Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hollywood, An Idea, If You Will...

Dear Hollywood,

I hope this letter finds you well. How are you doing these days? Keeping busy?

I just wanted to drop you a note and thank you for Haywire, the latest film by Steven Soderbergh. As rollicking action thrillers of the ass-kicking, bone-crunching variety go, this film was highly enjoyable. The story was intriguing, and the action, while glacial compared to, say, a Jason Bourne movie (oh, how tired you must be of hearing this film compared to that--and likewise that film compared to James Bond), it was still heartpounding and gratifying viewing experience.

All of the principle actors were fantastic: Michael Fassbender, Bill Paxton, Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, and Ewan McGregor were all perfectly cast. The surprise of this film, of course, was Gina Carano. Though a very green actress (her IMDB page lists four films to her credit), I found Ms. Carano to be a quite natural actress, with her character possessing pathos and dynamism (Sirgorney Weaver's Ellen Ripley meets Daniel Craig's James Bond, with a dash of Mariska Hargitay's Olivia Benson). Add to this, she is obviously quite a gifted stunt coordinator, as this film's myriad action sequences do attest.

That being said, I hope that you would not mind my presenting an idea to you regarding a franchise opportunity involving Carano's Mallory Kane character. In watching this movie, it was clear from the open-ended overture between her and Douglas' Coblenz character, Mallory's future governmental employment is a foregone conclusion, and Haywire could possibly be the first in series of "Mallory Kane" action movies.

What a splendid idea!

But what about this: for each Haywire sequel, a different, notable director is assigned to each subsequent sequel, imprinting this franchise with their own distinct directorial panache, thus making each installment an "event movie." As Soderbergh's promised retirement from film making looms, how about allowing other great directors to take the Haywire baton and run with it?

How about high profile directors placing their defining stamps on these sequels, eliminating the inevitable bland sameness that comes with the standard sequel after diminishing sequel most franchises suffer from?

To that end, here is an eclectic list of directors whose defining styles could breathe new life into this burgeoning franchise, from one installment to the next:

Christopher Nolan
Wes Anderson
Edgar Wright
Sophia Coppola
Sam Raimi
Kathryn Bigalow
Jason Reitman
Noah Baumbach 
Joss Wheadon
John Woo
Doug Liman
Martin Campbell
Bryan Singer
Miranda July
Robert Rodriquez
Quentin Tarantino

Now, if some of these names seem surprising or eclectic, just remember that Haywire was directed by Steven Soderbergh, who was just one of a handful of visionary directors that opened the door for independent film (his Sex, Lies and Videotape is largely credited with bridging art house cinema with mainstream acceptance).

Also, there's the potential for this: 

Please, take this idea and sprint with it. Remakes and reboots will only take you so far (a *new* Spider-Man?!? The old one's not even cold, yet). This potential franchise, however, is an idea that really could stimulate your audience/customer base. I mean, when was the last time you were accused of doing that (the Dark Knight trilogy, notwithstanding)?

Think about it. Mallory Kane and a new dance partner in the director's chair each go-'round. It could be very interesting.


-Tony King