McGinnis: ‘Son of God’ … and Hollywood: The story behind Tinseltown’s next ‘gritty’ rebootWritten by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Becky, who’s on line four? Really? Ugh, I am not looking forward to this call.
(Pushes button on phone.)
JC! How’s my favorite third of the Trinity? Enjoying that trip to Jersey? What? Oh, oh, Jerusalem. Sorry, musta misunderstood you. I dunno, thought you were a Kevin Smith fan or something. Well, yes, “Dogma” was awesome, but…
Anyway, what can I do for my favorite client, you King of Kings, you? What? Yeah, yeah, the weekend grosses are in. Hey, did I mention that you were awesome on Conan last week? I told you that bit with that dog puppet thing would go over like gangbusters! Wasn’t that so…
What? Well … the numbers aren’t great, JC. I mean, they’re great, but not great great, you know?
You made 10 million. I mean, that’s amazing, that’s awesome, that’s … it’s not gonna hold, JC. The flick dropped more than 50 percent from the first week.
I know, I know. I wish there was something I could do, but….
Well, there’s a lot of reasons, JC. I mean, you opened strong — really strong! You were only second behind Liam Neeson! Liam Neeson, man! That’s awesome! And for a movie that was mostly just reused footage from that TV movie you did… Sorry, sorry, miniseries.
Anyway, you had an amazing opening, dude! So it didn’t hold up in the second weekend. That doesn’t take anything away from what you did!
But I gotta tell ya, JC — it may have been too soon.
Well, you brought out the new flick just a decade after that one that Mad Max did. I mean, if you are gonna try and relaunch a franchise, you gotta give the audience time to miss it, ya know? Build anticipation. Make them want it. Then you give them the new version.
And you know, I’m not sure we went far enough with retooling your origin story.
Now, now, wait. I know, I know. It’s all about spreading your message of hope and love and brotherhood and stuff. And I believe in that, I do! But modern audiences want something a little more — you know, gritty. Darker. Edgy.
Just hear me out, JC. We can keep all the important stuff intact, the message of love, the healings, the rebirth and all that, yadda yadda. But there’s nothing wrong with tweaking some of the details if it gets more people in the door, am I right?
Well, take the setting, for example. Period pieces are so 2009, JC. I mean, who wants to watch a story set in the time of sand and sandals when we could bring it up to present day? I mean, you can totally still heal lepers and stuff, but who said you couldn’t heal them in New York City? Or L.A.? Or how about Vegas — what better place for you than the very den of sin itself, huh?
And I gotta tell ya, for the Greatest Story Ever Told, yours is missing a few important beats to really make it, well, commercial. You know, like some action sequences. I know, you turn the other cheek and all that, but while you’re turning who says you can’t dish out a roundhouse karate kick or two? And when you’re done, you can heal their wounds! It’s perfect!
And let’s kick up the star power next time. I mean, Cecil B. DeMille got Charlton Heston to be Moses, why can’t you be portrayed by a bigger name? Enough of these unknowns who might “give good performances” and such garbage. Let’s get someone who can put butts in pews, man! I have the perfect guy.
Wait, wait, hear me out. He needs a career redemption right now, right? And what better way get back in the public’s good graces than to bring to life such a beloved figure? And imagine the soundtrack sales!
Oh, okay, no Bieber. Joe Jonas?
What? Oh, you have to go. I understand, miracles to perform, multitudes to feed, etc. Listen, we’ll have lunch at Spago’s when you get back into town. And trust me — we can make this work. Someday. Maybe audiences just aren’t ready for a full biblical epic right now.
All right, JC. Bye bye.
Becky, who’s on line two? … All right!
Noah, baby! Are you ready to be a star?!?