Need any proof that the flapjacks who run Hollywood studios are all soulless drones that should play in traffic? Read this quote from the great director Frank Darabont, who was interviewed briefly while on the red carpet for the 35th annual Saturn Awards. Darabont was on hand to accept an award for Best DVD Special Release for his vastly-amazing The Mist, which can also be referred to as “The Best American-Made Genre Film of the Last Decade.” Fuck it, that’s what I just said. Anyway, Darabont (who also directed The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile) was asked to give an update on his long-chased-after adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s classic novel Fahrenheit 451. Turns out, unsurprisingly, the hold-up is an issue of the script being too good:
Shock: You’ve also been circling a remake of “Fahrenheit 451.” What’s the status on that one?
Darabont: That’s my other great priority, to try and get the greenlight on that and that’s been a bit of a struggle. Hollywood doesn’t trust smart material. If you show them a really smart script. I actually had a studio head read that script and say: “Wow, that’s the best and smartest script that I’ve read since running this studio but I can’t possibly greenlight it.” I asked why and he says “How am I going to get 13-year-olds to show up at the theater?” And I said “Well, lets make a good movie and I bet that will take care of itself.” But that argument cut absolutely no ice. The movie was basically too smart for this person, too metaphorical, etc., etc. It’s a bit of a battle you’ve got to fight. When you’re faced with it, how do you overcome that prejudice?
This comes as no shock, of course, but to hear an actual filmmaker say it so forthright is a kick to the gut. I don’t have much to add, though—–that speaks for itself. Now excuse me as I try to stop my film-loving soul from evaporating slowly by celebrating some more foreign films. When it comes to wackness such as this, fuck a Hollywood.
News/quotes spotted over at: Shock Til You Drop