Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday Fiction: Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

Owen stood at the head of the table. He did not look happy.

"Okay, people," he said. "You know why we're here. We need some fresh new ideas about cheap old crap! This movie studio needs a hit. You like your jobs? You like getting paid? Well, we need ideas. We gotta find something we can turn into a franchise. Something. Anything." The other people in the room fidgeted in their chairs.

Owen continued. "You see what they did with Legos? 400 million dollars is what they did with Legos! Transformers? Well over a billion, and they're still printing money with 'em! And the comic books! Don't get me started on how much money they're getting from the comic books! I mean, good hell, something called Ant-Man made over 100 million! Ant-Man!!!"

Owen had worked himself into a frenzy. He paused for a moment to collect himself. "There's a lot of crap out there that hasn't been used yet. A lot of ideas out there that aren't movies yet. Toys, TV shows, comic books. Something. Anything. We need ideas." He sat down. "We're going to go around the table. Now, this is just a crap-shooting, brain-storming session. There are no bad ideas here. We just need ideas." He turned to his left. "Jimmy, you start us off."

"Jughead," Jimmy said.

"Jughead?" Owen repeated.

"Yes, Jughead," Jimmy said. "People know who Jughead is. They like him. They think he's funny. Jughead."

"Not bad," Owen said. "Put somebody in a silly hat, get a script about him obsessing over hamburgers. It just might work. I'm thinking maybe a young Jeff Goldblum. Is there a young Jeff Goldblum out there yet?" he asked aloud to no one in particular. "Brenda, get that down. Find out who owns the rights to Archie Comics." Owen turned back to Jimmy. "Not bad, Jimmy. Who's next?"

Everyone looked to Linda, who was in the seat next to Jimmy. "I was thinking about toys that everyone had as a kid. How about those stackable donuts?"

"Stackable donuts?" Owen looked confused.

"You know," Linda said. "There's a big blue one on the bottom, and then a green one above it that's not quite as big, and then a yellow one above it that's not quite as big, and then…"

Coming soon to a theater near you!!!

"Oh, okay, I know what you're talking about," said Owen. "But, how do you get a movie out of that?"

"Oh, you know," Linda said, "just get some typewriter jockey to write it up. They're still cranking out Alvin and the Chipmunk movies, so someone ought to be able to slap something together about stackable donuts."

"Good point," Owen conceded. He turned to the next spot at the table. "Harold?"

"How about this?" Harold asked excitedly. "M*A*S*H: The Movie!"

"M*A*S*H already was a movie," Owen said.

"It was?" Harold asked.

"Yes," said Owen. "It started out as a movie, then they made it into a TV show."

"Actually, it started out as a book, then a movie, then the TV show," said Linda.

"A book, huh?" Jimmy said. "Maybe we could get movie ideas from books!"

"Books?" Owen said incredulously. "I'm not looking for boring ideas! I'm looking for exciting stuff that people actually like. Like toys, comic books or TV shows!" He turned back to Harold. "Do you have anything else?"

Harold looked frantic for a few moments, then blurted out, "How about this? Cheers: The Movie!"

"Hey now, that might actually work," said Owen. "Nice job, Harold." Harold sat back deep in his chair and let out a big sigh of relief. "Next," Owen said, moving on.

"There was this comic book I loved as a kid," Thompson said. "It had great action sequences and wonderful witty banter, exactly what people look for in a comic book movie. I think, with the right people in charge, it could be one of the biggest movies ever!"

Everyone was sitting on the edge of their seat. "Sounds good, Thompson," Owen said. "What's the name of this comic book?"

Thompson grinned and said, "It was called, The Fantastic Four!"

Groans were heard around the room. "Not funny, Thompson," Owen chided. "Not funny at all."

"Actually," Thompson said, "my idea is a little more hippy, trippy, and dippy: Spirograph: The Movie!"

The room was silent for several seconds, then Owen said, "You know, with the right director, it could work. Brenda, look in to what company owns Spirograph." Brenda wrote something on her pad and nodded. "Okay, Kip, you're next."

"Barney, the purple dinosaur," Kip said calmly but confidently. Once again, groans were heard from around the room.

"Barney!" exclaimed Jimmy. "I hated Barney!"

"Exactly," Kip said, still calm and still confident. "Everyone has an opinion about Barney. Some people love Barney. Some people hate Barney. And some people love to hate Barney. The movie will have something for everyone."

"I love it!" Owen shouted. "That's the kind of thinking we need around here! Nice work, Kip!"

Two years later, Kip was standing next to Owen on the red carpet for the movie premiere. Behind them the movie poster had been blown up to 60 feet high. In big letters at the top it said, "Jack Black is: Barney the Dinosaur!!!" Then, below the picture of Jack as Barney was the tag line: "Hello again to all my friends!"

Owen turned to Kip and said, "Great idea, Kip. Great idea."

"I've got another one," Kip said. Owen looked at him with anticipation. "How about," Kip said, "Angelina Jolie is: Dora the Explorer!"

Dollar signs lit up in Owen's eyes.


Now please choose a title that best fits the story.

O A. Hollywood Has Officially Run Out of Ideas
O B. Those Donuts Will Be Blockbusters
O C. Jurassic Barney
O D. Coming Soon to a Theater Near You
O E. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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