When I visited my folks last weekend, my dad asked me if I wanted to go to a movie. I told him there wasn't anything worthwhile playing that I hadn't already seen.
When Dad looked up the movies, he didn't see anything he wanted to see, either.
"How can you not sell one of your scripts when all they have playing is crap?" Dad asked.
Inspired by his motivational pep talk, I picked up the paper and showed him why. Go through the list: "Iron Man 2" (sequel); "Sex & The City 2" (sequel, based on a TV show, based on a book); "Get Him To The Greek" (sequel/spinoff); "Robin Hood" (remake); "Shrek 4" (sequel). Well, you get the idea.
Hollywood isn't big on the originality these days. So it's no surprise that someone at some point would remake the hit '80s TV show, "The A-Team."
The movie hits the big screen this weekend (along with another remake, "The Karate Kid"). It promises more explosions and likely more violence -- unlike the TV show, the A-Team probably won't blow up a jeep, have it flip three or four times, and have the guys inside dust themselves off.
At least with "The A-Team" remake, it looks like it might be the same goofy fun as the original series. No one is expecting Shakespeare, but hopefully, we'll love it when a plan comes together.
The reason why I can't sell one of my scripts, I explained to my dad, is that most of my scripts are original ideas. I can't write a remake of "The A-Team" or the next "Iron Man" or anything else that's a property someone else owns.
Hollywood loves a property that has a built-in audience, which is why you are seeing so many sequels, remakes and stories based on characters found in books and comics. "Twilight," which opens in a few weeks, has a built-in audience. So does "SATC" and "Iron Man." One doesn't have to do a lot of explaining in the marketing campaigns for these franchises.
In fact, Hollywood has made movies with sequels and based upon popular books or characters going back to the silent era. It's done remakes many times of the years. Cecil B. DeMille remade both "The 10 Commandments" and "Ben Hur." Alfred Hitchcock made "The 39 Steps" (based on a book) a couple of times.
The difference is, Hollywood was also churning out original properties at the same time. Now? Not so much. It's somewhat ironic, since some of last year's biggest hits were original concepts -- "The Hangover," "The Proposal" and "Avatar" (despite a script that could be mistaken for a remake).
Meanwhile, don't be surprised if "A-Team 2" gets greenlit if the movie has a strong opening weekend -- and if studios look for the next TV property that can be made into a movie franchise.
THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: Fortunately, TV has some originality left, thanks to USA's fun summer programming of "Burn Notice" at 9 p.m. and "Royal Pains" at 10 p.m.
On the networks, there's a bunch of reruns tonight except for "100 Questions" (NBC, 8:30 p.m.)