Sunday, January 31, 2016

If I wrote the next PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movie

One of those PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movies was on a cable channel yesterday afternoon.  For reasons I can't explain I watched it for five minutes.  Damn the NFL for not having playoffs this weekend!

The first one had charm but after that -- I don't know what the hell was going on.  Ten years ago I wrote a review of the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movie out then and was completely baffled.  You can read that review here.  And now I see that they're making another PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movie.  I think this is the 5th one.  Might be the 9th.  Anyway, here's what I imagine would be the scene if Disney had called me in to write it.

ME: After four movies and practically twelve hours, what pirate genre moment hasn’t been done?

STUDIO EXEC: It doesn’t matter.

ME: The franchise is already getting extremely repetitious.

STUDIO EXEC: It doesn’t matter.

ME: And what was once fresh is now just a series of clich├ęs.

STUDIO EXEC: It doesn’t matter.

ME:  But you'll get terrible reviews.

STUDIO EXEC: It doesn't matter.

ME: No one can follow the story.

STUDIO EXEC: It doesn’t matter.

ME: If this next installment is another prequel, hasn’t the audience already been told everything that’s going to happen?

STUDIO EXEC: It doesn’t matter.

ME: And won’t the fans of the series feel cheated without Keira?

STUDO EXEC: It doesn’t matter.

ME: Well then, hell. What does matter?

STUDIO EXEC: We make $500 million and keep the lines long at Disneyland.  Nothing you've brought up will have any effect on that. 

ME:  Well, I'm an artist.  I have integrity.  I can't do this.

STUDIO EXEC:  Here's what I'd pay you.


ME: I can have the screenplay for you in two weeks.

STUDIO EXEC:  There might be even more sequels involved.

ME:  It doesn't matter.


Peter said...


ME: I can have the screenplay for you in two weeks.

LOL! I'd be exactly the same. If I ever achieve my dream of being a professional employed screenwriter, I'll have my artistic integrity, but hey, I won't lie, if a big gig was available with a fat salary, of course I'd jump at it.

The irony though is that Jerry Bruckheimer SHOULD be coming to you and David to inject those Pirates movies with some wit. He has 100 writers who can do the endless repetitive action sequences but when I see these "event" movies, I wish some of them had just a modicum of wit in them. Granted, the kind of smart comedy you and David do might be wasted on mouth breathers who are just waiting for the next explosion.

On a different note, we finally got Spotlight in the UK this weekend and I wasn't disappointed. A brilliant, intelligent and beautifully acted film which also angered me about what was allowed to happen for so long and is undoubtedly still going on. Keaton was wonderful as always, but while he and Mark Ruffalo have been garnering all the praise, I'd like to highlight how terrific Rachel McAdams is in this. I found her performance captivating.

Wally said...

Friday question:
A former writer from The Office (US version) said as the years went on, they would try to pair up characters to keep stories interesting. For example, they would routinely try to come up with a Jim / Angela story (I believe). Was this the goal in your rooms, also, during the later seasons and, if so, what were the good or bad outcomes of that? Thanks, Wally

RyderDA said...

Are you writing about PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN or JAMES BOND? Aside from the Disney ride, they're the same.

Stephen Marks said...

...Studio executive: By the way I have Mike Eisner on the line

ME: Ken, love your work, listen I want to option your book

ME: Which one?

ME: The ME Generation By ME!

ME: Whose going to play me?

ME: You

ME: You want me to play me?

ME: Thats right I want you to play you for me

Lou Costello: Ok knock it off, this is just a hackneyed version of that old shit I used to do with Bud. Stephen Marks is a hack attempting to ride on Ken's coattails, who agrees with me?

ME: Me!

ME: Me!

Boomska316 said...

How to resolve the eternal conflict between creativity and profit? I actually liked the first two Pirates movies, but the third one put me off watching anymore.

Peter said...

By the way, after seeing photos of Susan Sarandon at the SAG awards wearing a rather, ahem, revealing outfit, I think it's safe to say she's the hottest 69 year old in the world.

sam said...

Friday question : Thoughts on Horace and Pete by Louis C. K.? Not a lot of laughs, but I liked it. Alda was great.

Jerry said...

Yeah, sort of like how, back in the '80s, by the time Paramount got to FRIDAY THE 13TH, PART 5, it was really starting to become pretty clear that they no longer cared about the creativity and artistry that had made the first two or three movies in the series so special, and that they were just in it for the money.

BluePedal said...

STUDIO EXEC: What's the title?

YOU: Pirates Of The Caribbean 10 ~ We Are Family - Jack Sparrow vs The Pittsburgh Pirates

STUDIO EXEC: I said no more baseball stories Levine!!!

mmryan314 said...

Your column/blog today is absolutely hilarious. Funny how we all stand on moral and artistic grounds until...

Anonymous said...

If you are asked to write the next Pirates movie, my advice to you is DON'T!!!! Janice B.

Cap'n Bob said...

Be daring, call it Pirates of the Mediterranean.