It’s been a few years since I thought there was any original grist for the Hollywood mill. Over the years it’s been repeatedly proven to me.
Now I understand that after the Writers Strike, they’ve made it much more difficult to have screenwriters sell original work. Not only do you have to write something, now you have to package it. You have to have a major name attached.
Which is great… if you work in the Hollywood system. I wish I had the felicity of networking because I live in Hollywood. The reality is that I don’t. I live in the San Francisco area. As much as I love it here, it’s not exactly a hot bed of Hollywood names. That’s the reality of the situation.
But every time I see another remake of a classic TV show or classic movie or anime… it makes me angry. It makes me angry as a writer who’s trying to sell in Hollywood.
It also makes me angry as a fan of anime.
First, I was annoyed that they were going to do a remake of Battle Royale (which has been fruitless). I was angrier when I saw that they were thinking of doing an American live-action versions of both Akira and Cowboy Bebop (and don’t even get me started on having Keanu Reeves play Spike). I double facepalmed when Dragonball Z, Speed Racer and Blood + tanked.
But now I’m beyond angry.
Since Akira has fallen back into development… again, they’re seeking to do an American remake with Bleach. Now, it’s possible it could be a decent movie, if they got the right director.
They’re talking about using Peter Segal. The same guy who directed “50 First Dates” and “Anger Management”. Yeah, this guy likes working with Adam Sandler.
Now, don’t get me wrong, Adam Sandler isn’t necessarily a bad actor. He’s one of the few comedic actors who can also successfully do drama films as well. But, can you see Bleach with Adam Sandler?
Now, I’m going to say this because this has been stuck in my craw long enough.
Hollywood studios: start looking to domestic writers for movies. You’re worried about they fact that people are stopping going to movies. This is why. There is little coming out that is interesting, innovative and just plain good. By continuously paying for rights to other things, you’re not doing yourself a favor.
Here’s a suggestion: Take a risk on an American writer. There’s some pretty damn good talent here. And who knows, you might stumble upon the next Citizen Kane.
And for the love of god and all things that are holy, PLEASE don’t do another anime movie. Every other anime movie has tanked. Do yourselves (and the rest of us anime fans) a favor and leave it alone.
(Inset image from Bleach by Tite Kubo, US licensed to Viz Entertainment)