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‘The A-Team’ and Marilyn Come Back From the Grave

by Jason Kasperski, Entertainment Editor,

What could Marilyn Monroe and ‘The A-Team” possibly have in common?  They are this year’s examples of how far Hollywood will go to keep original stories out of your local movie theater.

It’s just been announced that production company FilmEngine, recently flush with new financing, has optioned the life rights of a Los Angeles County coroner who claims he was forced to cover up Marilyn Monroe’s murder and label it a suicide.

Which is fair game, I mean, she was famous and slept with a President and starred in a number of seminal films of the 1950’s. But that last bit of information should be the most relevant: it was the 1950’s. In this fast-paced media world that we live in, the shelf life of a story gets old real fast. There simply is no room on the shelf for her story today.

Marilyn was also married to a couple of famous men, notably Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller. Also a news flash to any of the film investors: there are no media consumers under the age of 50 who know who these guys were. When I was growing up, Joe DiMaggio hawked coffee makers and Arthur Miller was some guy with glasses who had a theater background. Marilyn is an example of an image, or a personality, that is so over exposed and exploited that it’s pointless to tell her story again. If nobody showed up for a Bettie Page biopic a few years ago, they will not show up for a Marilyn Monroe flick in 2011. She is an icon for the Great Generation and the Boomers, not for anyone else.

Coming up this summer is ‘The A-Team’, another attempt to exploit an old property.  Whether or not this film sinks or swims is anybody’s guess, but it will be a telling sign of how hungry the public is for recanned hash.

Hollywood likes to repackage somebody else’s concept and characters and supposedly that makes it an easy sell for the public. But the problem is, the studios are running out of these old ideas to cannibalize. There comes a point when every possible, usable franchise with any value has been exploited, and I think the system is about to hit the breaking point. In an interview in the New York Times, Clark Duke, the youngest member from the film ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’, when asked about the remake of the ‘The A Team’, flat out said “People my age have no idea what the A Team is.”

Which begs the question: if young audiences don’t know the ‘A-Team’, why not give them something new instead of spending millions of dollars on marketing and promoting a dead concept?

I hear the wheels coming to a grinding halt in Hollywood. With nothing else to remake, rebrand or reimagine (let’s not get started on the new ‘Planet of the Apes’ prequel that Fox is shooting now) the movie industry will have to, once again, come up with some original ideas. Will this current generation of filmgoers ever have something on the big screen to call their own? Yes, I think it will happen eventually. Last year ‘The Hangover’ broke out of the clutter to become a hot property written directly for the screen. I think the studios, if they keep taking some chances, will be surprised at how hungry the public is for something new and fresh to wrap their minds around.

Posted on Monday, May 17th, 2010 Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “‘The A-Team’ and Marilyn Come Back From the Grave”

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