It seemed that the recent rash of board-game movies that are in the works was the lowest Hollywood could go as far as looking for new projects. And yet they somehow manage to surprise us again. This time they are looking at a confectionery, with plans to make a movie based on: Bubblegum.
That's right, the stuff you chew...
Michael Eisner (the former chief executive of The Walt Disney Company) and his Tornante Company have pegged newcomer Mark Hammer to pen the script for a movie based on the Bazooka bubblegum comic Bazooka Joe. You know, that tiny little strip which comes with Bazooka bubblegum? Hammer (who doesn't have a movie to his name) apparently wrote a spec script called Sonny Takes Peru that made the Hollywood rounds but never got picked up. However, executives at Tornante liked it so much that they gave him the opportunity to pitch his idea, and ultimately they brought him on to write the Bazooka Joe movie.
The Bazooka Joe comic-book has been around for over 50 years, and its only reason for being is to advertise the Bazooka brand of gum. His appearance is distinctive (with his main feature being an unexplained eye-patch), so much so that he is said to be one of the most recognizable American advertising characters (not my words).
Although the movie will most likely be based on the comic as opposed to the gum itself (I think it would literally be impossible to make a movie of the latter - what would it be, a chewing competition...?), it's still a bottom of the barrel, dumb-as-hell idea. If the point of the comic and character was only to advertise the gum, then won't the movie reflect that? Unless they just take the name and character and go in completely different direction with it (and then, what's the point of basing it on this?), I don't really see how this can be made into an any way watchable movie.
Also, are Eisner and Co. thinking that the kids will want to see this movie? Do today's kids even know who Bazooka Joe is? And it's not as if it's such a super-fondly remembered character from people's childhoods that would make them excited to see a movie based on it (there are probably a few people out there, but not many).
I sometimes wonder what kind of illegal substances these Hollywood folks are smoking and snorting. There must be something of that sort involved when decisions like this get made...
What do you think of a movie based on the Bazooka Joe? Is there any way this would make for a decent movie?
Sources: /Film and THR