Posted on Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 by Peter Sciretta
Director/Screenwriter Corey Edwards has updated his blog with a note warning Fraggle Rock fans that “there are some dark days ahead, my friends.” As it turns out, The Weinstein Company, who has been working with Edwards on a big screen Fraggle Rock movie, has begun a wide search for a new screenwriter to come aboard the project after demanding the the script was “not edgy enough.” Ugh…
Not to be too alarmist, but I am struggling to stay in control of my own movie at this point. The Weinstein Company gives me no confidence these days. Why? For starters, they have begun the search for a new writer, presumably to rewrite my entire script from scratch. Now I’m a big boy — I can take the blow if my skills are not up to the high, high standards of the Weinstein Company (he said with too much sarcasm in his voice). But this is happening behind my back, without consulting me or even asking my opinion. I enjoy working with other writers and have no doubt that the RIGHT person could help make any script better. But to not even ask me? Adding insult to injury, the search is basically an open assignment. This means the net has been cast wide, virtually posting in the “classifieds” of the movie business. The Fraggles do not deserve such treatment.
Edwards claims that he still has a deal to direct the feature film adaptation of the Henson television series, which means “my hands WILL be on this script.” Edwards then questions the studios motives:
I still have a deal to direct. Which means my hands WILL be on this script. That makes this move by the studio all the more baffling. Hey guys, you know what would be easier? Asking the director to help you get the script in shape, instead of running in your own circles and then showing me something later that I’ll probably hate.
To be fair, Edwards’ screenwriting credits include Hoodwinked!, Hoodwinked Too! Hood VS. Evil and the 1990′s television series CCM-TV. So it is very possible that his drafts on Fraggle Rock weren’t much better than his past filmography, which many would agree, is seriously lacking in quality. It isn’t hard to imagine, is it?
That said, Edwards does have a point about the word Edgy. It seems like Hollywood has become obsessed with the words gritty and edgy as of late, but they don’t really mean much when it comes to story. And what odes a Edgy Fraggle Rock movie really entail anyways? It just doesn’t make sense. The Weinstein Co clearly have no idea what kind of movie they are developing.
The live-action movie puppet musical would take original Fraggle characters “outside of their home in Fraggle Rock, where they interact with humans, which they think are aliens.” The movie was originally slotted for a 2011 release, but production has been delayed due to never-ending script notes.
My problem with the Fraggle Rock movie is that it removes the characters from Fraggle Rock. The Traveling Matt segments were some of the least interesting moments from the series, and the doozer-filler cave homes of the singing puppets was the most interesting aspect of the series. For me, you loose the magic of the world that Henson created by taking them out of the ‘Rock and putting them in the real world. It seems clear to me that The Weinstein Co doesn’t even understand the property they are developing into a feature film, and the decision to set it in the real world was first page evidence of this.