The toys that should be films
With the impending release of a second 'Transformers' film and 'GI Joe', Time Out selects some other classic toys and turns them into movies
Lego! The MovieSuggested directors: The Wachowski BrothersSuggested stars: Voices of Lawrence Fishburn, Steve Zahn and Kareem Abdul JabarThe first film to be made in digital 4D Cinerama and requiring a special neural implant to ‘experience’ it properly, this eight-years-in-the-making animated epic chronicles a colossal battle between pirates, spacemen, Vikings, scuba divers, and Star Wars characters. But underneath the action, there's a sensitive plea for more educational toy buying and racial tolerance.
Spin-off potential: Inter-generational, inter-gender fun times for all. A commercial lock.
SwingballSuggested director: Andy WarholSuggested stars: Misc '70s New York jet trash and a supermarket’s bag-for-life full of narcotics.In a single take lasting nine hours, Warhol trains a crudded-up 8mm camera on two dope-addled and scantily clad hookers playing Swingball in the back alley of a Queens pool hall. Though virtually impossible to follow, the film actually encompasses a single first-to-15 game between the pair, with the victor shooting heroin on camera and the loser forced to dance to John Cale demos.
Spin-off potential: This ain’t gonna play to the retail park multiplex set. But otherwise, good.
Big TrakSuggested director: James MangoldSuggested stars: Carrie Anne Moss, Alicia Keys, Miriam Margolyes An all-female remake of Peckinpah’s unjustly maligned trucker parable ‘Convoy’ set on the moon in the not-too-distant future, this has got franchise plastered all over it. When Moss and her spunky wrench-monkey Alicia Keys stumble upon a civilisation of clockwork gorillas, their only hope of escape is to pre-programme their trusty moon buggy and hold tight!
Spin-off potential: The '70s are so in right now.
Slinky JoeSuggested director: Darren AronofskySuggested stars: Robert Hayes, a SlinkyThe iconoclastic US indie director magically returns to his high-concept roots for this, his first toy cash-in movie. Working as a companion piece to his feature debut, ‘Pi’, this film captures a brooding, neurotic Hayes (in a Oscar-baiting comeback performance after the boob-heavy crime caper, ‘Good Cop, Bad Cop’) wandering around Harlem in a trenchcoat trying to dream up a movie around a man working in a bed-spring factory, but ends up locating the meaning of existence in the thermodynamic system of a humble Slinky. He then buys a yacht.
Spin-off potential: And lo! the New Age toy market was born...
ScalextricSuggested stars: Peter MorganSuggested stars: Michael Sheen, Rebecca Hall, Damon HillIn this leftfield directorial debut, the acclaimed British screenwriter dives headlong in to the squalid world of Formula One race driving of the '80s, giving specific focus to an incident at the San Marino Grand Prix where Nigel Mansell (played by Sheen) couldn’t get his car around the track without covering it in Brasso and having ten men blow it from behind. Spin-off potential: Beating ‘Days of Thunder’s’ Guinness World Record for most product placement in a car-based movie.
SIMONSuggested director: Philip NoyceSuggested stars: Alec Baldwin, Xzibit, Glenn CloseFondly remembered electronic memory game/doorstop SIMON is begging to be reimagineered for our troubled times. Alec Baldwin plays an aircraft carrier captain who has to find the missing colour-coded launch keys to the ship’s nuclear torpedoes before NSA Deputy Genereal Glenn Close arrives for an inspection. Xzibit features as a rookie scuba diver who saves the day.Spin-off potential: Nintendo DS, your time has come...
Rubik’s SnakeSuggested director: Bob DylanSuggested stars: Casey Affleck, Joan Jett, Emile KusturicaAnother existential puzzler from occasional director and folk enigma Dylan. Affleck is an itinerant toymaker wandering eighteenth-century Provence in search of a fabled ‘Rubik’s Snake’ that unlocks the secrets of alchemy. But fate, revolution, severe budgetary constraints and the director's touring commitments in Shitwheel, Ontario have other ideas...Spin-off potential: Soundtrack, obv.
TwisterSuggested director: Zack SnyderSuggested stars: Jessica Alba, Harry Connick Jr, Dennis RodmanRoger Ipswich’s morally repugnant and legally dubious art-house porno ‘My Naked Twister’ proved that the limb-flinging party pastime had cinematic mileage. It’s a gaudily coloured, confusing game that always elicits an unnecessary amount of gurning and shrieking – director Snyder would be in his element.Spin-off potential: No.
Spacehopper!Suggested director: David Gordon GreenSuggested stars: Jack Black, Cheech Marin, Dennis HopperEverything changes for portly local schlub and part-time pill dealer Frank McGaskill (Black) when he samples a shipment of new happy sweets from the laboratories of madcap genetic scientist Marin. His body swells, his ears extend into long rubbery protrusions, and pretty soon all he wants to do is bounce. Hopper appears in a self-mocking cameo as a zany drugs baron who attempts to kidnap our hero for the amusement of his children.
Spin-off potential: Surely there's got to be something in the collision of old-school bouncing technology and new-fangled geosynchronous digital gadgetry?
Galt train setSuggested director: Andrei KonchalovskySuggested stars: Jon Voight, Sam Elliott, Tommy Lee JonesIntroduce your youngest to the pantheon of grizzled, over-the-hill leading men as Konchalovsky remakes his classic 'Runaway Train' for the pre-school set. Voight and Elliott play friendly daddies who bust out of naughty-time and hop aboard the non-stop wide-gauge wooden track express to Sleepy Town. With Jones as the eager-to-help neighbourhood bobby out to stop them, this is a completely non-threatening thrill ride for all the family.Spin-off potential: Arctic tundra playset includes wooden Voight and Elliott with removable real-hair moustaches.
If you have any suggestions, let us know below.
Author: Adam Lee Davies, David Jenkins, Tom Huddleston
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