The Secret Hollywood Memo

Kudos to the guys at Comingsoon.net for getting their paws on a very interesting memo that's been circulating around the talent and management companies this past week. Apparently, its a list of all the films that the studios are fast-tracking before the writers guild, director's guild and screen actor's guilds go on strike next year.

There's a lot of really good information in this thing. Some of the more interesting points:

  • Lemony Snicket Director Brad Silberling is attached to develop a movie based on the cheesy Saturday morning TV show "Land of the Lost."
  • Disney's doing a remake of "A Christmas Carol" with Robert Zemekis directing.
  • In addition, the big D is re-making "Escape from Witch Mountain" and adapting a movie based on the Jungle Cruise (I hope it includes Schweitzer falls, named of course, after that legendary explorer, Dr. Albert Falls)
  • Dreamworks is doing "Trial of the Chicago 7" with Spielberg set to direct.
  • Fox is hustling a bunch of stuff through production, including "Wolverine" and "Magneto" the break-out X-Men sequels (prequels, whatever), a remake of "Fantastic Voyage," "Guliver's Travels" and "The Day the Earth Stood Still" with Keanu Reeves, and an adaptation of "The A Team."
  • New Line is doing a remake of "Escape From New York" and "20,000 Leagues" in addition to an adaptation of HBO's "Sex And the City"
  • Sony is doing an adaptation of "Fantasy Island" and "I Dream of Jeanie" and a remake of "Taking of Pelham 123"
  • Spike Lee is doing a film on the LA Riots.
  • Universal is dredging up a remake of "Creature from the Black Lagoon" with "Sahara" director Breck Eisner, while Robert Rodriguez does a remake of "Barbarella"
  • United Artists doing a sequel to "The Birdcage" (unless they can get Robin Williams, Nathan Lane and Hank Azaria in it again, I'm not interested)
  • Winestein co is doing a "The Seventh Samurai" -you can almost hear Kurasawa turning over in his grave.
  • Warner Bros is doing a remakes of "The Incredible Mr. Limpet" "The Dirty Dozen" and "Clash of the Titans"


Wow! There are a ton of remakes and adaptations being planned. Hollywood has definitely lost its balls.

To understand exactly why all three unions are striking (or planning on striking), Cinematical explains it all for you so thankfully I don't have to:
Okay, here's how it's playing out: The WGA (Writer's Guild of America) contract with the studios is up in October, but they're going to delay negotiations for a bit so as to catch up with the DGA (Director's Guild of America) and SAG (Screen Actors Guild), whose contracts end in June of 2008. The current notion around Hollywood is that all three of these guilds could team up in June, go on strike and literally cripple the entire industry (look at it as the equivalent to getting punched in the nuts ... hard).

So the three unions are going to be striking so they can hold the studios hostage until they get their money. "Give us what we want or we wont produce a bunch of bad remakes and schlocky adaptations capitalizing on 80's gen-x nostalgia."

Meanwhile, studios are stockpiling films for the impending shutdown. It could make for an interesting summer 08 season if the studios didn't prepare well enough.

We'll keep you posted on the status as soon as we hear anything. In the meantime, check out the memo for all the juicy details on what the studios are planning to rush through production.

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