Monday, February 02, 2009


The ongoing efforts of Twentieth Century-Fox to produce a movie adaptation of The A-Team have gone unremarked upon here, because, honestly, who cares? Another adaptation of a fuzzily-but-fondly-remembered TV show? Sure, fine.

But recent events suggest this movie will be a loser for the ages. According to Variety, the film is currently being produced by Ridley Scott (quick--name a good movie he's made since Blade Runner) and directed by Joe Carnahan (auteur of Smokin' Aces, who has takin to referring to himself online as Smokin' Joe--as pure an example of douchebaggery as we are likely to witness in our lifetimes). These gentlemen are going forward with the project after an earlier attempt failed, presumably because making a movie out of a cheesy eighties action show is a delicate process.

And what is Smokin' Joe's take on the material? Well, he intends to "make a film that reflects on the real world without losing the great sense of fun and the velocity of action in a classic summer popcorn film." Thanks, Joe, for that dazzling insight, and also for confirming your douchebag status. To "reflect on the real world," The Smokin' One is updating the members of the titular group from 'Nam vets to Iraq vets, and his intention for the movie is to "make it as real, emotional and accessible as possible without cheesing it up."

Uh, Joe? It's The A-Team. Nobody wants real and emotional. Cheese is par for the course--the show starred Mr. T, for crying out loud. It was never anything more than an agreeable time-killer, but at least it was watchable and entertaining, and knew exactly what it was supposed to be. Best of all, the show's creator, Stephen Cannell, would almost certainly never have used the phrase "velocity of action" when describing it.

This is what it's come to, folks. Studios are spending millions and millions on adaptations of things they don't even understand. What's next? A remake of Duck Soup without the comedy ("We wanted to explore what life in Freedonia under a benevolent dictator like Rufus T. Firefly would really be like.") or a feel-good adaptation of Notes From The Underground ("We felt it was important to give the character a full emotional arc, which also allowed us to add a part for Kate Hudson.")?

One shudders to imagine.