How Long Until…
June 18, 2012 at 3:12 am #25407
There are many things that I think will happen in the future, but I am not sure when. I like to ask people I meet when they believe it will happen to try and get a feeling if my belief for the future in line with others. Here is a series of questions I ask just to get this started:
How long until a Sci-Fi movie wins the Best Picture Oscar?
How long until they make another live-action Batman movie with Robin in it?
How long until they make a well respected Videogame based movie.June 18, 2012 at 8:00 am #25408
Sci-fi movie taking home the gold: Perhaps another decade? I don’t know… That’s even if it happens, period. Which I’m skeptical about. I equate how The Academy treats sci-fi to how adults condescend to smart/creative kids. Kid/Sci-fi movie: “I have this story that is well-written and executed, and it explores the human condition in ways that could keep you up all night!” Adult/Academy: “Oh, do you now? Well isn’t that special. Yes, yes, run along and play now, and remember to take your Flinstones.” In other words, The Academy pretends to listen and care, demonstrated by “Oscar nods” that don’t lead to wins all the bloody time, but in the end, anything just goes in one ear and out the other.
Batman and Robin: Eight years, max. Since the first edition of the reboot is due in 2015 (yup: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1877830/), they’ll prolly do it in the second in the series. Cramming Batman and Robin’s origins into one movie would be sloppy, after all. Then again… Ahem…
Videogame-based film of high esteem: Haven’t you seen House of the Dead? Jk, jk. Given how production companies keep trying, but keep failing, it’s likely that someone will eventually do something right. So another one I’d say decade-ish about. Splinter Cell is getting a movie, for example. One thing I’ll say about this, though, is that I think one of the issues is they try a little too hard to make them “good”- and by “good,” I mean universally marketable. They water stuff down to spread out the audience base. If they just stuck with the same plot devices as the games, and if they stuck to the worlds of the games themselves, game fans would at least enjoy and respect them more. But then you get into the question of, “Respected by whom?” and the niche of gamers probably isn’t big enough to satisfy the wallets of the people making these movies. So… Well, perhaps never, really, because movie companies and executive producers aren’t ever going to be okay with making little-to-no profit on movies. Unless a small independent company or a private philanthropist that really loves the game wants to finance it, you’re going to have execs telling the writers to over-explain stuff and add convoluted side-plots and “story elements” that are just plain stupid.
I have one!!!!
How long until Summer Glau gets a series that doesn’t get cancelled?June 18, 2012 at 10:56 am #25409
Little known fact: Summer Glau is the daughter of the patron saint of shark-jumping, Ted McGinley. (jk!)June 18, 2012 at 11:25 am #25410
I’d say Glau is due for a series that lasts longer than a series in a couple years. Sadly it will probably be a sitcom.June 18, 2012 at 11:41 am #25411
How long until a Sci-Fi movie wins the Best Picture Oscar?
I’m actually going to argue that this is not entirely the Academy’s fault. How many perfectly written and executed films that explore the human condition in a nuanced and intelligent way have been produced? I think that sci-fi needs to undergo a long journey of develop until it becomes something distinctly different from the other genres. I don’t think it’ll take quite as long as the development of fantasy but one of the main things that needs to happen is writers need to pop up who really understand the science and what’s plausible who don’t try and hide unresolved or nonsensical plotlines under the carpet when no one is looking. I’ll say…30 years.
How long until they make another live-action Batman movie with Robin in it?
I agree with Gab. Not long.
How long until they make a well respected Videogame based movie?
I don’t know but I think I know how to reason it out. Find a game with a well-developed or at least vibrant and interesting world as a backdrop. If the right game hasn’t been invented yet, you’ll have to factor in the time it’ll take for that game to be produced. Now assume the Creator (writer, director, producer, etc.) who will bring this video game movie to life is 8-25 years old when this game is released. Add the time it’ll take for him to reach his late 20s to early 40s to the release date of the game and the amount of time it will take to make the movie. And…done. Basically, I think the right Creator for the project is going to be someone who played the game when they were younger and found something open to interpretation, unresolved, or left unexplored in the game who will spend his/her time growing up obsessed over it until a story forms. I actually think video games are a great avenue for exploration because the ones with more basic plotlines and archetypal or cipher-like characters leave more room for creativity and interpretation, similar to fairytales. I’ll say…10 to 20 years.June 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm #25414
Given the Academy’s penchant for occasional random weirdness, I think it’s at least theoretically possible that some mediocre scifi film could pull a “Gladiator” any given year where the field is weak enough. Barring that, it could be a while.
In general the problem with scifi is that it just doesn’t do middlebrow very well. The most artistically ambitious scifi flies under the commercial radar and goes unnoticed by people who don’t actively seek out scifi movies, while the scifi blockbusters that everyone sees tend to be fairly objectively bad. I don’ know what the turnover rate is for the academy voters, but basically however long it takes to make a generational transition. Maybe 10-30 years from now we get to the point where there are enough academy voters seeing a movie like “Children of Men” as even on their radar.
There’s nothing more to add to the Robin question, Gab’s analysis is empirically unimpeachable there.
As for a respected video game movie, the cynic in me suggests somewhere between 20 and infinite years from now. If it ever does happen, it will be because video games have supplanted movies as a dominant entertainment medium and the movie in question will basically be a “Hairspray on Broadway” type phenomenon for the wealthy and nostalgic.
Basically, here’s my take: Video Games speak the same basic language as cinema and can at least in theory do anything cinema can, plus add in a level of interactivity and visceral immersion that movies lack. The current set of advantages movies have are not only circumstantial and specific to the present moment (bigger budgets and bigger talent, fewer technical limitations, artistic and commercial considerations are somewhat less mutually exclusive), they’re also strengths that are largely inapplicable to adaptations.
Once a video game hits the market, it’s plot, setting, and characters are basically done and as good as they’re going to get. If the people adapting the IP respect it, they’re not going to change much of the existing material and if they *don’t* respect it and are adapting it anyway, that probably means they’re going to do a half-assed hackjob.
So basically, the best you’re ever going to get from, say, a Mass Effect movie is better effects (that may not even seem better, since you’ll be subconsciously comparing them to a higher standard) and maybe some better direction and performances (though, again, the best, most iconic characters are going to cry out more for impersonation than bold new artistic vision), and in exchange you lose both the sense of choice and ownership that attracted most people to the series, and that crazy surge of gamer adrenaline that comes from actually participating in the action sequences rather than just watching them.June 18, 2012 at 3:33 pm #25415
I might be more optimistic about the Sci-Fi movie winning an Oscar. I think in the next 10 years it very possible.
The Academy is not immune to public opinion. The last few years they have pushed to get genre films noticed more than in than any other time.
Still, the film that wins it, I fell, will either be a E.T. knock-off made for kids or an alternate reality movie where history went in a different direction.June 18, 2012 at 3:39 pm #25416
Also, since we all seem to be in agreement that the next Batman reboot will have Robin in it, I’ve got ask: how long until the introduce a Robin other than Dick Grayson. Do you think Warner Bros. has the guts to make a movie about Jason Todd/Red Hood in this lifetime?June 18, 2012 at 4:03 pm #25418
Re: Red Hood; Nolan/Goyer was the best hope for something like that, and obviously that ship has sailed.
Still, getting a Robin not names Dick Grayson is easy. Just do a Batman movie where the guy playing Grayson either tests so well he gets a Nightwing spinoff or so poorly he doesn’t get called back for the sequel. Say hello to Tim Drake.June 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm #25427
I’ve got your alt-universe, Oscar-bait, right here- and it’s coming out this weekend:June 18, 2012 at 6:11 pm #25428
Also, the Red Hood storyline was made into an animated movie last year, Under the Red Hood. Not to say that precludes a live one from being made, but I think that kind of makes it more likely it won’t be Jason Todd any time soon. I do think it would be more interesting if they did someone other than Dick Grayson, but this is a profit-seeking juggernaut, not a drama-seeking individual.June 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm #25429
For the first question:
I would argue that this has already happened once, with “Return of the King.” While it’s technically Fantasty, not SciFi, the two genres are in many ways fused, at least in the minds of the non-Spec-Fic fan(i.e. your average Academy voter.)
That said, it might be a long time before it happens again – LOTR was very much an exception to the rule, and it would probably take another franchise with equal literary pedigree and scope to have a chance. Avatar came pretty close – it was considered the favorite to win, though it ultimately lost to the Hurt Locker.
The new Academy voting rules might increase the odds somewhat – the new rules use Instant Run-Off voting, so an extremely solid Sci-Fi option might be the #2 pick on a lot of ballots, with the various WWII/Biopic/Oscar Bait films split the #1 ballots.
Agree with above – there’s too much $$ in comic book movies, and Robin is the #1 thing that a non-Nolan Batman movie could bring to the table.
Depends on your definition of well-respected, but I suspect not long either. Video games are getting more and more attention for their stories, and Hollywood has a love of all things with a built-in fanbase. I think the now-defunct Peter Jackson Halo project could have been it; it’s only a matter of time before someone else decides it’s worth a shot.June 19, 2012 at 10:41 pm #25459
Not to sound like a conceited turd, but just wait till I get my hands on a video game’s film rights. As I wrote in the post “Video Game Movies”, there are alot of things I think I would do differently than most other adaptation directors. So if I’m a graduate now, and I have some other things to do before I fulfill my dreams, I’ll say that in between 8 and 12 years, I’d keep my ears out for Sam and Max Save the World, based on TellTale Game’s episodic game series of the same name. Beyond that, watch for adaptations of TellTale’s Sam and Max trilogy and Tales of Monkey Island, Sucker Punch Production’s Sly Cooper and inFAMOUS franchises, LucasArt’s The Force Unleashed, and Naughty Dog’s Uncharted with some “surprises” here and there (adapting books, GASP). What I want to do is explore the story not told by the games, and look at themes and subplots that can be “added in”. One particular plot in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, is a love triangle between a male and two female characters. The point of it is, that whomever the male chooses, it will determine his life as either a treasure hunter, or a functioning member of society not killing people all over the world. These themes are not explored in the games but provide the perfect avenue for a movie version to spread it’s wings and pad out the IP’s secondary characters more than is usually done.
I’m not kidding when I say that this is my career. I intend to pursue it fervently, and I believe I can do it.
Anyway, sorry for trumpeting, but I think I’m done now. It’s my actor’s ego.
As for the Sci-Fi film, if Prometheus is any example, writer’s are getting lazier. When they think they’re deep, they’re shallower than a High School girl on prom night. When they think they’re being shallow, they’re extremely deep, but only to us Overthinkers. Need I point you to the article about the economics of Death Star destruction? Sci-Fi is a hard genre to meld into Oscar Bait. You can’t add Nazis without it feeling silly. You can’t do an uplifting message about humanity, so I think you’re screwed harder than the baseboards are to the wall of a amateur handyman’s living room (and I’m in an analogy mood today).
My recent fascination with Batman at the hands of the Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City videogames (ironically, sort of), I saw that Robin was stuffed into Arkham City. Batman is the world’s richest loner and tells Robin to go away after he offers to help Batman take down Joker. The Robin in the game is Dick Grayson, I think, because the game also features DLC (downloadable content) of Nightwing, and being new to the whole Batman mythos, I am exacerbated by the whole Robin thing. I actually think it’s kind of complicated for a movie to take the time to explain. That’s not what a Superhero movie should “feel like” apparently, because of the recent onslaught of film’s featuring plenty of long, and over the top, barely believable action scenes. I think that instead of Nolan’s Batman, we should look to the older Batman movies instead, and then jump back to Nolan.
When Dick Grayson was introduced, he was under the aegis of Joel Schumacher, who made the world’s darkest hero unbearably punny. This is why Batman and Robin was critically panned. Nolan rebooted Batman in an even darker fashion than Burton took it in. Burton kept some humour in the series, and rightfully so. It was a very Burton-esque picture, and had a lot of charm. The differnce between Nicholson and Ledger’s Joker characters is jarring. Looking at Burton’s films, Nolan’s films, and the new guy coming up, it’s a trilogy of Batman ideology, and the new films will hopefully rest somewhere safely in the middle, drawing connections to both directors, yet maintaining a uniquity about it.June 20, 2012 at 2:12 am #25461
I am not sure, but I think the Robin in Arkham City is actually Tim Drake, but I never played the DLC stuff.
It’s true that most Sci-Fi films tend to vear away from uplifting messages. I cannot think of many sci-fi films that had good things to say about people. Maybe Dark City.
I think we can bring back the uplifting Sci-Fi story. Spieldberg, might have to do it, but it can be done!June 20, 2012 at 11:49 am #25463
Robin shows up very briefly in the main campaign I believe, and Tim Drake sounds right. The Arkham games are not a Batman story in terms of origin, and rising up to beat villains. The Arkham games are already set in the Batman universe, but just at what time? It must be after TIm Drake became Robin. (Duh!!)
I like what you say about the Spielbergian Sci-Fi movies. E.T., though I’ve never seen it, is definitely a kids film, and doesn’t carry alot of heavy themes. When I think of Spielberg, I typically think of Jurassic Park, and that was a Micheal Chricton novel before it was a hit movie. The thing about Crichton’s novels, in my experience with them, is that while a cautionary tale about technology, the promblem that arises from the advanced technology usually stems from human greed. Dennis Nedry turns off the safety fences in Jurrassic Park. That’s the classic example. In the end, he bites it and that’s his comeuppance.
I recently finished reading Prey, about sentient “swarms” of nanoparticles that show evolutionary patterns. The government wants an optic “eye” for combat, and the technology is set free in the desert to solve the promblem of the swarms blowing away in the wind. This leads the swarms to evolve and reproduce on their own. I realize that a film adaptation of it would not really fare well in the happiness department because the narrator says, “‘They didn’t know what they were doing”. I hope that’s not on the gravestone of humanity.”, or something to that effect. I think that that’s true of all of Chricton’s novels, and that they really speak out about corruption in companies that deal in sketchy technology. Looking back, that’s kind of an obvious theme in at least those two examples, and maybe I’m just late to the gravy train.
How long until the Oscars become more viewer friendly? By viewer friendly, I mean cutting the fat. I think that the Oscars have a wierd sense of people percieve them. It’s not a good ceremony. I think it should reveal more about the making of the movies, and why they deserve that award. Let’s see actors going through a 3-hour makeup session, two actors discussing their characters on set, all this stuff that should happen but seemingly doesn’t. It always bugs me to have to watch a 4-minute clip of a film I saw in theatres for best actor, and then a 20-second clip for best director where the guy just waves his arms beside a camera and he’s “directing”.
How long until the Oscars realize it’s about them, and not the audience? However, if they take that root, without patting the audience on the back, they’ll lose an already dwindling auidience, so possibly never.June 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm #25464
Well, Crack.com just did an article explaining that a huge majority of the Academy voters are old white guys, like 90%.
I would argue that E.T. had some strong themes, most important would be dealing with loss. The main character is dealing with the loss of his parents seperating.
Also, there is the whole thing about the Government being too strong handed and that children would probably be better representatives for our planets than adults.
At leasts that’s what I took away from it.July 13, 2012 at 4:50 pm #25599
So it was announced that WB is, indeed, going for a Justice League movie.
I really could ramble a lot about the potential direction(s) for this, but I’m sure it would become one of those, TLDR posts. But this development is pretty substantial, I think.July 22, 2012 at 7:14 pm #25660
Oh, text editing functions now. Fancy. ;p
WARNING, TDKR SPOILERS
So I just saw TDKR (again), and a thought occurred to me about that future Justice League movie. Nolan produced/is producing Man of Steel. And while sure, he’s said he’s not making any more Batman movies, that may not necessarily preclude at least the character of John Blake/ Future Batman/Robin/whatever from showing up again. Look here: http://uk.movies.yahoo.com/nolan-justice-league-film-144101095.html
His wording of “that character” makes me speculate a little. Just a little. He’s a trickster, after all, and while it could be some combination of wishful thinking and conspiracy theorist, I can’t help but wonder if while he won’t be involved in the Justice League movie himself, the character of Blake may be, still. Bruce Wayne is retired, but Blake is taking over, so…
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