There are twelve kinds of movie I would not touch with a ten-foot barge-pole…
(1) REMAKES. Obviously. Although occasionally, one comes across a classic that really did not properly exploit its source material – or the SFX available at the time were not worthy of said material. However, 99% of remakes today are just lazy filmmaking – the original was FINE.
(2) SEQUELS. The rule in Hollywood is that sequels need to be 50% BETTER than the original, for people to perceive them as being as good (the originality no longer being present). However most just have more MONEY thrown at them.
(3) “PREQUELS”. These are just EVIL. When a franchise finds its star is getting too OLD and EXPENSIVE, they dump him for a pretty boy who will look good on teens’ wall-posters – knowing he will work CHEAP. And often, they do not even bother to regress the PERIOD. Yech.
(4) NO-BRAIN ACTIONERS. Again, LAZY. To paraphrase Philip Marlowe: too many guns – too little brains.
(5) EFFECTS MOVIES. I have no objection to SFX when they move the STORY along – it is when they BECOME the story that I start yawning. Stand my actors in front of green-screens for six weeks, then let a bunch of computer-nerds make my movie? No thanks.
(6) ANYTHING I HAD DONE BEFORE. Like actors, directors get typecast. Hollywood is big on FORM. Have a success and if you are not careful you will end up making the same movie over and over and OVER again.
(7) ANYTHING OTHERS HAD DONE BEFORE. Kinda like wearing another man’s cast-off underwear.
(8) ANYTHING OUT OF MY “COMFORT ZONE”. As “Dirty” Harry Callahan reminds us, “A man’s GOT to know his limitations.”
(9) ANYTHING I DID NOT WANT TO DO. As a director, a movie is a year of your LIFE. Pre-production, production and post – not to mention the promotion of the finished article. Life is too short to futz around with a turkey, just for the pay-packet.
(10) ANYTHING I KNEW WOULD LOSE MONEY. Orson Welles described a film set as “the biggest electric train set a boy ever had” – but he also described it as “a terribly expensive paintbox” – and of course, he was right. As a hobby, being a filmmaker costs more than becoming President.
(11) SPIN-OFFS. Many movies are spun off from BOOKS – which is fine, so long as you remember the two media are totally different. Books are cerebral – movies are VISUAL. But spinning a movie off from a cartoon, fun-fair ride or video-game is just SILLY.
(12) PG13S. These days, almost all movies get trimmed for PG13 release – even if they are totally unsuitable for kids – to cash in on their WEALTH. They buy a lot of tickets. But if I ever made a movie, it would either be for general exhibition – or adults only. No compromises.
So there it is. Even if I HAD the money – my chances of finding something to MAKE would be minimal. Right now, new movie ideas are as rare as rocking-horse doo-doo.
And when one DOES come along – it gets flogged to death.
However, I do have ONE project. In fact I have had it for so many years, most of my original cast are now DEAD. Dennis Wheatley’s “Sixty Days To Live” was written just before WW2 – so it would now have to be a period-piece – and it amazes me no-one has ever filmed it. But I would.
Do YOU have $80M to spare?