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Why April Fools Doesn’t Work For Hollywood Anymore

So, it’s April 1st, which – if traditional online publishing logic is to be trusted – means that I should be posting some entirely fictional news that’s ridiculous but not so ridiculous that you immediately know it’s fake, just so I can take advantage of the chance to do an April Fools joke on all of you dear readers. But here’s the thing: I looked at recent news and realized that, somewhere along the way, Hollywood has become parody-proof.

I’ll admit it: I was thinking about trying to come up with a fake news story on Friday, but when I checked the actual news to see if it would have anything I could riff off, I saw that producers are seriously considering doing a sequel to 1988’s Twins, with Eddie Murphy joining original stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito as a further long-lost-and-equally-unlikely sibling. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, that stopped me in my tracks. In a world where that is a real thing, how can anyone really come up with a parody that is anywhere near as ridiculous and convincing as that?

That’s the thing: We’re in a world where “Why don’t we make a sequel to a 25 year old movie that absolutely no-one is asking for?” is the sort of question that not only gets asked, but given the answer “Sure, that seems like a good idea” (More than once; Tron Legacy, anyone?). It’s the same world where Battleship gets made into a movie with trailers that boast that it’s from the same people who made Transformers, and they’re talking about the actual toys, and the same world where John Carter can make $200 million + and still be a genuine flop because it’d need to make three times that amount in order just make it into the black. There’s so much about the modern movie industry that already seems like a joke or just plain crazy that the idea of trying to compete with that seems both exhausting and pointless.

(It doesn’t help that so many subjects have become difficult to joke about in general, because of how heated the online discussion surrounding them has become; the idea of making a “They’re making more Star Wars prequels” joke feels like asking for trouble whether it’s from those decrying their childhood being “raped” again, or inciting an argument over (a) how greedy George Lucas is supposed to be, (b) the relative merits of the last three movies and/or the Clone Wars television series or ( c ) some random combination of the two. The internet has taught us to be continually on our guard and ready for a scrap over the years, and there’re arguments to be made on both sides about whether or not that’s a good thing – when it comes to the suspicions of April Fools and broad comedy, though, I think I’m pretty much in the “not so great” column.)

Parodying the movie industry today feels like the Weird Al episode of 30 Rock from a few weeks back: The temptation would be to play it straighter than the source material, if only to provide a real sense of contrast. But where’s the fun in that – especially as we don’t have anything close to enough money to rival the kind of budget that Twins 2 (Okay, okay; Triplets, if you insist) will have to spend?

So, well done, Hollywood. You’ve won this April 1st. But let’s see how crazy you’re feeling next year before we start admitting permanent defeat…

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Comments

  • Jamey

    Aw Graeme.  Don’t worry, you ARE a joke.

  • Mr. M

    I think it’s a stretch to say no one was asking for a TRON sequel.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QKN5MHOI6VUFOYCTV5REK7M7A4 Jacob

    Really? There was plenty you could’ve done.

    “Charlie Sheen Unplugged! How he conned the world into thinking he was insane and why!” And then just run with it. If you can’t parody movie subjects, parody the people themselves. “Adam Sandler ‘I haven’t made a good movie in years and I love it!'” See? Not that hard.

  • Andy E. Nystrom

    Last April 1st I handled how bizarre entertainment news was getting by deliberately posting a real news story to Facebook to try to trick the people who were expecting an April Fool’s gag,

  • http://profiles.google.com/200328sept David Fullam

    Hollywood became a joke a long, long time ago!

  • Travis Fischer

    There is an actual, honest to god, Battleship movie in the works. Hollywood has ruined April Fools forever.

  • Anonymous

    I want a TRON sequel

  • Hedley

    Jesus, Graeme, you really never miss a chance to crap on Tron:Legacy, do you?

  • Lastnamecumbie

    Actually Adam Sandler has made some good movies recently like just go with it was funny and the tron sequel was good but hey people that help make that a flop think twilight is good because there is nothing better than Kristin Stewart’s breathing. There is the joke how a movie can win an award and be a flop like the artist oh look they went and made a silent film and now it must be golden so screw Hollywood and the people that do not know good movies.

  • Doctor Gonzo

     I agree. There were Tron fans who looked forward to the second film. Shame it wasn’t great.

  • http://twitter.com/tomdaylight tomdaylight

    Poor excuse. There’s plenty of scope for a good April Fool’s joke. The whole point of them is that they have to be credible. Nothing (short of an horrific tragedy) is “parody-proof”. It just takes a certain amount of imagination.

  • Yeesh.

    Why do I keep almost reading this guys pointless opinions?
    I read the first sentence and the last sentence, and I get it, you don’t like anything.
    April fools jokes don’t work for YOU Graeme, you sad humorless man.

  • Ryan

    It was about on par with the original if you overlook the fact that the first had revolutionary effects. Story and acting and whatnot I’d say they’re about the same. Still entertaining though.

  • ATK
  • momaw

    George Takei would disagree with this.  From his facebook page:

    Friends, I’m thrilled to share this news with you today. As announced at Emerald City Comicon, where I’m appearing this weekend, Paramount Pictures has green-lit a new Star Trek Movie entitled “Excelsior” in which I will play the captain. This announcement is part of Paramount Studio’s 100th-year anniversary campaign. The studio has acknowledged the fan enthusiasm for this concept ever since I appeared in command of the vessel in “The Undiscovered Country.” J.J. Abrams will direct, with Robert Orci again writing the screenplay.

    My co-star in Allegiance, Paulo Montalban, has been cast opposite me to play the mercurial “Agha,” the grandson of Khan (played by Ricardo Montalban in the Second Star Trek Movie). Also featured are Gilbert Gottfried (playing a wily Ferengi First Officer) and Lisa Lampanelli (as a Bajoran security officer).

    More to come on this breaking story soon. Thanks again for the years of support, and I’ll see you on the Bridge of “Excelsior.” 

  • FWAPPPPP

    every post from graeme is like an April Fool’s joke…    come oin this is from the same guy that is currently review  Enterprise…..  do we really take anything he says seriously?

  • Lord Prong

    Not much of a stretch when you think about it.  I’m sure there’s just as many fans out there demanding to see Condorman 2 get made.  Sign me up as number 1!!

  • pDUB

    Imagination? Graeme? 

  • Rick

    Yeh, Holywood’s a joke.  Hansel & Gretel, Red Riding Hood, Alice in Wonderland (ha ha) Tangled, on and on nowadays. They just don’t have any original ideas anymore.  Raiding kids’ fairy tales is pretty unoriginal, let alone comic books.

  • http://twitter.com/Tiradyn Eric Rich

    Honestly, I would have never wanted a Tron sequel, because I never cared that much for the first one.  However, for once, I’m really glad they did it, because I actually loved Tron Legacy, and it is VERY rare that I care for any Hollywood movie.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QKN5MHOI6VUFOYCTV5REK7M7A4 Jacob

    Am I the only one that read most of that in Takei’s voice?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=37604408 Lenzy DrHiphop

    You do realize that probably between 50-80% of most Hollywood movies have always been based on some one else’s story? Either true events, a novel, fairy tale, short story, myth, etc.  I get it, “Hollywood sucks”, but at least be original or innovative with your insult. You’re no better than the people you criticize.

  • Archers A$$

    Yeah seriously,  the fandom asking for a tron sequel was just as faithfull as those asking for  Galactica to come back  and probably the star wars sequels.

    And i think the final verdict on TRON LEGACY was   we nerds LOVED IT- and the casual movie goer was 50/50.

  • Archers A$$

    It was in no way shape or form a bad movie.

    The story exicution did fall apart in the 2nd half but  the same can be said for XMEN 1.

    visually TRON Legacy was a mindblowing film. up there with THE BEST.

    There is plenty to be mined into a whole new franchise

  • Anonymous

    And they’re mining it, because a sequel is happening.

  • Anonymous

    I came up with a great one last year:

    Toho to be brought out by Viacom

    Via United Press International

    In a surprising move that will upset the Japanese film industry, Tokyo-based Toho Company, Ltd. is to be acquired by Viacom Inc. for about $233 million (U.S.).The move is seen by many as a way for Viacom to gain a foothold into the Asian market, and for Toho to gain wider access to the U.S. market, a move similar to what Kadokawa Pictures attempted to do years ago, but failed to accomplish beyond setting up a division to distribute anime and an anime channel on YouTube. Toho’s attempt at coming to America was limited to setting up a theater in Los Angeles that showed Toho movies in Japanese to Japanese Americans in the 1950s.

    Under the terms of the new deal, Toho movies will be shown widely in U.S. theaters; the high concept mainstream movies (like the Godzilla films) will be distributed under the Paramount banner, while more art-oriented fare will be distributed under the Paramount Vantage banner. Toho movies and TV shows will be distributed in North America, Europe, Central/South America by Paramount Home Video and CBS Video, but past movies distributed on home video by the Criterion Voyager company will still be distributed by that company under license from Paramount and Toho; the deal on Toho’s part will be the same except reversed (Toho Home Video would distribute Paramount movies and TV shows in Japan and the rest of the Pacific Rim.)

    The move is seen as helping to stabilize the 50-year-old company in the wake of the financial crisis and the recent disaster that has hit Japan, and also in light of the popularity of anime, which Paramount wants to capitalize on; buying Toho is seen as a way to get access to more anime, and by Toho staffers as a way to get Japanese movies a wider exposure in North America and elsewhere. The company will be headquartered in both Tokyo and Los Angeles as a result.

    Toho to be brought by Viacom

    Unfortunately, nobody got the joke on the BBS that I posted it at.

  • Anonymous

    Once more, Tron Legacy made $172 million, $400 world wide.  

  • http://www.spinoffonline.com Kevin Melrose

    If you want to disagree with or criticize the post, terrific. But if you’re posting here only to insult, please go somewhere else.

  • Nunya

    Thanks for deleting the very post you’re replying to.

  • MRe

    i think it is a stretch to say people like any article from this moron.

  • Mre

    maybe you should focus on getting someone that is coherant and liked  as a contributor rather than the halfwit moron  that is posting ENTERPRISE reviews….  what is next  reviews of Quark?

  • Vicsage

     april’s fools would have been CBR telling us that they canned Graeme Macmillan….

  • Ryan

    Good point. But I think BioWare did a pretty good job when they released the most recent news story on the Star Wars: The Old Republic website. They did something cool, yet still ridiculous, and made it into a news story. The amount of positive response was incredible.

  • Vicsage

    Come on   do we really have to listen  toi Graeme and his prattle?    CBR are you listening? REPLACE HIM.

  • Vicsage

    Can CBR do a poll where we vote to keep Graeme or Toss him?
    This April fool’s joke is long past due guys.