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The Worst Idea In History

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No, We're not talking about the proposed 700 Billion Dollar giveaway/complete abbrogation of checks and balances that Henry Paulson is trying to mad-dog out of congress this week*. We're referring to the latest diseased rumblings from the filth merchants who call themselves Studio Executives. In this case, much like a frat boy found date-raping someone, who then reacts to the horrified shrieks by asking "want a piece?", Universal has announced that some hackneyed reprobates named Timur Bekmambetov, Adam Cooper and Bill Collage are going to do this:

Universal Pictures has made a splashy preemptive buy of "Moby Dick," a reimagining of the Herman Melville whale tale that Timur Bekmambetov ("Wanted") will direct. Studio paid high six figures to Adam Cooper and Bill Collage to pen the screenplay.

Really. A "reimagining?" Really. What, pray tell, do they intend to reimagine?
The writers revere Melville’s original text, but their graphic novel-style version will change the structure. Gone is the first-person narration by the young seaman Ishmael, who observes how Ahab’s obsession with killing the great white whale overwhelms his good judgment as captain.
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You know how child molesters always claim, once they're caught, that they aren't monsters at all, but that they love children and they just have a child-like love of life and love the joy and innocence that only raping and traumatizing a child can give you? Claiming to "revere" something that you refer to as "text is the artistic moral equivalent. Good job**.

This change will allow them to depict the whale's decimation of other ships prior to its encounter with Ahab's Pequod, and Ahab will be depicted more as a charismatic leader than a brooding obsessive. "Our vision isn't your grandfather's 'Moby Dick,' " Cooper said. "This is an opportunity to take a timeless classic and capitalize on the advances in visual effects to tell what at its core is an action-adventure revenge story."

Yeah, Hamlet is cool and all, but wouldn't it be even better if he wasn't so indecisive about the whole killing his uncle and risking his death thing? How about we rewrite it, so he's got a huge skull on a black t-shirt, a massive arsenal of weapons, and we can even add a rape-rock soundtrack by POD!

Hollywood Gold baby!

"We wanted to take a graphic novel sensibility to a classic narrative," said Collage. They brought it to the Wibberlys, the "National Treasure" scribes who are branching into producing and will team with Stuber. The project then caught the fancy of Bekmambetov and Lemley, who teamed with the helmer on "Wanted."

You ever read histories of the Third Reich and find yourself feeling astonished that such a creepy, unattractive group of vain, inept but surprisingly competent monsters could have not only found each other, worked together coherently and managed the takeover of an entire government, but somehow also managed to destroy half the world? That's about how I"m feeling now***.

If Tim Burton taught us anything, it's that this kind of nonsense is not a re-imagining of any kind. It's just jerking off into a copy of the book and then deciding that the flecks of paper stuck to your dick are more worthy of serious discussion that the actual story you just defiled. And this story has very specific intent, very sincere and deeply expressed meaning. Making a version of the story that rejects everything but the most superficial aspects of the story is an insult to the intelligence of the nation for whom the book was written, and the moveigoers who are the film's intended target.

Unfortunately, we're talking about a nation so mind-bendingly stupid they voted for a booze-addled poo-flinger almost twice, and they still might not be smart enough to put two and two together and realize that voting for McCain is voting for Bush all over again. So obviously the Studios who buy this dreck have every reason to think these projects are a good bet.

Let's hope they're wrong twice. Meanwhile, if you have to ask, here is how you reimagine something correctly.

Photo by Pingnews via Flikr.

* And in case you haven't doen so, stop reading this footnote, call your congressional rep and order them, politely, very politely, to tell Hank Paulson he can suck America's, um, no votes. Because seriously, the Bush Administration, the same people who brought you 911, the war in Iraq and Katrina want you to trust them on this? Ninja please. No taxation without representation, and no federal bailout without forcing the people who got us into this mess to eat a few shit sandwiches. Feel me doggs?

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** Attention lawyers. I did not just allege that the hackneyed idiots behind this project molest children. But they are really lame.

*** Now don't misunderstand me, I'm not trying to claim that Moby Dick is perfect. The whole thing could be summed up in one paragraph:

"Nature, by its very, um, nature, is unfeeling and unrational. It does not care anything about the whims and concerns of humanity and does not take anything nor mean anything personally. Anthropomorphising a dumb animal is dangerous. Obsessing over that which you have no power over will hurt you and probably everyone around you. Also Jesus metaphors for 500 pages and here, let me tell you at length what being a sailor is like. And Kahn will quote the book at length in Star Trek II."