The Riff: Which Strip Should Be Hollywood-Bound?
As the holiday season's movie trailers assault my senses, they still, somehow, manage to pique my curiosity. What's coming up between now and Pixar's next biggie, "Up," I mull, in the world of animation.
Scanning the pre-"Watchmen" filmscape, one category seems conspicuously absent: When is the next film based on a comic strip going to drop?
Such mega-strips as "Garfield" have had their screen time, of course. Stephan Pastis told Comic Riffs some months back that he's working on a Hollywood script revolving around his "Pearls Before Swine" character Larry the Croc. And I've heard rumors that some relatively newer strips have been approached by Hollywood. ("Pooch Cafe," anyone? Sony Animation optioned the film early this year.)
But which strips are poised to become the next "Over the Hedge" (2006)? (Which DreamWorks did a masterful job with, by the way, in terms of fleshing out characters that engage over an entire full-length feature film. No easy feat, that, though the vocal talents of Bruce Willis, Garry Shandling and Wanda Sykes don't hurt the cause.)
So what should be next? Well, had I the bank and the juice to option three as-yet-untapped comic properties, these would be my initial picks:
1. GET FUZZY:
If Jason Lee can anchor an "Alvin and the Chipmunks" flick that doesn't bomb at the box office, then surely Paul Rudd could hit a starring role as Rob Wilco outta the park. (Watch the new "Role Models" and you realize: Rudd could nail this Beleaguered Agoraphobe role in a way that Andy Samberg, Luke Wilson or Jason Schwartzman could not.) 'Riffs would approach Jack Black or Seth Rogen to voice Satchel -- and our director would be Richard Linklater. But we can't quite peg the hyperkinetic Bucky Katt (SO not Nathan Lane or Jim Carrey). 'Riffs welcomes your picks.
The Gorey-esque goth-tyke is ripe for an all-ages tale. The real trick, though: Do you write it with absolutely no dialogue? (Hey, it worked for the first 40 minutes of "Wall-E.") We're convinced it'd flop as a silent film, but perhaps a spooky Vincent Price-esque narrator would do the trick. And the director? You have to ask? The one and only Tim Burton.
3. CUL DE SAC:
So much rich dialogue here, and such distinct, heartfelt characters. This sweet-but-skewed strip could produce a holiday fave. Our pitch: Make it a road picture. This could be like the "Vacation" pictures, but with actual subtlety and nuance. In other words: Family dynamics that aren't dumbed-down.
Those are our picks, 'Riffs readers. What are yours?
| December 1, 2008; 11:00 AM ET
Categories: The Riffs
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