I think I’m starting to notice a new trend in Hollywood. It’s not really a new trend, per se, because studios have been doing it for a really long time - but now it seems to be getting out of control. No, I’m not talking about video game movies, like Prince of Persia, Tekken or Asteroids. I’m also not referring to movies based on board games like Risk, Monopoly or Battleship. I know what you are thinking “Paul, surely you are referring to the ridiculous amount of remakes and reboots in the wings?”
No my friend, I’m not talking about future failures movie remakes like Weekend at Bernie’s, Mannequin, Short Circuit or Drop Dead Fred nor am I talking about ill-thought out reboots of the Cliffhanger, Nightmare on Elm Street or the Spider-Man franchises.
No, what I’m referring to is how Hollywood studios are now optioning every book known to man and turning them into movies. The latest example is the news coming from The Hollywood Reporter that Dreamworks Studios has obtained the rights to turn the book Eat, Sleep, Poop: A Common Sense Guide to Your Baby’s First Year into a feature-length comedy. That’s right – a self-help book for parents on what to expect from your child in the first twelve months of their life is becoming a comedy! *insert audible groan here*
Here is the best part – are you sitting down? – the book, written by pediatrician Dr. Scott W. Cohen won’t even be published until March 30th, 2010! So just to make sure I understand this correctly: Dreamworks has purchased the rights to a book that hasn’t been published and therefore doesn’t even know if it will be a best seller or not? Yeah OK! That’s sound fiscal investment in action right there, folks.
Eat, Sleep, Poop (which is mostly likely going to be the title of the film) will be produced by Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald and the screenplay will be written by Matt Allen and Caleb Wilson, who most recently wrote Four Christmases. Parkes and MacDonald have produced movies like The Tuxedo, The Island and Small Soldiers, but to their credit, they were also involved with Gladiator, The Kite Runner and Amistad.
The book recounts Dr. Cohen’s real-life experiences raising his own children and how what he learned in school didn’t apply in the real world. Well duh, “Doctor!” I never finished college and I could have told you that. Dr. Cohen, being a Beverly Hills-based physician, took the appropriate opportunity to pitch his idea to a patient, who just “happened” to be the wife of H2F Studios executive Chris Fenton. That of course turned into the ridiculous idea for a movie.
Think this is the beginning of the end? Well start squirreling away your food and hoarding your cash because this is only the second guidebook to be optioned for a movie in as many weeks. A little while ago, Lionsgate and Phoenix Pictures collaborated to bring the book for pregnant mothers What to Expect When You’re Expecting to a movie house near you. I don’t see either film breaking box office records, so I’m pretty sure Avatar is safe.
So now I have to ask – what is next in the self-help guidebook movie future? Are we going to see Sony make a 3D version of The Complete Idiots’ Guide to Doing Whatever or a motion capture experience of Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care? How about a sprawling two-and-half hour epic about The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People brought to us by Paramount?
On the downside, I see this quickly getting out of hand. On the upside: at least I’ll always have something to rant about.
What are your thoughts on a comedy movie based on the book Eat, Sleep, Poop and will you be buying your tickets months in advance on Fandago?
Eat, Sleep, Poop: A Common Sense Guide to Your Baby’s First Year hits books shelves March 30th, 2010.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter