When I read comics more frequently, there was nothing quite as depressing as the super-indie writer who bounced to Marvel or DC only to churn out crap. That first moment of promise where we hoped a real artist could break through the massive wall of editorial stagnation never panned out* and I always walked away from those books with a bitter taste in my mouth.
The indie director going mainstream is the movie equivalent, and no one is more prominent an example than Neil LaBute, who turned away from his signature relationship dramas and into the arms of Nicolas Cage. Must be quite a change, going from the guy whose films are critically adored to a guy whose film isn’t even shown to critics.
The obvious follow-up to The Wicker Man would be a flick proving LaBute has still got it. Maybe cast Aaron Eckhart, or find some other guy with a chin. And so the director is in talks to helm the thriller Lakeview Terrace, about a cop who’s bound and determined to force out the interracial couple living next door. The cop: Samuel L Jackson. The woman next door: Kerry Washington. Her husband: Ashton Kutcher.
Hey, wait a second. This doesn’t sound like a comeback, it sounds like crap! Thankfully, Kutcher is also in the ‘talks’ stage, which means he might decide to do a real Guess Who? sequel instead of this bizarro world version. Or he could end up in a biography of The Guess Who. Kutcher looks sort of like Burton Cummings, and I bet he could belt out a killer version of ‘American Woman’.
*Ed Brubaker being the possible exception. And it still freaks me out to see his name on Marvel books.