively ‘victorious’.
The same is true for Batman and failing, or falling specifically, as the idea of picking yourself up was addressed in Batman Begins and throughout the Dark Knight Trilogy. Without failure shaping these characters and helping them grow on their journey, they’d just be stale or boring.
“Failure is how we learn and I feel like by not imbuing that lesson we are doing a disservice to young moviegoers who might look up to these heroes,” said Gore. “It’s kind of a disappointing time to see how franchises are…being twisted in a way that I don’t think serves the audience.”
What do you make of the hypothetical moves Gore would make as a studio head? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!