Hollywood doesn't want Farenheit 451
Frank Darabont has been trying to sell his script for Farenheit 451 around Hollywood and he's been encountering a few problems, except studios are liking the script. So what's going on?
The story seems to be that the script is too intelligent for Hollywood, and while the executives tend to like it, they are struggling with how they'll sell it to their target market, the market that makes them the most money, the thirteen year old's.
Well perhaps not, not if the studio executives have anything to do with it. Here's what Darabont says about trying to get the script sold in Hollywood, and it's thoroughly depressing for any of us who like intelligent scripts out there, expect more dumbed down stories with big explosions.
That's my other great priority, to try and get the greenlight on that and that's been a bit of a struggle. Hollywood doesn't trust smart material. If you show them a really smart script.
I actually had a studio head read that script and say: "Wow, that's the best and smartest script that I've read since running this studio but I can't possibly greenlight it."
I asked why and he says "How am I going to get 13-year-olds to show up at the theater?"
And I said "Well, lets make a good movie and I bet that will take care of itself."
But that argument cut absolutely no ice. The movie was basically too smart for this person, too metaphorical, etc., etc. It's a bit of a battle you've got to fight. When you're faced with it, how do you overcome that prejudice?
So that's why we get these films from Hollywood then? Everything has to cater for the thirteen year old audience and nothing greater, every film will be benchmarked against that age group so that the studio can attract the most money from the box office.
However is that a bit short sighted? Isn't there a greater audience out there in different age groups and different countries? Why does every single film have to grab the greatest amount of box office takings and the highest demographic for the first weekend?
Isn't there anyone there familiar with long tail? Trying to make films that appear to more than one demographic, that might encourage people to multiple viewings both in the cinema and on DVD?
Just something damned intelligent rather than CGI, explosions and minimal character development through all the action scenes?
Does this mean that we should accept these dumber films? Or should Darabont and other writers take their more intelligent scripts outside of Hollywood?