Some Film Sequels That Died on the Drawing Board
AMC Cinemas are closing just in time
By Ed Goldman
In Wednesday’s column, we reported on the planned closure of AMC Cinemas throughout the country because the company, which is the largest owner of movie theaters on Earth, says it has no money left in its coffers. Why people with bronchial problems should have been lending AMC money is an issue for another column.
I indicated a number of reasons I thought may be to blame but then my Hollywood spy, Wazza Mata, Hari, Zoomed me in the middle of the night to share some Intel®. A transcript of that call:
Zooming with Wazza Mata, Hari.?
ME: You bet. I can always use intelligence.
ME: Harry? Did you accidentally hit MUTE?
WAZZA: No, I was just savoring your last comment.
ME: Well, thanks, I’m very fla—
WAZZA: And to correct your assertion in Paragraph 1, AMC has no money left in its “coffers” [spells it] not in its coughers [spells that, too]. Dig?
ME: Yeah. I’m just trying to figure out how you found mistakes in copy I won’t be writing until after this Zoom call is over.
WAZZA: I’m an early riser. —Okay, these are some of the sequels Hollywood had been planning to produce to reach a far-less demanding audience. Ready?
WAZZA: Okay. In order of release dates, we start the year with “Justice League of Moose Jaw.”
ME: Moose Jaw?
WAZZA: Why not? Almost everything set in New York is shot in Canada these days. Moose Jaw’s the fourth largest city in Saskatchewan, did you know that?
ME: Not sure I did or even needed to, Wazza. You’re a godsend.
WAZZA: Agreed. —Then we have “Charlie’s Angels 3: Bosley Gets a Hair Transplant.” I mean, you know the character’s name in the lame TV series and lamer films was just product placement, right?
ME: Never gave it much—
WAZZA: In the third week of January comes a revisionist western to finally satisfy all of those idiots who couldn’t enjoy the original movie of ”Shane” because they thought Alan Ladd was too short to beat up a guy like Jack Palance.
ME: And what’s it called?
WAZZA: “Little Mouse on the Prairie.” February brings us three sequels: “The Great Gatsby Has Risen from the Grave,” kind of a combo of two great genres; “To Have and Have Some More;” and finally, a big-budget musical, “The King and II: Because ‘I’ Didn’t Go Far Enough.”
ME: That’s an awful subtitle.
WAZZA: It was originally going to have Anna, who was played by Deborah Kerr in the original, turned into a valley girl.
ME: And the subtitle would have been—?
WAZZA: “Siam Sooo Sorry.”
ME: What are we in store for in March?
WAZZA: A film about a dentist who becomes addicted to mint-infused floss: “The Man with the Golden Gums.”
ME: Oh, for the love of—
WAZZA: Next, brace yourself for the neo-Dickensian “Olive Or Twist?” It’s about Fagan and the Artful Dodger opening a pub in Liverpool.
—Well, at this point, on your and my behalf, I asked Wazza to leave the Zoom session and just text me the rest of the movie ideas, which I now share with you and with reluctance:
- “Thunder Balls.” A Bond sequel reflecting that at his age, 007 probably has some, uh, southern concerns, at the very least. It’s kind of a spy/medical crossover and the studio thinks Viagra is a lock to come on board with product placement. As one of its reps said, “When we saw what Bosley achieved with those ‘Angels’ movies, we just couldn’t say no.”
- “The King’s English Breakfast Tea.” Without his stutter, Colin Forth just isn’t all that compelling. So this time we give him a time machine for him to go back to fight colonists at the Boston Tea Party. Seth Rogen has indicated he’d be happy to do a two-minute cameo as Paul Revere but preview audiences said that was “115 seconds too long.”
- “Juno What You Can Do With That Idea.” Ellen Page returns and tries to reclaim the baby she gave up for adoption 13 years ago. Since the baby is now played by Seth Rogen, Juno apologizes to the adoptive parents and says she must have been given the wrong address.
- “Porgy and Bess and Ted and Alice.” Admit it: It’s long overdue.
- “Bourne Again.” Jason recovers his memory and remembers he’s an evangelical preacher’s pool boy.
- “A Game of Dinette Sets.” Apparently, the stores ran out of thrones and other furniture during pre-Thanksgiving sales.