My Original Vision For the Film Was Much Different Than How It Turned Out
by Pat Kewley
My original vision for this film was so different. It was not supposed to turn out like that at all.
The nudity— tasteful. The performances—beyond reproach. The soundtrack—a slammin’ combination of universally beloved chartbusters, hot new discoveries, and forgotten old chestnuts that, recontextualized, everyone was going to realize were actually awesome all along. We had Three 6 Mafia locked—locked. They were even open to adding a fourth 6.
The explosions were going to be enormous, extravagant, voluptuous. Not like those cheap explosions that are all just dust and smoke and debris flying everywhere—that stuff is the Lite Beer of explosions. We’re talking top of the line, ass-kicking, titty-licking, red-blooded American EX-PUH-LOSIONS. Ones with huge mushroom clouds and lots and lots of liquidy orange fire bubbling out everywhere, and stuff flies out of the explosions and then explodes separately in midair as it’s flying towards the camera, and all of it in the slowest goddamn motion you ever saw. You were going to be remembering these explosions right up there along with the birth of your kids. You were going to know what it felt like to be sexually attracted to an explosion.
The script—forget about it. We got as many Oscar winners to work on that thing as physically possible. How many? Most times we had at least four Oscar-winners working on it at once, in the same room, typing on the same computer at the same time. And we had Oscar winners of every stripe, not just Oscar winning writers—movies are a collaborative art, after all. And I’m from the old school, which believes that everything up there onscreen starts in the script. If your script doesn’t cover all the bases, you’re lost without a map. That’s why we had the 8th draft punched up by a six-person team that included 1994 winner for Best Sound Editing Stephen Flick, Charlie Kaufman, and six-time Oscar winner for Best Makeup Rick Baker. This script had so much Oscar gold in it you would’ve needed a forklift to carry it.
The koalas—we had it all worked out with the koalas. Backroom negotiations with the Chinese were progressing better than anyone could have hoped. We were making diplomatic history as well as film history. And once we got the first 300 over here to the states to get them fitted for their battle-harness costumes, it would have been off to the races.
And believe me, before the studio got involved and started screwing with our baby, you better believe that all the time travel was going to be utterly plausible and paradox-free. All kidding aside, I am telling you right here and now, before man and God, that if this movie had come off like it was supposed to, I would not have been surprised if the concepts from the time-travel sequences had gone on to result in actual time travel being invented within, say, eighteen months of its release.
Did it have romance? DID IT HAVE ROMANCE? Are you honestly going to look me in the eye right now and ask me if this movie was going to have fucking romance? We’re talking about the classiest, most moving, most tragic goddamn romances you ever saw. We’re talking about romance that makes Gone With The Wind look like Muff Munching Coeds Part 12. Every kind of romance you can fucking think of: romance in space; romance among savage jungle tribes; romance aboard ocean liners that the audience knows in advance are going to sink; romance between a driven career girl and a hunky rodeo clown who teaches her how to let her hair down and stop worrying so much about the things she doesn’t have and just enjoy the simple things in life, and also the rodeo clown is secretly an alien from the future, and the driven career girl is secretly a time-traveling alien hunter from the ancient past sworn to avenge the future-genocide of her people, and also Queen Latifa is her sassy best friend. Plus they’re all double-vampires who can’t have sex or they die. Does that sound romantic enough for you?
3-D? Please. Before everything went to hell, we were looking at minimum 9-D. That’s right—3 squared. The 3-D parts were 3-D'ed AGAIN. Was it going to be expensive? Sure. But how else were we going to film the nine-dimensional sequences that proved that string theory is correct? I won’t get into the details, but it was fairly essential for setting up the back-stories of some of the double-vampires.
And we had the top—TOP—actors and actresses begging to work on this picture. And I mean literally begging. I had Tom Cruise washing my socks just hoping to score an audition. We had two ex-Presidents vying against each other to cameo as the villain’s main henchman, and both were willing to do full frontal nudity. (I won’t name any names, but the two you’re probably thinking of? Yeah, it was them.) I told Meryl Streep, Angelica Huston, and Dame Judi Dench that I wouldn’t even consider sending them a script before all three of them came over to my house for a week-long wet T-shirt contest, which I told them in advance that I would be inviting press and paparazzi over to observe. And they all did it. Streep even hung around for an extra day. It got her a walk-on as “Space Waitress #3.” That’s the kind of talent that lined up for this baby.
We had it all planned out. It was going to be so, so different, not like the neutered Hollywood pap that it turned out to be. It was going to be beautiful, my complete, unadulterated cinematic vision.
Anyway, I’ll be right back out with your water and some breadsticks.
Thank you, McSweeney’s for putting this kind of stuff into the universe.