Riddle: What does Hollywood do when life gives it lemons? It runs the lemons through a juicer, casts the pulp and droplets of juice with A-list actors, and writes a check for $200 million to ensure that a film inspired by citrus opens wide on the silver screen. Which is to say, studios will make a movie out of just about anything.
10 kinds of source material Hollywood still hasn’t turned into a movie franchise
Most recently, Dreamworks announced it”s developing a flick about those little plastic Troll Dolls with the fuzzy Nicki Minaj hair. And past sources of blockbusters have included a slow-moving Disneyland ride populated by creepy toothless pirates and a board game I bear a longstanding grudge against because my uncle gave it to me three Christmases in a row (Battleship night at my place, everyone!). All of which leaves one wondering, is there any single thing still out there that Hollywood hasn”t milked for its Johnny Depp franchising potential? The answer is a surprising yes, as I have found exactly 10 pieces of source material still ripe for the picking (and juicing and casting and marketing and awarding prizes to).
1. A single tweet
We”ve seen Twitter feeds turn into TV shows (“$h*! My Dad Says”), and Twitter feeds become books (“Humblebrag”), but we”re still waiting to see a 90-minute movie adapted from a single tweet. Might I suggest something from Amanda Bynes? Or perhaps my personal favorite tweet of all time, via 50 Cent: “I can’t belive my grand mothers making me take Out the garbage I’m rich fuck this I’m going home I don’t need this shit.”
2. A Snapple fact
This one is just brimming with possibilities. For example, “It is possible to lead a cow up stairs but not down” is an uproarious situation in which to place Jonah Hill and Michael Cera. “The average women consumes six pounds of lipstick in her lifetime” totally has Anna-Faris-as-a-modern-woman-who-wants-it-all potential. And can”t you just see, “All porcupines float in water” turning into an adorable “Air Bud”-style story about a prickly rodent who joins the high school swim team?
3. A fortune cookie fortune
“Anything is possible with a willing heart.” “Sometimes a stranger can bring great meaning to your life.” “Why says the tagline can”t come before the movie?”
Bonus: all you need for the porn parody of this movie is a simple “in bed.”
4. A tattoo of a butterfly
I hear Pixar already owns the rights to a 19-year-old Florida State marketing major named Mallory”s lower back.
5. Reese Witherspoon”s disorderly conduct arrest rant
“Do you know my name? You”re about to find out who I am. You”re going to be on the national news. Are you a real police officer? Dear Lord Jesus, I do not often speak with you and ask for things, but now I really must insist that you help me win the election tomorrow because I deserve it and Paul Metzler doesn’t, as you well know. I realize that it was your divine hand that disqualified Tammy Metzler and now I’m asking that you go that one last mile and make sure to put me in office where I belong so that I may carry out your will on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.”
6. My middle school yearbook
Attention, Amy Wasserman, who sat next to me in show choir: although I have failed to keep in touch, I can assure you that I have, in fact, stayed cool.
Loose pitch: After months of planning the perfect evening for the girl he”s secretly in love with, a texting mishap causes everything to unravel for poor Topher Grace (that”s the character name; I envision him being played by Dave Franco).
Actually, autocorrect fails tend to involve implications of incest, so this one is more likely to end up on HBO.
8. Taylor Swift”s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”
“I’m really gonna miss you picking fights / and me, falling for it screaming that I’m right / and you would hide away and find your piece of mind / with some indie record that’s much cooler than mine”
Come on, that”s a whole second act right there!
9. An ironic t-shirt
I”m envisioning an “Empire Records”-inspired comedy about a group of maladjusted teenage thrift store employees who have to learn that true friendship is more than a catchy slogan on 100% cotton.
10. A really, really good sandwich
I”m not entirely sure where this one could go yet, but I am more than willing to do the research.