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Friday, November 13, 2020

The Return of The Son of The Friday Challenge's Old College Roommate!

This came up first on Facebook, but after thinking about it a bit longer I decided to put it out here for all to see. This grew out of a discussion of that classic 1956 sci-fi movie, FORBIDDEN PLANET, and how while it was a beautiful film, it somehow just didn’t quite nail the X-ring.

So here’s the challenge.

Imagine that you are a screenwriter, and you’ve just been hired to write the script for the first film in the new remake series, THE FORBIDDEN PLANET TRILOGY. Maybe you're working for James Cameron, Michael Bay, J.J. Abrams, or Peter Jackson—or what the Hell, maybe for whoever it is who’s making films for DisneyMarvelLucas these days—but your first consideration is this: in the original film, to be honest, the ending fell kinda flat.

True, Captain J. J. Adams (Leslie Nielsen) and the surviving crew of the C57D did manage to escape the Id monster and blow up the planet, but it was really more of an escape by the skin of their teeth and slink back to Earth with their tails between their legs ending than an actual heroic and victorious ending. Captain James T. Kirk never would have put up with such a low-key ending. There wasn’t even a climactic hand-to-hand struggle with a boss monster. 

And more importantly—this is crucial in modern movie-making—the ending did not leave room for a sequel!

Since 1956 we’ve learned a lot more about how to give a sci-fi movie a truly satisfying ending. Consider the original Star Wars. Consider Alien. Consider Aliens. Forget Alien 3, that was the downer ending to end all downer endings. Consider The Monolith Monsters. (Sorry, that’s an inside joke.)

The point is, you are working for a director with major mojo and a studio with a budget larger than that of most countries. Cost is no object. Special effects are no limit. Casting options are unrestricted. How would you rewrite the ending of FORBIDDEN PLANET to make it the kind of rousing stand-up-and-cheer blockbuster ending that modern movie audiences expect?

Post your answers in the comments, or on your own website and post a link here. Now ready, set—


P.S. To give you a head start, I’ll spot you one concept, which you can use, abuse, work against, or ignore as you please:



Gary said...

I'll have to let this cook for a bit, but it's pretty obvious Altaira could have *easily* pacified and tamed the Id Monster; as Kid Id (he's not all that well socially developed yet, kind of a Terrible Twos thing) they bring him back to New York as a curiosity, but at his first showing Bad Thoughts come from the audience and the poor frightened thing goes on a rampage, knocking down elevated trains and blowing up buildings with his atomic breath.

And then Mothra flies in, and ... well, I can't reveal everything.

Needs to be fleshed out, but seems original, eh? :-D

~brb said...

Original? We're talking about a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster movie here. What's "original" got to do with it?