The purpose of this column/series is to emulate how a meeting would go between a studio executive and a person, a passionate person, with an idea (pitch) for a movie. In this case, or every case for that matter with regards to this series, yours truly is that aforementioned passionate person.
Now that was the polite way of putting it.
In reality, the uninspired suited gatekeepers, who hold all the greenlight power, need a blunt kick to their out-of-touch bloody skulls! Yeah, they say you get more with honey (being nice). And in order for some these over-paid clowns to buy into a cinematic concept, and then move forward with funding the production, being nice can be the ideal approach. But since the world, specifically the realm of Hollywood, is already fake enough with people constantly masquerading with tactical kindness, let’s just cut the crap and, ironically, have a black-and-white old-school chat. It’s not that Hollywood effs it up all the time, but they sure do miss golden opportunities that can be quite baffling to the fans.
And that brings me to this week’s pitch/bitch: God vs. Satan
Usually when we all gather to have our little come-to-Jesus meetings regarding the path you soulless drones are taking, I tend to bless thee with historical facts on cinema’s past. This time around however, don’t expect me to be eulogizing like a drunken priest on a Sunday. Sure there will be some examples brought up, because you money-thumpers need to understand that you’re only as smart as your experiences in life – something that you conveniently fail to grasp. Either way, the goal on this glorious day is to preach about how to make the definitive biblical showdown. I am your shepherd. Thanks be to me.
BOW YOUR EMPTY HEADS
Now this has been attempted in subtle ways, but not one human being has been able to truly bring this prophecy of sorts up to a level it needs to be…and the “South Park” movie doesn‘t count. People are fascinated with the end of the world and if there is an Antichrist walking among us. Problem is, there has never been a full-scale epic that tackles every angle of the biblical apocalypse. Things like End of Days made feeble attempts with this theme; It brought in the devil but couldn’t muster up a worthy opponent (sorry, Arnie) or atmosphere. And everything else that has tried to maintain a serious delivery has been hellish to endure.
What I truly want to see is a creative writing scenario that encompasses an audacious battle between two actual immortals yet isn’t so predominantly archaic that is exorcises the intelligence factor. I’m tired of seeing a mismatch where all it takes is a human’s moralistic decision toward the end that somehow always saves the world from the wrath of a higher power. Christ, that’s lame! Let’s cinematically conjure up the part of the Book where the Antichrist is unleashed and a great battle happens on earth for sure; but in keeping with not being archaic and not aimlessly spraying CGI all over the written Word, let’s avoid temptation and use the issues of the modern times to spin a tale that builds into a worldly grand-scale showdown.
THE GOOD WORD
Allow me to work from the back of the book (climax/ending) if you will…
PLEASE! No more demons possessing people to do their fighting! Create workable demon characters — with minimal human likenesses — and form an army to take on, you guessed it, the armada of angels (and not just a few, as commonly seen). Now, the image of an angel is fairly well known, so dump the logic and take liberties with the character. Make angels twelve feet tall and construct them to be emotionless. If ya think about it, if Big G created these entities, and they’ve been known to fight in vicious wars, chances are they’re obedient and not all that sensitive. Now regarding the leads — God and Satan — they have to be larger-than-life characters from a both a physical and charismatic standpoint (i.e. not Alanis Morissette, Morgan Freeman, or Al Pacino). We all have a handful of images of what we believe the devil could appear as, so surprise the hell out of us and hire someone like Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth) and tap into his sandbox fantasy brain in the crafting of a character. Perhaps do something radical such as having the character having female characteristics.
As for G-money, unless you can create a tricked-out version of Keith Richards or Ozzy (who clearly are immortal since it’s a miracle they’re still kickin’), drop the old-man with the beard stigma and go for the outrageous. God is subjective, so even if the great being is in the form of an unusual creature, who’s to argue? Hell, The Chronicles of Narnia did it with the lion and the mindless sheep didn’t take the Lord’s name in vain over it, right?
The trick is to have them fight all over the world and stop working in ridiculous subplots. Yeah, we need a mankind perspective – and that’s where political/social issues can be woven in to kick half this epic off - but maintain the focus on the two marquee names. Spend at least $100 million on this sucker and do it right (i.e. TAKE YOUR TIME). Develop an apocalypse flick that brings the goods instead of dancing around the idea and teasing us with empty promises. Have you noticed that nearly all these pussyfooting products you’ve put out depicting this subject matter, save for 2005’s Constantine, are low-budget, go direct to DVD, or as just as bland as the bread at communion? Time for a change, my fellow sinners. Though I will confess, 1995’s The Prophecy had its storytelling moments, but was way too subtle in its approach in what tempts followers to come out: Action!
While a portion of the great showdown is a battle of the minds and willpower told via the human POV (ahem, get Steven Soderbergh to come out of the retirement convent to handle that part), blood has to be shed eventually. We’re talking everything from graphic crucifixions and impaling to use of weapons of mass destruction. A clash of supernatural and realist elements must executed in this digital fictional tale about the unknown that people believe could exist. Plus, this is where you can usher in an Indiana Jones adventure angle/atmosphere by having the two supreme beings unearth (literally) ancient ruins and/or artifacts that have been strategically hidden on the planet. I foresee eerie sequences revolving around the tomb of Jesus and the spot where the arrogant God dumped old Lucifer to suffer in his thousand-year prison. This dire tone sporting a clever spirit will have everything except for comedy. So in order to create this cinematic gem, we need the above mentioned del Toro and Soderbergh to form a covenant with the industry’s current savior Christopher Nolan; for the latter is the only way the realism aspects can seamlessly form an unholy union with the fantastical.
Now go in pieces and believe in making the image of something unknown.