It’s become funny to watch how the intelligent minds in the movie industry forget all that they know in pursuit of the almighty franchise dollar. For every hit there are dozens of laughable entries and you’d think that someone somewhere would realize that the people who come into the offices of studios with the next big thing are actually full of shit and have no idea what they’re talking about. There are precious few people on the left coast who truly have their finger on the pulse of not only what properties are worth pursuing as films, but also which ones that have the potential to become something special as a result of the transition.
Precious few. But there are plenty of people with the latest Harry Potter-alike or pitiful sci-fi cash-in under their arms thinking some studio executive is going to fall prey to their Quixodic notion.
Too many times they do.
Joe Roth is a guy who knows the film business as well as anyone, having achieved success on a variety of levels. This time he has mystified me. He and Paramount Pictures have taken Max Steel, a hideous and generic toy property from the late 90’s and decided to make it the next big thing. Like G.I. Joe! Or AIDS!
Max Steel tells the story of an extreme sports dude go gets enhanced by nanobots after being injected by a secret agency. Any similarities to Tolstoy are purely coincidental.
Variety ran an article featuring a telling quote from an executive about this effort to tug Max Steel from homeless shelter garage sales to the mainstream:
“A theatrical film plays a significant role to relaunch the franchise,”
said Barry Waldo, Mattel’s VP of worldwide entertainment marketing and
strategy. “But we have a strong Latin consumer we’re going to keep
happy while broadening the franchise for the rest of the world. We
wouldn’t do ourselves a favor if we turned a blind eye to it. That’s
the artistic challenge we’ve got.“
Artistic challenge. ARTISTIC CHALLENGE! The only artistic challenge one faces with Max Steel is how many lens flares is too many.
Hey Joe, here’s my free tip on other unmissable properties you may want to look into:
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey