- Appropriate considering today is the 50th anniversary of the creation of the It’s A Small World attraction that has been such a staple of the Disney theme parks, the movie studio has hired Jon Turteltaub to direct a feature based on the venerable family film ride with the catchy tune.
- Sony Pictures has found what the studio believes will be its next global franchise. The studio has closed a partnership with Mattel and Parkes+MacDonald/Image Nation on a live-action comedy built around Barbie, the top-selling fashion doll. This is no development deal, it’s all moving very quickly.
- The classic Peeps marshmallow candies could be making the leap from Easter baskets to the big screen via filmmaker Adam Rifkin (Detroit Rock City, Underdog) ... [The concept is a] Lego Movie-esque family epic set the night before a Peeps diorama contest, when a wayward Peep gets misplaced and must adventure through the fantasy lands of different-themed dioramas before the contest’s judging begins.
All this announced in a single, 24-hour period! No wonder L.A. has so many earthquakes -- it's caused by brilliant ideas dropping like bombs on Dresden. If Peeps is as "successful" as Adam Rifkin's two other classics mentioned above, he's going to be the toast of Hollywood, no matter how much he loses for the studio. And you can bet your last Mickey Mouse watch that Disney is trying to figure out a way to cast Johnny Depp in yet another amusement-park ride movie, preferably in a role that calls for wacky make-up, a weird accent, and a $30-million payday.
As for Barbie, well, there's going to be some difficulty finding the right actress for the part. Various studies have said that a real woman with the doll's proportions would be anywhere from 5'9" to 6' tall; weigh 100-110 pounds; and have measurements roughly 39"-18"-33". To which most men would respond, "Sounds good to me!" A spoilsport Yale study, however, put a real-life Barbie at 7'2" with a hefty 23" waist. Since it's unlikely there are any SAG members who fit the bill, the studio might have to go with the real Barbie and Ken, Valeria Lukyanova and Justin Jedlica (right). That is, if plastic-surgery can be considered "real."
Since movie concepts like this are beyond satire -- beyond cynicism -- there's no point in upping the joke quotient. Instead, I might as well jump in with my own take on what might be in store at your multiplex next year.
BICYCLE PLAYING CARDS: Tired of being used for children's games like Crazy Eights and War, the Joker King peddles to Las Vegas where he can partake in the high-stakes world of Gin Rummy. But the glamor and excitement soon grow to be too much, especially when his original owners visit the casino, and he remembers it was more fun to be sticky with jelly than wet with Grey Goose. Featuring the voices of Sir Patrick Stewart as the Joker King, Kevin Spacey as the evil casino owner, and Kristin Chenoweth as the angel on the other side of the card. Beyonce performs the love theme, "The Cards are Stacked Against Us."
KELLOGG'S RICE KRISPIES: Tired of a lifetime manufacturing a children's breakfast, our heroes snap, crackle, and pop their way to the chic restaurants in New York's meatpacking district, hoping to create the next hot dish. But when they learn first-hand that fame can be fleeting as smoke from burning olive oil, S, C & P remember that cold cereal warms the hearts of children everywhere. Featuring the voices of Justin Timberlake as Snap, Jim Parsons as Crackle, Jimmy Fallon as Pop, and Tim Roth as the evil chef. Guest appearances by Gordon Ramsey and Nigella Lawson. Tagline: From Cereal Friends to Cereal Killers!
SPINNING TEACUPS: Tired of going around in circles all day long, the Mad Hatter spins his way into the business world by opening a chic new tea-house in Los Angeles in this live-action comedy. But when he learns that fame is as fleeting as a wet teabag, the Mad Hatter realizes that nothing is as soothing as a child's smile. Starring Jim Carrey as the Mad Hatter, Jennifer Lawrence as the wisecracking manager of the tea-house, and Stanley Tucci as the Mad Hatter's evil competitor, Orville Oolong. Featuring Frank Sinatra's classic 1961 recording "When I Take my Sugar to Tea" remixed by Daft Punk.