What's with Hollywood? Seriously? Let's see what they have lined up for the immediate future - a reboot of Spider-Man (so that the millions of people who saw all the Spidey movies can...er ... see them again), another lame Wolverine spin off, excitingly titled 'The Wolverine', more Batman, Superman, Thor, Captain America, Green Lantern. It's almost like the film industry has forgotten that there are stories that aren't comic books or lame videogames.
It's either that, or movies based on children's books about kids who have - surprise - magical powers, pencil-boxes that lead to mythical lands, or talking pets with a Jimmy cagney personality. Thank you, JK Rowling. Thank you very much.
What's with the whole 'reboot' thing anyway? Reboot a series that's not even ten years old? I wouldn't be surprised if Hollywood starts rebooting franchises midway through a film - the second half will feature a different director, a different cast, and a 'more mature, gritty feel'. All reboots should have a 'more mature, gritty feel'. Facepalm.
It's clear that Hollywood is scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to looking for propeties to make into film franchises. It won't be long before they run out of cool comics like Scott Pilgrim and Kick Ass, and start making movies out of just about anything that has panels and speech balloons, such as those Parle Poppins ads featuring Ram and Shyam.
However, there are other areas that Hollywood producers can turn to when they exhaust all possible books and comics to make movies out of. Magazines, newspapers, web sites - there's plenty of content there just waiting to be made into summer blockbusters. What's that, you say? These aren't really stories, and aren't interesting enough to be made into films? Please. Hollywood made movies about Ghost Rider and Catwoman.
Let's take the Reader's Digest for instance. This once great, but now flailing publication can be revived by making a blockbuster movie based on it. Reader's Digest : The Movie will begin with a heartwarming tale about how a little dog teaches a boy the value of honesty, then suddenly switch to a documentary about Dag Hammarksjold, move on to some random sketch comedy followed by a half hour segment showing a man battling for survival after being trapped in a burning house. The film will then demonstrate to viewers the benefits of celery, segue into a short quiz on classical music, before ending with a gripping climax featuring a family that, through sheer love, survived the great 1930s depression.
Imagine that for a second. It would be terrific - offering the cinematic equivalent of the Reader's Digest experience. The magazine's success was based on the fact that it offered readers a bouquet of varied, interesting and relatively short content - there's no reason why a movie can't work for the exact same reasons. Plus, once the film becomes a hit, people will start buying Reader's Digest thus reviving the magazine's fortunes. People who otherwise can't be arsed to read start buying books after watching hit movies. Just ask the makers of Lord of The Rings or Scott Pilgrim.
It doesn't just have to be Reader's Digest. I'm sure people in Tamil Nadu would turn out in droves to watch an 'Ananda Vikatan' movie. Especially if it features that iconic old man with that weird thing on his head. I'd pay to watch 'Outlook 3D' - a horror extravaganza featuring sordid revelation about the murky underbelly of Indian politics (or business, or sports, or any other current underbelly), with realistic 3D close-up shots of Vinod Mehta's head. I don't even have to go into how successful a movie based on one of the film glossies will be. Magazines make great movies - when will Hollywood realize this?
It's not just movies - they could also start making films out of web sites. Imagine a movie based on Cleartrip.com - an gripping drama about a man looking for the best airline ticket deals for the Hyderabad-Coimbatore sector. Or Flickr : The Movie - which is basically a two-hour slideshow of photographs by excited people with shiny new DSLR cameras and no real talent. Or a Youtube movie which simply shows various leaked pirated clips of itself, causing the universe to collapse in a vortex of self-reference. It's a veritable goldmine.
Why stop there? Hollywood can soon start making films based on household appliances, food articles and stationery. Any of these would be eminently more exciting than another film based on some spandex-wearing superhero, or snot-nosed kid who defeats the forces of evil.
Far-fetched, you say? Ridiculous, you exclaim? Really?
Hollywood is making a movie based on a board game With Liam Neeson. Soon, no doubt, Sir Ian McKellen will star in Scrabble 3D, and Robert Downey Jr. will sign a three-film deal for the Checkers Trilogy. I rest my case.