by Shane Hnetka
I enjoyed that latest Star Trek film. It was fun, fast-paced popcorn entertainment. But I still have no idea why the film has the terrible title Star Trek: Into Darkness. What would’ve been wrong with “Star Trek: Vengeance”?
GOING BOLDLY WHERE SEVERAL HAVE GONE BEFORE
There’s nothing new about the problems artists have had to deal with when they’re working on Star Trek adaptations for Paramount Studios. Comic book writer Peter David, for example, had a notorious time appeasing studio executives with his storylines. One executive just plain disliked David, and it reached a point where he submitted stories under an alias to see if they would get approved. They did.
Now it seems that J.J. Abrams is having trouble. According to the website the Wrap, Abrams wanted to create “a multi-platform film franchise” with Star Trek. The article, “How the Battle Over ‘Star Trek’ Rights Killed J.J. Abrams’ Grand Ambitions” explains that because Star Trek is co-owned by Paramount Studios and CBS, there’s conflict between the two companies on how to market it. According to the story, Abrams wants merchandise based on the new cast, but CBS prefers to make stuff based on the original cast.
The article concludes that’s why Abrams is eager to jump to Star Wars; Disney/Lucasfilm is all about the “multi-platform film franchise”.
I don’t know about that. I think Abrams wants to direct Star Wars VII because he loves Star Wars. He has consistently said he was always more of a Star Wars fan than a Star Trek fan.
So no, I don’t think Abrams is worried about TV and action figure spin-offs. Besides, it’s not like he’s going to get a big cut of those profits.
WELL, IF EVERY FILM IS DOING IT
“The most terrifying film you will ever experience.” That was the tagline on a unique poster for the remake of Evil Dead. The poster featured a black and white picture of a bloody woman standing with her back to the viewer and the words printed over top of her in bold print. Simple, but effective.
Oh, but look: here’s the poster for Wolf Creek 2, and compositionally, it’s practically an exact copy of the Evil Dead poster. It features the villain in black and white facing the viewer with the tagline printed over top of him in bold print: “The sequel to the most terrifying Australian movie ever made.”
When a movie recreates a poster that closely, it’s usually a spoof (or a lame swipe). Here, I’m guessing it’s because the producers thought the Evil Dead poster was cool. So, we’ll go with lame.
As for the tagline: Wolf Creek 2 isn’t the first (and won’t be the last) film to proclaim itself a “terrifying” film experience. You want a good tagline? The original The Last House on the Left’s can’t be beat: ”To avoid fainting, keep repeating: ‘It’s only a movie, only a movie, only a movie…’.”
Now there was a terrifying film experience.