I guess this is what happens when sequels to classic films take too long.
While I was still in school I once took an intro screenwriting class that was taught by a very interesting gentleman that like to use the term “magic bag” in reference to a particular film writer’s trick. The term is applied to anything in a story, be it a bookbag, a purse, or a storeroom, that lets the screenwriter easily introduce new objects into the story (I’m sure there’s a better name for it). “The construct” in the The Matrix is a great example of writing this mechanism into a script front and center, making it an actual function of the plot. As you might guess, it frees the writer to stimulate the story or escape from a corner with the ability to introduce X item at any given time. Kevin and Dan Hageman have apparently banked six-figures by pitching the ultimate “magic bag” film to Warner Brothers in the form of a Looney Toons-less script about the ACME Co. Warehouse.
The word comes from THR who says the plan is to throwback to the “the Amblin pics of the 1980s [hmmm, I wonder which one they could be talking about] or a Men in Black-style movie,” with another live-action film that features heavy CG animation. Unfortunately I remain at a loss when I try and think of a single good film of this kind with all of the Yogi Bear‘s and Smurfs, and Chipmunks flying around.
This is another one of those projects (like so many of those board game properties) that inherently bring little more than the seeds of an environment to a film and so can only be as good as the imagination that’s brought to it. A film in the ACME Warehouse can literally be almost anything, with the only guarantees being visual puns (which can be delightful) and, I dunno… kookiness I guess. If the screenwriters have a bang-up concept (and they very well might, if they got the studios attention without even needing the popular cartoon characters) then this could be something, but let’s cross our fingers it was the story that was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, rather than just a gilded reminder to Warner Brothers that they own a thing.