So Ben Stiller apparently dug the fake trailer concept from Tropic Thunder so much that he decided to turn it into its own thing. Deadline is reporting that he’s sealed deals with an unknown online channel partner, through which his production company will release weekly fake trailers of notable production value. The idea is to make it a fun, long-running thing that will attract name Hollywood talent.
This isn’t a bad idea, except for one big problem: these things aren’t a joke anymore.
Between Funny People and Tropic Thunder, we’ve seen two big comedians take their own high-concept paycheck comedies to task, but the idea of the satire has always been “look at this ridiculous concept that stoops so low… couldn’t you see Hollywood doing that?! LOL ROFL FCKYRSLF.” But in a world where “can’t wait till Hollywood is scraping the barrel so deep they’ll make board games into movies” is no longer a joke, and in a time when fucking Jack & Jill is a real movie that will be played in theaters… how will this ever compare to reality, much less cut deep enough to be funny?
My frustrations with comedies aside, this ultimately seems like a more modern model for the Grindhouse trailer that could actually work. If it acts as sort of Trailer From Hell meets Funny Or Die and becomes a playground for filmmakers and actors to flush out their one-note movie ideas and cheap jokes, then maybe it could actually have a good influence over time! A studio might think twice about greenlighting the latest infant body-swapping CGI dog comedy starring Eddie Murphy if the idea is too close to a parody trailer on a popular site. One can only hope.
The online venture will announce its partner soon, and will apparently debut with 12 trailers. We’ll keep an eye out for some good ones.
What trailers in recent years do you wish had been for fake movies? Let us know– twitter, comments, boards.