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This is what happens when you hire a writer before knowing whether or not his only other film credit (Gangster Squad) is a POS or not.
Feb 7 - 02:43 PM
It also happens when Warner Bros. is the studio in question, because it was their executives who also chose the guy who wrote the Green Lantern script to write one for a Wonder Woman.
Will having a new entertainment CEO in Kevin Tsujihara change things? I don't know, but I wouldn't hold you breath.
Take away Harry Potter and anything by Christopher Nolan, and you'll see a lot of terrible ideas from Warner Bros. over the past several years.
Feb 7 - 02:50 PM
I've noticed this in a lot of studios though. A hot young writer gets a docket of work right out the gate, only to find out, domino-style, that they write consistently bad scripts. By this point, their other films are still in development, so they can't pull the plug.
Razor, how many times have you seen the Ketchup announce new work for writers before their first script is even publically released? This happens all the time, and all through Hollywood. (Not to let WB off the hook, obviously)
Feb 7 - 02:55 PM
Definitely, Warner Bros. isn't the only studio that does this, but I was delving into their very spotty track record over the past several years because they seem to be making yet another huge error in trying to put Justice League on a fast track. If they continue to force it, it could be a colossal mistake.
Warner Bros. is even doing it after the fact -- as in the case of the Green Lantern script co-writer being given the task of a Wonder Woman script.
So, yes, I agree with you that this problem is pervasive throughout Hollywood.
But, for the moment, if we just focus on Warner Bros.' blunders, the list is rather long: Green Lantern, Birds of Prey, the failed Wonder Woman TV show, Speed Racer and Akira, just to name a few. And now, Justice League.
They're really putting the cart before the horse with this one.
Feb 8 - 08:32 AM
You have a very limited grasp of how the film industry works. Just because a film ends up doing poorly critically, it does not mean that the script is bad. Innumerable things change from the page to screen. "Season of the Witch" was a Nicholl winner and an amazing, atmospheric, script. The movie was something else entirely. I've read Beall's "Gangster Squad" script. (Have you?) It's very good. The film...not so much.
Feb 8 - 09:46 PM
I agree with Andrew Henderson. Plus, let's not forget that there were four credited screenwriters for Green Lantern. Anyone of them could have written a great script that got messed up due to too many re-writes.
I mean let's take a look at the screenwriting track record of the guy they've hired to do the script for Justice League (or Wonder Woman, I forget which), Michael Goldenberg. Before Green Lantern, he did scripts for Contact, Peter Pan and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, all critically acclaimed films. That's why I have no problem with him getting a second chance at a DC property.
Feb 9 - 12:31 AM
Andrew Henderson, I know very well how it works. There's a lot of business politics involved. I do know the steps along the way. Sure, you can't blame one person in the process for everything, but Warner Bros. tends to make the same mistakes over and over again, and studios are often run more like a family business -- with nepotism, racism, sexism, etc. -- all playing a part in the decisions that are made and not made.
Some people get a real long leash and get to make mistake after mistake and are always given the benefit of the doubt, while some people (who are not part of the inner circle) get to make maybe one small mistake and they're put on the crap list.
Then there are yet others who don't get an opportunity at all while seeing others in the inner circle make blunder after blunder and still get jobs.
Too much industry politics, cynical business practices and inept executives are ruining Hollywood.
Feb 10 - 10:15 AM
King Simba, I agree that one person can't be blamed for a movie's failure. It definitely is a collective process. But that there were four credited screenwriters on that script points to the problem that Warner Bros. and countless other studios have made. Too many chefs in the kitchen.
Too many producers, too many executives breathing down the neck of the director, too many screenwriters -- all resulting in too much tinkering.
Sure, movie production by committee CAN WORK, but as of late, it seems far more detrimental, resulting in many stinkers.
Most of my favorite movies were made either with smart executives and producers at the helm who knew movies and which buttons to push to result in a good movie or executives and producers who knew how to step back and let the director do his/her thing.
Far too many movies these days are either made to push toys and other byproducts or are nothing but shallow products themselves -- all flash, no heart, no brains and not even the very basics of filmmaking that can make a script GO.
Feb 10 - 10:26 AM
Andrew - no. I didn't read the "Gangster Squad" script, but the point remains the same. This is not just Warners' tentpole for the year, it is the main post over what they hope will be several tentpoles over the next several years. Compared to "Avengers", it's clear that Warners expects this to be one of their most important investments of this decade. So then, given these standards of the kind of project that we're talking about, do you give the responsibility of the script, the fundamental creative blueprint for this project, to someone with only one produced script in his career? That script had better be "Psycho" in quality to earn such trust. The SCRIPT, as such, is an element of filmmaking that Hollywood has recently continued to show scorn and contempt for. Recent films like "World War Z" and "Lone Ranger" have shown that studios think they can shoot films with unfinished scripts, only to have a number of creative and cohesive problems, causing delays and confusion.
If Warners is serious about this "Justice League" multi-film project, and if they have any expectations of comparable success to Marvel Studios, then they better give the script job to the best writer they can find, not the cheapest and greenest.
Feb 10 - 04:49 PM
I agree that WB isn't doing a great job with the property. For starters, I'm staunchly opposed to doing a team-up film rather than first do standalone films for their respective characters. That said, Beal is neither cheap nor green. In fact, he's one of the hottest writers in the business right now and his quote is quite high. He's done uncredited work on other films as well. Unfortunately, you can't simply go by IMDb to know what films a writer has worked on. Beal has the chops. I haven't read his "Justice League" script, so I can't comment on that...but he's a good writer.
Feb 11 - 07:15 PM
Wow, Warner Bros. must really want to make me feel as little interest on this movie as possible.
Feb 8 - 09:37 AM
I completely, 100 percent, hear you on that. They've been extremely inept when it comes to their executive decision-making. Maybe the new CEO about to take over will change things? I have my doubts because he's just one man and other executives who were vying for the same position are still at Warner Bros., and they're rather inept, and riding on old-fashioned, outdating business practices.
The new guy -- Kevin Tsujihara -- has been the head of Warner Bros.'s home entertainment division, and it was his idea to expand the Warner Bros. brand to the Internet, to mobile apps and other digital means, but some of the other top executives (ones who wanted to be the CEO) were against his ideas, which -- in a digital age -- is utterly ridiculous.
Were they just being pompous and wanting to dump on any of his ideas? Or were they incapable of moving the company into the digital present and beyond? Either way, it all seems to highlight why Tsujihara was chosen to be the CEO and they weren't.
Feb 10 - 10:21 AM
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