Do you realize that the most successful alums from Buffy the Vampire Slayer are Willow and Jonathan the Nerd? Jonathan, ie Danny Strong, hasn’t been burning up the Nielsens like How I Met Your Mother, but he did write a script that is being turned into a much-anticipated HBO TV movie. At least it was anticipated until this week.
The film is called Recount, and it’s a behind the scenes look at the clusterfuck following the 2000 presidential election, ie the one that doomed our nation. I mean, I can name 3000+ people who still be alive today if the Supreme Court had done a proper job… but anyway, apparently Recount is fairly non-partisan, and the script is supposed to be excellent. The great (well, once great. The last few years… or decades… haven’t seen his best work) Sydney Pollack was on board to direct, and it looked like HBO was going to again prove it could make the kind of smart, intriguing movies Hollywood barely touches anymore.
Then Pollack became ill. I don’t know the details, but he’s an older gentleman, so best of luck to him. But best of luck to Recount, as well, since his replacement is Jay Roach, ie* the guy who directed Meet the Parents and Austin Powers. This is a bizarre turn of events and one that puts the whiff of doom on the project. If Recount was going to be some kind of wacky comedy starring the cast of Saturday Night Live, I’d be more forgiving, but this is a serious movie. About a serious subject. I guess it’s nice to see Roach stretching to try other things – he’s very good at making money with broad, popular comedies, after all – but I’d really rather see a director with proven chops getting on a project like this. Get me Oliver Stone, for fuck’s sake.
Recount will start shooting sometime in the fall. In the meantime I’m going to really hope that Roach pulls this one off.