The Zwick And The Dead

So, I've giving it some thought, in between munching on a strawberry Pop Tart, and I've come to the conclusion that I'm okay with the (ain't it cool) news that Edward Zwick has taken over the director's chair for The Talisman. Don't get me wrong, I'm still upset that Vadim Perelman "cried wolf" (har, har) over directing and bailed; he did an aces job with his House Of Sand and Fog debut and was probably the best hope for this project.

But nothing much we can do about it now, and it's EZ's job to take the tome and run with it. Zwick actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it. He can direct the pretty epic a la Last Samurai and Legends Of The Fall, and he proved he can also do the small character studies on the small screen with Thirtysomething and Once and Again. And anybody who exec produces My So-Called Life will always have a piece of my heart. On a side note...I wonder if Jordan Catalano can read yet, or if the best he can do is the struggle through the Sunday comics, stopping to slowly sound out the words in The Boondocks.

Although, truth be told, I'm wary about the whole concept anyway. The Talisman is a 768 page behemoth; I just can't see how they're going to whittle it down to two and a half hours. This seemed like a book that was custom made to be a major HBO event miniseries, more along the lines of Angels In America. Or maybe a big steal by Showtime, to say hey, we're so much more than gay melodramas and porn. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

But the main problem with this Stephen King slash Peter Straub epic is the screenwriter. And hey, I'm sure Ehren Krueger is a wonderful human being, and this is nothing against him personally but...ummm...he's the Antichrist of screenwriters. And that's the nicest way I can put it. C'mon, the guy wrote Scream 3, Reindeer Games and Impostor and still has a job! How can there be justice in the world when Ehren Krueger is gainfully employed, and yet I forget the cover sheet on my TPS report once, and my ass is on the unemployment line?

I'm not going to say how he keeps getting the big bucks, but I suggest you rent a little movie called "Oh God, You Devil" for the answer. So let this be a lesson to all struggling screenwriters out there. If you have a desire to sell a particular invisible body part to a certain fella to obtain success, the odds are that you won't wind up with a Charlie Kaufman-type career, chock full o' respect and praise. You end up with your best movie being Arlington Road.

Related tune: King Of Pain by The Police (mp3 via bj adams)

posted by drew on 5/11/2004

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