July 06, 2013

Lone Ranger pitch meeting

Eric’s Movie Column: The Pitch Meeting for ‘The Lone Ranger’

By Eric D. SniderThey say movies are like sausages: if you like them, you shouldn’t watch how they’re made, because it’s an ugly process that involves a lot of pigs’ anuses. But around here we disregard conventional wisdom and go behind the scenes of your favorite Hollywood productions, and also of “The Lone Ranger” (read our review of the film here). The NSA was kind enough to lend us their recording of the boardroom pitch meeting that led to this big-budget extravaganza, a transcript of which is copied below.Some highlights:DISNEY EXEC. #2: What’s your concept for it? A faithful recreation of the classic character just as people remember him wouldn’t work, obviously.
DISNEY EXEC. #3: That never works.
DISNEY EXEC. #1: Not that we’ve ever tried it.
DISNEY EXEC. #3: Well, it doesn’t take a genius to see that when people go to a movie about a fictional character they’ve loved since childhood, the LAST thing they want is for the character to be portrayed the way they remember him.

DISNEY EXEC. #1: Johnny Depp as Tonto??
DISNEY EXEC. #2: That makes even less sense!
DISNEY EXEC. #3: We love it more!
DISNEY EXEC. #1: That’s $300 million domestic right there. People love Johnny Depp!
DISNEY EXEC. #2: Audiences are in no way tired of his quirky oddball performances!
DISNEY EXEC. #3: A disheartening sense of sameness definitely has not crept into those performances!

JERRY BRUCKHEIMER: Now, Johnny has a few stipulations…
DISNEY EXEC. #2: The movie has to be bloated, overlong, unnecessarily complicated, yet somehow also simple-minded?
JERRY BRUCKHEIMER: For starters. He also feels strongly that the Tonto character should be a dignified representative of Native Americans, and he wants to convey this by wearing a dead bird on his head.
Comment:  Brilliant! No need to look any further...I think we've found the Satire of the Year!

For more on Johnny Depp, see Critics Agree: Lone Ranger Is Bad and New Tonto as Racist as Old Tonto.

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