An Alternate Rise of the Blockbuster

Supertights replaces Spaceballs because Star Wars is less of a phenomenon, and superhero movies are wildly popular in TTL. I'd like to think that Bill Pullman still plays the lead. Maybe Brooks can play the parody-analogue of Perry White?
Best of all, you can keep the line, "This is why evil will always triumph, because good is dumb." Heck, Rick Moranis probably still auditions for the role of Less Loser.

Great update, ColeMercury.
 
This was a fantastic update - it really is impressive how many great concepts and ideas you can draw out of what, on paper, is the most limiting of all the pop culture timelines, focusing exclusively on movies and nothing else. My one specific comment would be with regards to Space Quest - I echo those that say it's great to see an earlier alt-Galaxy Quest, though I wanted to add, for those who are unaware, that Space Quest is also the name of a long-running series of PC adventure games, the first installment of which was released in - you guessed it! - 1986. (As it happens, IOTL, the creators of those games recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund a spiritual sequel.)

I know that video games aren't your area of focus, so I don't expect any kind of exploration of those, but I thought it might be worth sharing. Keep up the great work! :)
 
ColeMercury said:
Have you read all the updates? The actress who plays Zara is Jamie Lee Curtis.
I have. I don't have every detail in immediate recall.:rolleyes:
ColeMercury said:
They're both way too young! Savage is only nine years old and Harris is only 12 in the year of the film's release.
As I said, they were who came to mind, nothing more: they've got the right look, if not the age needed at the time.
ColeMercury said:
No. Red Dawn is still made, ...but it's less of a cult classic.
"Cult classic"?:rolleyes: No, I wouldn't miss any of his other films, including most of "Roadhouse".
ColeMercury said:
Oh, really? :cool:
:rolleyes: I've never been his biggest fan, but he's better in "Die Hard" than "Moonlighting" led me to believe he would be. "Sunset" isn't awful, either. (How much of that is Garner, IDK.) The other potential choices (Arnold for "Die Hard"?:eek::eek:) are worse...:eek:
 
The character Turner also had two sidekicks: Silvia Cortez, the stunningly beautiful double-agent whose family had been killed by the drug lords, and Jerry Wells, the comic-relief computer expert whose ludicrous hacking skills probably ended up dating the film more than anything else.
Played by.....?

I am divided about Highlander. It might be great to see it turn into a good trilogy instead of what happened OTL. But without Queen and Lambert. Really hard to imagine in the sense of the word.

And please more detail on "Supertights". I love "Spaceballs" in OTL, so chances are good this is a classic.

I guess it will also feature a "Men in Tights"-song.
 
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And please more detail on "Supertights". I love "Spaceballs" in OTL, so chances are good this is a classic.
Spaceballs is really, really funny. It's also illustrative of just how hard it is to write somewhere between 90 minutes and two hours of comedy; I think even the most diehard Mel Brooks fans would have to admit that the middle third of Spaceballs drags quite a bit. Beginning with "...combing the desert," continuing through the encounter with Yogurt, the movie gives you the occasional gag, prompts a smirking grimace, but doesn't really become laugh-out-loud funny again until Dark Helmet gets the combination to the airlock.

Just musing publicly on comedy....
 
Spaceballs is really, really funny. It's also illustrative of just how hard it is to write somewhere between 90 minutes and two hours of comedy; I think even the most diehard Mel Brooks fans would have to admit that the middle third of Spaceballs drags quite a bit.....
You are right. And The beginning drags... However, so does Most of "a New Hope". ;-)
 
Update #16 -- "The Battle of the Bonds"... again.

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Even though it had come second in the “Battle of the Bonds” of 1983, Octopussy was still a fairly strong James Bond film and a good introduction for the series’ new cast (James Brolin as Bond, Robert Brown as M and Michaela Clavell as Moneypenny). With a good follow-up, Octopussy could have been remembered as the beginning of an exciting new era for the Bond series.

Unfortunately, the next Bond film turned out to be From a View to a Kill: an entirely ridiculous movie that aspired to the campy comedic silliness of the worst of the Moore era and failed to reach it. Even the casting of musicians David Bowie and Grace Jones as the main villains Max Zorin and May Day, respectively, couldn’t save the movie. The one and only good thing to come from the film was the self-titled opening credits theme, sung by Bowie and Jones themselves, which became one of the top 20 songs of 1985.

Absolutely no one was happy with From a View to a Kill. Its reception drove James Brolin to believe he’d made a terrible mistake in taking over the role of Bond, and to try to get out of his three-film contract early. The resultant dispute and negotiation process delayed the making of Eon Productions’ next Bond film, such that they would completely miss the series’ 25th anniversary – but this gap was soon filled by another company. Due for release in late 1987, Columbia Pictures would be making a faithful film adaptation of Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel, Casino Royale.

The film rights to Casino Royale were not owned by Eon Productions, due to Fleming having already sold them for a rather small amount of money in 1958. Film producer Charles K Feldman had subsequently inherited them and tried to get Casino Royale made into a serious Bond film, starring Connery, for release in 1966; however, Connery had refused to star in the film for less than $1 million. Rather than taking the unprecedented chance of casting someone else as James Bond, Feldman instead turned his film into a campy, zany, disjointed parody. Feldman’s film was released in 1967, distributed by Columbia Pictures – since his death the rights had been sitting with Columbia for years with no indication anything would be made of them again. But now with Eon Productions in a vulnerable position, Columbia saw an opportunity to co-opt their milestone and put one over on their competitors at MGM/UA (who had the rights to the Eon films’ distribution).

As director, Columbia hired an experienced hand: Peter Hunt, the director of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (the last official Bond film that could be said to have had a consistent serious tone). In keeping with their wish that this be a “faithful” adaptation, the casting choice for Bond himself was an actor whom they felt could play Bond best and closest to his literary version: Timothy Dalton, who had in fact been considered for the role in the Eon series twice before (the first was in fact for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but Dalton himself had refused on the grounds that he was too young; the second was for Octopussy, where he would have been the first choice had they decided against making Bond an American).

To clearly distinguish themselves from the official Bond series, it was decided that Casino Royale would be a period piece. Not the contemporary early-1950s period in which the book was set, but in the year 1961 – just before the official series had begun. It was never made entirely clear whether or not Casino Royale was intended to be a “prequel” to Sean Connery’s films, but seemed to have been deliberately left open for interpretation; Peter Hunt and Timothy Dalton would give weak denials in their publicity tours, but various small aspects of the film would support the idea (its setting being the year before Dr No, Bond using the Beretta handgun rather than the Walther PPK) while others would go against it (Bond meeting CIA agent Felix Leiter even though they first meet in Dr No).

Certainly, the casting of M with Paul Eddington – and his performance in the role – was deliberately meant to evoke Bernard Lee; on the other hand, Caroline Biss in the role of Moneypenny was significantly closer in appearance and behaviour to Michaela Clavell’s version than Lois Maxwell’s. Felix Leiter, who had not been seen on-screen for 14 years since Live and Let Die, was played by American actor John Terry.

The cast also had a significant number of French actors, as most of Casino Royale was set in France and much of it shot on-location. The world-famous French actor and Anglophile Gerard Depardieu eagerly accepted the role of main antagonist Le Chiffre. DGSE agent Rene Mathis would be played by French-Spanish actor Jean Reno in one of his earliest high-profile roles. And for the all-important-role of Vesper Lynd, the filmmakers made a major discovery in British-French stage actress Kristin Scott Thomas.

While the previous “unofficial” Bond film – the independent production SPECTRE – had tried to remain fundamentally a “Bond film” in tone, even if it was a clever example of such, Casino Royale had no qualms about dispensing of the Eon series’ trappings and making its own interpretation of Fleming’s novel. For instance, there was no gadget work featured at all and the character of Q did not appear. The action and violence was not sanitized but shown frankly in all its brutality – including the scene of Le Chiffre torturing Bond, which pushed the film’s rating in the United States up to PG-13. And Timothy Dalton’s portrayal of Bond was easily the darkest and coldest seen on screen, but also the most nuanced: the final scene, with Dalton’s performance while delivering the closing line “The bitch is dead now”, would become famous as a major heartbreaking moment in contemporary cinema.

Eon Productions had of course heard the news of Casino Royale’s stylistic direction, and so – partly to appease James Brolin’s demands for a better story, and partly because of their own embarrassment at From a View to a Kill – they decided to fight fire with fire. Eon would take a similarly dark turn for the 15th film in the official series, The Living Daylights (which was possibly the only usable Fleming title left). The film began with an opening sequence heavily based on the short story with the same title, in which Bond spares the life of a female sniper, but from then on developed into an original story involving the apparent resurrection of the Soviet counter-intelligence agency SMERSH by recurring character General Gogol. Much like Casino Royale, The Living Daylights earned a PG-13 rating in the US for its violent content – in fact, the theatrical version of the film needed its violence cut down to avoid an R rating. Violent sequences in The Living Daylights included a sequence in which Felix Leiter, now returning to the official series as well, is nearly killed and loses his leg. (Oddly, this film was the first time any actor would actually reprise the role of Leiter: David Hedison – who had played Leiter in his last official appearance – was re-hired, apparently to make the character’s near-death have more impact.)

Released in mid-October 1987, less than a fortnight after the day of the 25th anniversary itself, Casino Royale was a breath of fresh air for James Bond. Critics loved it, and audiences worldwide loved it too (except for a vocal minority of Bond enthusiasts, particularly Roger Moore fans). Kristin Scott Thomas became an international star overnight, and people immediately began calling for Dalton to replace Brolin in the official series. Had they been legally able to, Columbia would have greenlit a sequel immediately. On every level, Casino Royale was a triumph.

Reaction to The Living Daylights, released four months later, was considerably less favourable. Even though it was acknowledged as better than From a View to a Kill, the drastic swing in tone between the two films – particularly as they featured the same cast – caused some viewer whiplash. Additionally, the violence in The Living Daylights seemed merely there for the sake of violence rather than adding to the story at all, and so came off as distasteful. But ultimately the problem was that Casino Royale had set the bar very high, and The Living Daylights just wasn’t as good. And so, again, Eon Productions lost the rematch of the “Battle of the Bonds”.

The end credits of The Living Daylights had said simply “James Bond Will Return” – but one thing after another subsequently prevented this from being the case for a long time. James Brolin’s public resignation came six weeks after the film’s release, and immediately left the series without a star. Producers Albert R Broccoli and Michael G Wilson (his stepson) saw the need for fresh blood in the writing of any new films, but the 1988 Writers’ Strike came soon after and put any movement on a new film on hold for the better part of a year. And not long after that, a legal dispute emerged between Eon’s parent company Danjaq S.A. and distributors MGM/UA over television broadcast rights which kept the entire franchise in limbo until 1993 – a gap longer than there had ever been before.

And by the time all legal issues had been resolved, the public just wasn’t so enthused about James Bond any more anyway. The series seemed like a relic of the Cold War which no longer fit in the modern day, and in any case had clearly been declining in quality for a long time towards its end. MGM/UA was in financial trouble at the time and didn’t want to take a gamble with reviving a series that might flop badly. And so, that same year they sold the distribution rights for all James Bond properties, for a large sum of money… to Columbia Pictures.

So the message in the credits was right after all: James Bond would return. But Columbia had some definite plans for taking a new direction...

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Notes: only a couple of weeks between updates -- that's good for me! :D Anyway, here it is.

A View to a Kill in OTL steals its title from the short story From a View to a Kill, which appears in the For Your Eyes Only collection. In fact, in OTL the end credits to Octopussy say "James Bond Will Return in: From a View to a Kill". In TTL, they decide not to drop the "From". David Bowie was actually considered in OTL for the role of Max Zorin. Now, I really do like Christopher Walken but I do think David Bowie just might have been a better fit. And if you've got two singers playing the villains, why not get them to do the theme?

Full disclosure: I'm a Dalton fanboy. There, I said it! And I know he's fairly polarising in OTL, but I'd like to think that in a TL where Roger Moore has retired from the role several years ago and Bond has since been played by a Yank, people will be more willing to embrace Dalton.

Caroline Biss as Moneypenny and John Terry as Felix Leiter are me being lazy again -- both appeared in those roles in OTL's The Living Daylights (i.e. Dalton's OTL debut), although Terry's part is fairly blink-and-you'll-miss-it. As for the French actors -- I tried to find someone interestingly obscure for Le Chiffre, I really tried... but I had to conclude that the totally cliche choice of Depardieu would actually fit best out of what I could find. Jean Reno I'm less ashamed about. And I'm really quite proud of myself for the pick of Kristin Scott Thomas as Vesper.

I'm a little disappointed that I couldn't change the titles of the later Bond films as much as I wanted to, but at this point there's not much choice. "Risico" has already been incorporated into For Your Eyes Only and "The Property of a Lady" into Octopussy, "007 in New York" is incredibly prosaic, "The Hildebrand Rarity" is not actiony enough and "Quantum of Solace" is bloody stupid. Really, "The Living Daylights" was the only usable title left over -- no wonder they started making up their own after than in OTL starting with Licence to Kill. I guess I could have switched the order of From a View to a Kill and The Living Daylights, but that would mean changing The Living Daylights' opening sequence so I decided not to.

The plot of TTL's The Living Daylights is fairly similar to OTL's version, but its tone is like Licence to Kill (it also has some sequences reminiscent of the latter movie, such as Leiter being crippled.) One notable thing it does have is General Gogol in the place of General Pushkin -- the delay in getting the film made due to James Brolin's attempts to escape his contract mean that Walter Gotell has no scheduling conflict and is able to play a significant part again as Gogol.

If it weren't for the Writer's Strike and the Danjaq-MGM/UA lawsuit, I'd like to imagine that the next James Bond film -- whatever it may have been -- would have cast Pierce Brosnan in the main role. But as it is, who can say?

The next update will be about Gene Roddenberry's final television series.
 
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Speaking as a French cinephile, I must say that Depardieu would have been the perfect choice for Le Chiffre, given the stature of that one in the novel... If, in these times, Depardieu had the same shape than nowadays, but he was rather slim back then; if you had wanted another actor able to play a Bond villain, you would have go after Jean Rochefort or, in a little nod to 1967 Casino Royale, Jean-Paul Belmondo, who had by then taken a career centered on cocky action movies.

Nothing to say about Scott-Thomas, but Jean Reno is really a bad choice: he was a complete unknown back then, having just had a few roles in Luc Besson's movies. Two actors striving for recognition abroad, such as Lambert Wilson or Christophe Lambert (still striving as he didn't had the role in Highlander ITTL), would have been good enough.
 
Speaking as a French cinephile, I must say that Depardieu would have been the perfect choice for Le Chiffre, given the stature of that one in the novel... If, in these times, Depardieu had the same shape than nowadays, but he was rather slim back then; if you had wanted another actor able to play a Bond villain, you would have go after Jean Rochefort or, in a little nod to 1967 Casino Royale, Jean-Paul Belmondo, who had by then taken a career centered on cocky action movies.

Nothing to say about Scott-Thomas, but Jean Reno is really a bad choice: he was a complete unknown back then, having just had a few roles in Luc Besson's movies. Two actors striving for recognition abroad, such as Lambert Wilson or Christophe Lambert (still striving as he didn't had the role in Highlander ITTL), would have been good enough.
Damn, hadn't realised Depardieu's gained weight. I'll consider revising that but not now: I'm on a phone right now.

I realise Reno was an unknown but he wasn't a novice: he'd been acting since 1979. Your suggestions of Wilson & Lambert are both WAY too pretty. I'd rather just handwave this and say Reno auditioned and they liked him.
 
I hope that series is Star Trek: The Next Generation. And I hope it's successful, like IOTL.
In TTL, with Patrick Stewart is Charles Xavier in the X-Men movies, they probualy send in Avery Brooks as the Captain of the Enterprise. Avery played Captain Sisko in DS9 in OTL. The pilot episode would better have the same plot for the Wrath of Khan which has never made as a film.
 
In TTL, with Patrick Stewart is Charles Xavier in the X-Men movies, they probualy send in Avery Brooks as the Captain of the Enterprise. Avery played Captain Sisko in DS9 in OTL. The pilot episode would better have the same plot for the Wrath of Khan which has never made as a film.
Should be interesting. Will Picard work, or will they use Sisko a few years earlier?
 
Should be interesting. Will Picard work, or will they use Sisko a few years earlier?
Or better yet, I was looking at DeviantArt, I was seeing pictures of Bryan Sinclair's Voyager Reboot, I saw the crew micro heroes:



Commanding Officer - Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Human) (Patrick Stewart)
First Officer - Commander Kathryn Janeway (Human) (Kate Mulgrew)
Chief Medical Officer - Commander Beverly Crusher (Human) (Gates McFadden)
Chief Operations Officer - Lt. Commander Data (Android) (Brent Spiner)
Chief Engineering Officer - Lieutenant Geordi La Forge (Human) (LeVar Burton)
Chief Security/Tactical Officer - Lieutenant Natasha Yar (Human) (Denise Crosby)
Chief Counsellor - Lieutenant Deanna Troi (Betazoid/Human) (Marina Sirtis)
Chief Flight Control Officer - Lieutenant JG Worf (Klingon) (Michael Dorn)
Officer-in-Training - Acting Ensign Wesley Crusher (Human) (Wil Wheaton)

Maybe instead of McCoy walking with Data, have William Shatner walk with Captain Picard in the corridors, giving a "getting off the bridge" speech from Generations in OTL.
 
I really don't think Roddenberry's next project will be another Star Trek one. And if it is, I think there would be a Frenchman playing Picard.
 
Watcher, I see you've read the TNG Novel, Death in the Winter, in which we learn that Kathryn Janeway was Picard's first pick for First Officer on the Enterprise-D. However, she turned it down. Don't think it'll be the case ITTL.
 
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