It is an immediate, knee-jerk response for me to be cynical towards new projects announced by Hollywood these days. But despite my admission that too much negativity is unhealthy (for both fans and the industry), it does allow me to be more surprised and excited when something proves me wrong. And I certainly appreciate when filmmakers call us bloggers out on the cynicism, as did screenwriters Will Block and Jake Emanuel, who are working on that new action/comedy version if The Hunchback of Notre DameI wrote about last week.

In an interview with an old friend at Moviefone's Inside Movies, while recognizing that it's and honor and a hazing ritual to be made fun of by us, they take Cinematical and others to task by defending their script and the idea behind it, partly by reminding us of great recent reboots (The Dark Knight and Star Trek) and great adaptations that initially were despised by die hard fans of the source material (Kubrick's The Shining and A Clockwork Orange).

"You have to accept it as its own entity," Emanuel argued. "Victor Hugo's novel is a classic, but it's 650 pages long. Our film will be two hours, two and a half hours tops. There's a danger that if you try to stay too close to it, you won't be free to be creative and make the best movie you can."
The duo also noted that adaptations of things don't ruin the source, stating that the book or comic will always remain unchanged in its original form. This is all understood by snarky Internet writers, but given that so little is known about the Hunchback adaptation, which I guess will indeed be more credited to Victor Hugo's novel than I had thought, we need something to write about. But why can't we just be optimistic about the unknown? Well, fortunately the writers were able to explain their effort and make it sound more interesting and fun than the trades did.

"It's a world-building movie," Emanuel explained. "As a fanboy, epic action-adventures are my favorite, whether it's 'Lord of the Rings' or 'Gladiator' or 'Indiana Jones' or a David Lean film. This movie is going to be a ride and take you to a place where you haven't been."

Still a bit vague, but I'll take it for the better. Anyone who at least mentions Lean and Kubrick in a statement of where he'd like to go with his film is okay in my book. Of course, our negativity is mostly directed towards the execs in Hollywood than the creative minds. Anyone else feeling better about this Hunchback of Notre Dame project now?
categories Cinematical