Rip Hunter and film?
I don’t think, pre-Phil, that Rip was the kind of guy who was into films. He was too busy. He had too much to do. The best he generally managed was a few kids’ holos with Jonas, during his less-frequent-than-he-liked trips home.
Phil Gasmer though was different. Phil Gasmer was a man who was basically walking around with a big gaping (self-inflicted) wound in his brain. And he had to know, on some level, that something just wasn’t right. On the surface, there was nothing, and he had to realize that. Otherwise, he’d surely have been able to put up a better argument against the team.
The most Phil could say was that Rip Hunter was an invention of his, but you notice that he never offered anything real to refute them. He didn’t say “I can’t be Rip Hunter, I’m from Anaheim. My parents are George and Mary. I have three sisters.” I suspect because he didn’t have that information to refute them. His only real argument was that Rip was fictional, and once he understood that Sara was “Sandra” and Jax was “Max”, that argument went by the wayside.
So Phil was a man with a blank slate of a mind, whose subconscious was filled to the brim with otherworldly ideas. It’s probably no wonder that he was drawn to film. Through it, he could find or create the reality that he’d lost. (Is it surprising that Phil enjoys Westerns?)
And well, deep down, Phil is still the man who changed his name and lies (badly) as often as he breathes. The chance to craft his own reality would have likely been very attractive.
I wonder though what might have happened to Phil if he’d finished the movie. Would he have been satisfied? Would he still have felt like something was missing? All I know is I really wish we’d gotten the chance to read Phil’s script or see the finished product.