Some links before I get myself started today. Yesterday was a Snippet Sunday at our joint blog. Krisztina has a different kind of challenge at her blog. And the Whisk had a Red Shirt Sunday at her page yesterday.
Director Announces New Film Sequel; Reporters Ponder What He Is Thinking
Los Angeles (AP) Director Roland Emmerich met reporters at the offices of Centropolis Entertainment yesterday, announcing an unlikely film project, something that may or may not be a sequel for an earlier film. Emmerich, who is known for films like Stargate, Independence Day, and The Day After Tomorrow, was introduced by one of his staffers as he arrived on site to speak to reporters. This reporter, having had landed seemingly in the permanent bad books of his editor, was condemned to cover the event. At least Emmerich isn't as self absorbed as Michael Bay.
"Thank you for coming," Emmerich said as he stepped up to the podium. "Today I am announcing a new film, reuniting myself with a number of cast members from a previous film. Is it a sequel? Well, that depends on what you think of as sequels. Yes, this involves some of the same actors, but they are playing different characters. In a manner of speaking. Ladies and gentlemen, my next film is a Civil War drama I'm calling The Patriot Returns."
Reporters were puzzled. The original film, which played fast and loose with history, was set during the American Revolution and featured, among other things, a pack of children who did not age one day in a period of several years. What room was there for a sequel, decades later during the war? Emmerich went on. "My concept is very simple. Benjamin Martin's family has carried on through the generations after the Revolution. The Civil War comes about, and his grandson James Martin is a Pennsylvania farmer and state legislator. I chose to move things up north for the sake of the story, because we can't have a Confederate as a hero, can we? Anyway, he's been an officer, served in the Mexican War, and has something of a reputation from those days as a bit of a lunatic. He's a widower with a bunch of kids, has himself a really hot sister-in-law, and they've got some unresolved sexual tension going on. He gets involved in the war, and what he doesn't know is that there's a British officer out there looking for him." Emmerich smiled, pausing for effect before continuing.
"He's the grandson of Colonel Tavington from the first film. It seems that our Colonel Lucius Tavington grew up pissed off at that colonial who killed his grandfather, and swore he'd get even somehow, some way. And finding out that there's an officer out there who's descended from the colonial is the perfect opportunity for revenge. So, despite the fact that the British are staying outside of the whole thing, Tavington goes to America to join the Confederate army on the infinitely small chance that he might come across that grandson on a battlefield, even if he has no idea what he looks like."
Reporters looked at each other, baffled by the concept. Having had already mucked up the historical timeline of the American Revolution in The Patriot, Emmerich would undoubtedly do the same with the Civil War. This reporter spoke up. "You do realize you're just rehashing a lot of the original film?"
Emmerich shrugged. "That's a matter of opinion. And hey, since I can't have Heath Ledger come back to play his own grandson and have the same dynamic with Mel- unless I find a way to raise him from the dead... anyone know a voodoo doctor? I decided to change that dynamic to the eldest child being a daughter who's somewhat at odds with her father, deciding to pass herself off as a guy and fight in the war. Wouldn't that be a good idea? Anyway, I'll start announcing the cast, and it occurs to me I've already announced one of them. Playing Colonel James Martin, I give you Mel Gibson!"
Gibson came out and waved to the crowd of reporters. "Hey there! Nice to be back, and working with Roland again. And I get to have yet another chance to act out on my loathing of the English, so that's a great thing!"
"Mel, you're such a kidder," Emmerich told him.
"Who said I was joking?" Gibson countered.
Emmerich shrugged. "Returning again to play the grandson of the original villain, this time as Colonel Lucius Tavington, say hello to Jason Isaacs!"
Isaacs emerged from backstage and waved. "Roland promised my character would get plenty of opportunities to sneer and roll my eyes again, so how could I pass on that?
Emmerich nodded. "You do that so well, too. As well, I've got Joely Richardson returning to the cast, playing the really hot sister-in-law who just happens to look exactly like the second wife of James Martin's grandfather. No, there's no Freudian things going on in this story, so don't read anything into that. Joely, come on out!"
Joely Richardson stepped out on stage, joining her other cast members and the director. "It was either this or a follow up series to Nip Tuck, and frankly I find Julian McMahon to be pretty repulsive."
Emmerich nodded. "Well, we're going to have a lot of fun making this film. We're going to make history with The Patriot Returns, and if that means we have to mess around with history, so be it. I mean, just imagine the operational concept for the Battle Of Gettysburg coming not from the generals on the scene, but from a Pennsylvania ranger."
"Who's carrying the American flag all over the field," Gibson chimed in.
"Can't forget that," Emmerich agreed. "It's going to be one of my biggest set pieces. I'm even thinking of having him load the flag into a cannon, fire it, and having it impale Jefferson Davis."
Reporters stared at Emmerich for a long silent moment. A Reuters correspondent asked, "You are aware that didn't actually happen?"
Emmerich shrugged. "Like what actually happened matters! I'm making a movie! And if that means having Mel Gibson's character stand in for the President and give the Gettysburg Address with a fake beard, so be it!"
"Yeah!" Gibson said. "Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in hating the English..." This reporter sighed, and zoned out the rest of the press conference. Rumor has it that Heath Ledger was rolling over in his grave.