5 History Lessons Ready For Hollywood

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Let’s be honest—nowadays sucks and the future ain’t looking so hot either.

Out here in Hollywood, savvy producers and focus group impresarios have long been hip to the diminished prospects of our enduring adventure as a species. They also know you’ll pay fifteen bucks to sit in an air-conditioned theatre just so that you can escape from the drudgery of your life.

Convincing the long-suffering to get lit on selective nostalgia is big business. Period pieces are also popular amongst the talking picture A-list crowd. Why? Writers, actors, producers and directors know that a solid history-flick attracts Oscars the same way a Republican National Convention attracts male escorts.

What says artistic legitimacy and compelling think-piece cinema quite like a triumphant true story in which an unlikely outsider takes a stand, overcomes adversity, changes the world, blah blah blah?

The results are undeniable: The Revenant, 12 Years A Slave, The Imitation Game, Philo-fucking-mena. There’s no surer way to earn statues than to manipulate the past with ninety minutes of balls-to-the-walls historical revisionism.

For all you cutting edge development execs behind on work after a 48 hour bender, we’ve got a sack full of history pieces ripe for interpretation.

 

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Pixar presents Gavrilo

From the studio that brought you Up and Finding Dory comes the feel-good animation hit of the summer. Dig this—no one ever gives little Gavrilo Princip the time of day. Slight of build and habitually ill, the Serbian peasant’s son wants nothing more than to make his mark on the world. After years of failure, the gutter snipe (think Aladdin meets the crippled kid in Newsies) finally gets his chance at fame when Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s lost limo driver pulls up right in front of Gavrilo. Cory Monteith Dane DeHaan to voice Gavrilo.

 

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David Fincher’s Judas

Over the millennia since Christ’s less than awesome Friday, Judas has become the traitor icon par excellence. Who, after all, would give up the Prince of Peace for thirty pieces of silver and not a coin less? Now the master of contemporary psychological thrillers revisits the nights of Gethsemane to explore the plight of a misunderstood disciple torn between his love of truth and the greed of empire. Reframed as a modern morality tale, the gritty and probing drama features Ben Mendelsohn as Judas Iscariot, Mark Ruffalo as Jesus and Jesse Eisenberg as Pontius Pilate. Trent Reznor is set to score. This is one film you won’t be able to wash your hands of.

 

PWI94318 Adam and Eve (oil on panel) by Cranach, Lucas, the Elder (1472-1553); Private Collection; Peter Willi; German, out of copyright

Kevin Smith brings you Adam + Eve

Adam (Michael Cera) is in a rut. He still lives at home in his father’s garden where he spends his days working on a graphic novel about life in Eden. Secretly he yearns for adventure and and experience.  Tired of his son’s mopey bull shit, God knocks his ass clean out at a family BBQ, rips a rib and gives him a wife, Eve (Ellen Page). The two are inseparable—they geek out over all the same comics, they hate all of the same people for all of the same idiosyncratic reasons. Uh-oh! Adam’s falling deeper in love than he’s ever been before. Unfortunately, life has other plans. With an ex-wife, Lilith (Janine Garofalo), waiting in the wings to seduce Eve and a pesky serpent who may also be the Devil incarnate (Jason Mewes) pushing toxic fruit, Adam’s in for the defining coming-of-age experience of all time!

 

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Wes Anderson’s Donner Party

They set off with the finest of intentions, neuroses, costumes and quirky internal motivators. They arrived in a hyper-art directed landscape of majesty, whimsy and danger. Winter is hard and that raccoon skin cap and leisure suit-esque snow suit only go so far when you’re caught in a cramped cabin with your frictious family and eccentric hangers-on. With food dwindling and spring months away, can either one of the Wilson brothers resist the temptation to dig up Jason Schwartzman’s corpse and dine on his withered flesh? Answers we don’t have, but given that Wes could literally shit on the lens and still earn four fellatio stars from most film bloggers, we’re calling this a slam dunk.

 

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Apranik 3D

Holy topical filmmaking, Batman! Hollywood loves a pertinent film. In an age of ascendant women’s stories, a nuclear treaty with Iran and increased focus on diverse cultures, Apranik’s life is a gimme for adaptation. Back in the 7th Century AD when Persian military fortunes weren’t exactly brimming with hope, the daughter of a general took up resistance against Arab invaders. She eventually chose death rather than submission. There will be an extensive talent search for compelling and gifted Persian actresses that will inevitably end with Kristin Stewart getting the role.

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