Posted on Thursday, May 21st, 2009 by Peter Sciretta
Has it really come to this? The search for the a bankable property or popular story started off simple and innocently with adaptations of popular books, sequels, and comic book films. And in the last two decades, we’ve had video game movies, theme park ride adaptations, cartoons/anime turned live-action, tv to film, movies based toys and action figures, and most recently board game film adaptations.
But now Hollywood is sinking to new lows. Tonight it was announced that Michael Eisner is adapting a a film based on bubble gum. That’s right — GUM!
Eisner’s Tornante Co. has hired newcomer Mark Hammer to write a feature adaptation of Bazooka Joe, the comic strip that comes packaged with Bazooka bubble gum. I’m not even sure today’s kids even know who Bazooka Joe is, nevermind care to see a movie about the character. Heck, I do know who Bazooka Joe is, and wouldn’t want to see a movie about him.
Now that I think of it, I’m not even sure I really know anything about the character. I thought the whole point of the comic strips were a set-up and punchline to a child-friendly joke that usually wasn’t very funny at all. My favorite part of Bazooka Joe (aside from the gum), was the comic-tinged fortune which was included on the bottom of the comics.
This story gets even better. The screenwriter that has been hired not only has no credits to his name, but he will be graduating from Chapman University this weekend. Apparently Hammer wrote a spec script titled Sonny Takes Peru, which made the studio rounds but didn’t get picked up. He used the screenplay as a writing sample which got him a chance to pitch his take on the bubblegum adaptation.
Is there any chance a movie based on a character from a comic strip which came inserted in a piece of bubble gum will be good? Not likely.