As Richard Rushfeld wrote, “Genres do disappear. In reality, profitable genres just about at all times disappear. Studios chase their success with a glut of imitators till the viewers is exhausted.”
All indicators level to that exhaustion level lastly having arrived. And the top of franchise filmmaking being the most important recreation on the town creates a artistic vacuum. But it surely additionally implies that there are in all probability piles of IP-driven scripts on the market which are destined to go unused, except.
As Zack Snyder’s Insurgent Moon proves, reimagining your franchise blockbuster as an authentic sci-fi epic is simply as simple because the reverse. In reality it’s in all probability simpler. Turning an IP-driven script into an “authentic” one (what even is “authentic” in terms of tentpole films anyway?) means not having to take care of fan expectations and by no means having to argue over what’s and isn’t “canon.”
Not solely is that this apply–of refitting an IP-driven pitch, fan-fiction, or a spec script for a selected present– not unparalleled, it already even has a reputation and its personal Wiki web page. “Submitting off the serial numbers is a typical fannish time period for the act of taking a bit of current fanfiction and eradicating any particulars that tie it to a copyrighted supply,” goes the primary sentence of that Wiki, and it’s nearly as good a definition as exists.
Many profitable franchises owe their existence, not directly or one other, to the apply of submitting off the serial numbers. Fifty Shades of Gray famously started as Twilight fan-fiction written beneath the pen title “Snowqueens Icedragon” (no apostrophes is canon right here). Bella and Edward Cullen are copyrighted, in order that they grew to become Anastasia Steele and Christian Gray. The Duffer Brothers tried and didn’t persuade Warner Bros to allow them to direct Stephen King’s It as an 8-10 episode miniseries earlier than concocting their very own story a couple of group of children saving their small city from an historical evil and calling it Stranger Issues. Steven Spielberg solely made Raiders of the Misplaced Ark after a failed petition to direct a James Bond movie. And simply to deliver us full circle, Star Wars itself in all probability wouldn’t exist if George Lucas hadn’t tried and failed to get the rights to Flash Gordon.
And these are simply the examples of serial-number-filing that we know about. There are in all probability lots of of others that their creators have by no means copped to for authorized causes. All of which is to say that it could be nice if what Zack Snyder did with Insurgent Moon occurred extra typically. At a time when franchise films, as soon as seen as our final hope for conserving the theatrical enterprise afloat, are clearly flagging, extra IP tasks re-envisioned as impartial ones might be simply the shot within the arm the business wants.
What number of extra creators may uncover what Snyder is discovering: that eradicating the constraints of the originally-intended IP might be liberating, and a fast solution to jumpstart their imaginations.
“The deeper I received into it,” Snyder advised Empire. “I spotted it was in all probability by no means going to be what I needed.”
Now he will get to do what he desires with it (for higher or worse), with out worrying about whether or not it suits the Disney model or the way it will have an effect on the company five-year plan. Wouldn’t it’s nice if extra filmmakers may do the identical with their rejected pitches?