I Only Want the Things I Cannot Have…
Growing up in the days before the proliferation of the Internet, I didn’t concern myself with the minutiae of the status of entertainment projects. Much like the hefty majority of the world, I enjoyed the content that was available and didn’t say much more than “aw man!”, whenever a TV show I liked got cancelled, or when James Cameron didn’t get to make his Spider-Man movie back in 1992 (although it appears we may have dodged a massive bullet on the latter). Now we have high speed Internet in our homes, on our devices, even on airplanes and cruise ships, and as such it is easier than ever to find like minded communities for all manner of interests. Love silly cat memes? The world wide web’s got you covered! Want to follow superhero movie news and gossip? Well, we have instant access to that as well. Fandoms have grown through the Internet in ways that were simply not possible beforehand. Now you can connect with fans and enthusiasts of all sorts of things from all over the world. Some of these communities are extraordinary: they collect every kind of article about an entertainment product, they have robust image galleries, active forums, fan fiction, fan art, and so much more.
Side Note: I’m a lurker. I like to lurk. Never been too involved with leaving comments, contributing to a site and all of that jazz. However, I do love the ability to absorb the content. I visit a handful of these fandom based websites (mainly just for news updates, trailers and interviews), and then disappear without a trace, like a ninja. Like this guy:
The reason my lurker status is important to this conversation, is because I am the first person in my little circle of friends and family that gets super active the moment I hear of a cause supporting something that may not likely get made. Projects fall through for a variety of reasons: can’t find enough investors to justify the budget, not enough people consumed the original product, the publishing company has gone in another direction, and the list goes on and on. I’m not sure why I get so involved in these “Save Our (fill in your lost cause)” projects, I suppose I just hate losing out on getting more of the things that I love to consume. If you’d like to feel my pain, then allow me to take you on a tour of pretty things that I will not likely get to have:
You can start by signing this: Tron 3 Petition – You know, of all of my entertain wants, this one is without a doubt the most baffling. Tron Legacy made a profit. It was a successful movie that grossed $400 million at the global box office. A third movie was announced, the director and principal cast were attached to it. All things were looking good, and then 2 major things happened at Disney. First, they purchased Lucasfilm, which gave them access to Star Wars, arguably the most popular sci-fi film franchise. Secondly, Tomorrowland flopped hard, which why wouldn’t it? The marketing for it was easily their worst since John Carter (don’t get me started on how badly I want a sequel to that film), and it starred George Clooney, who has helped successfully launch a ton of high-concept blockbuster films including: Batman & Robin, Leatherheads and the Men Who Stare at Goats… oh wait. they should have gone with Mark Wahlberg or Christian Bale, either one would have drawn more younger viewers, and probably more total viewers overall. Bottom line, now that Disney has their triumvirate of Marvel, Lucasfilm and their animated teams, they don’t need any further sci-fi franchises, and as such Tron 3 is currently dead. Perhaps one day the grid shall live again.
You can start by signing this: Avengers 98 Director’s Cut Petition. I know that for some, this movie lives in infamy, and to the lot of you that feel this way I blow a hearty raspberry in your direction. No, the 1998 theatrical take on the classic British TV series the Avengers was not a great movie, but it was a very stylish and fun movie. Something felt a bit off about it… as if the sequence of events was off, and scenes were either missing or had been edited very strangely. Well, as it turns out – that is exactly what happened to the final cut of this film. As Ross Ruediger noted from his blog, theRuedMorgue:
Borderline amazing is the film working at all. Early test screenings led to hasty, massive recutting. I’ve read that the original cut ran anywhere from 115 minutes to 2 and half hours – its final running time is a measly 89 minutes; imagine if literally more than a third of the film is missing! Despite the cuts, and perhaps due to the film’s somewhat compartmentalized structure and fairly simple plot, it miraculously moves along with an amiable stride. Aside from a few minor continuity glitches, one wouldn’t guess it was such a rape victim. And yet I cannot help but think of what might have been, what director Jeremiah S. Chechik and MacPherson envisioned.
I get the distinct impression from interviews by the cast and director that the original cut of the movie had a much better plot, the scenes had more weight to them, the rapport between the actors was more natural, and the overall film was a much better representation of the Avengers franchise than what we saw. So what went wrong? Test audiences in America did not react favorably to the movie, citing that it was too quirky and odd, which is kinda funny considering that the Avengers TV series was noted for being exceptionally quirky and odd. I would love for Jeremiah Chechik to finally get to unveil his full vision of a relaunched Avengers franchise because it kinda sounds like he mostly nailed it. He had a great cast: Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman, Sean Connery, Jim Broadbent, Fiona Shaw, and Eddie Izzard, all of whom (I’m sure) would like to see a version of this film that they can be proud of. Another point that I find interesting, is that Michael Kamen had made a score for the movie, allegedly it was amazing, that got cut entirely from the film as well, which seems like a crime. I’ve read the Chechik is game to recut the film and release it, as long as Warner Brothers will let him – he even said he’d do it for free, but alas Warner Brothers has shown no interest. Which brings me to this point, if Chechik is willing to do it for free, then what would be the total cost of producing the cut and having it released in a limited run on Blu Ray as well as for digital purchase/streaming? I have to believe that the cost couldn’t be that large – certainly not unreasonably large, why not get Chechck, and perhaps as many of the actors that will do it, come back to crowd fund the release of Director’s Cut? It’s win/win, a better version of the film is released to the fans and movie buffs who want to see it. And there are so many options: Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe and more. This project would likely get funded very quickly, and if they needed a reward to help reach a stretch goal (because I definitely want brand new special features and feature length commentaries) they could promise to film Sean Connery flipping out about how much he hated the theatrical cut, I’ve seen one of his rants about the film and it was amazing. I’m nobody, in the cosmic scheme of things, and have zero pull with folks at large (28 Twitter followers and 5 Facebook followers at time of posting, lol) but Chechik, Fiennes and Thurman could easily team and get this director’s cut made via crowd funding. Hell, if they agreed to do it, I’d run the crowd funding campaign for them – that’s how much I’d love to see this done. I will politely ask them to via social media, but if you read this and agree with me, you should politely ask them too. Let’s get this movie recut with better continuity, plot and score. We can do this!
I feel so strongly about the need for a Director’s Cut of The Avengers that I gave it it’s own blog post (which you can read here), and I’ve worked with other fans in putting together a pitch with home video companies that specialize in niche titles and director’s cuts of lesser known movies. Hopefully we’ll get the Director’s Cut made one day soon…
I’ve already spoken at length about what can be done to save the TV series Forever, there is a bunch of social media and petitions and letters you can write to help. Also, the show is available to purchase via digital and will soon be available on DVD. I won’t lie, things are not looking good for the show to be picked up again (the hope was that Netflix, Hulu, or possibly TNT would pick it up), but the fan base is unfettered and still very determined to see the show brought back. If you liked the show, join the cause and help us bring Dr. Henry Morgan back. Plus, who doesn’t love a good story about an immortal who can die, but always comes back to life, resurrected naked in the Hudson river every time? It’s a fun, intelligent and whimsical procedural, and it would be a shame to see this show disappear after only one season.
There’s a ton more that I’d like to stump for (not the least of which being a return of the Spectacular Spider-Man animated series), but for now I’ll stick with these three to start. Needless to say, if it looks doomed and will need to be saved, I probably love it. Hopefully some of these projects will be seen through to a proper conclusion, but if not, it doesn’t hurt (too much) to dream that one day they could come back. Until then, I’ll keep the old fires burning and try to make as many new fans for them as I possibly can.
I look forward to sharing more lost causes with you soon!