Quo Vadimus

Thursday, March 04, 2004


Breaks frame, but could be a riot.

From The New Yorker, March 8, 2004:

The Back Page By Steve Martin


Dear Mel,

We love, love the script! The ending works great. You'll be getting a call from use to start negotiations for the book rights.

-- Love the Jesus character. So likable. He can't seem to catch a break! We identify with him because of it. One thing: I think we need to clearly state "the rules." Why doesn't he use his superpowers to save himself? Our creative people suggest that you could simply cut away to two spectators:

Why doesn't he use his superpowers to save himself?

He can only use his powers to help others, never himself

-- Does it matter which garden? Gethsemane is hard to say, and Eden is a much more recognizable garden. Just thinking out loud.

-- Our creative people suggest a clock visual fading in and out in certain scenes, like the Last Supper bit: "Thursday, 7:43 p.m.," or "Good Friday, 5:14 p.m."

-- Love the repetition of "Is it I?" Could be very funny. On the eighth inquiry, could Jesus just give a little look of exasperation into the camera? Breaks frame, but could be a riot.

-- Also, could he change water into wine in Last Supper scene? Would be a great moment, and it's legit. History compression is a movie tradition and could really brighten up the scene. Great trailer moment, too.

-- Love the flaying.

-- Could the rabbis be Hispanic? There's lots of hot Latino actors now, could give us a little zing at the box office. Research says there's some historical justification for it.

-- Possible title change: "Lethal Passion." Kinda works. The more I say it out loud, the more I like it.

-- Is there someplace where Jesus could be using an iBook? You know, now that I say it, it sounds ridiculous. Strike that. But think about it. Maybe we start a shot in Heaven with Jesus thoughtfully closing the top?

-- Love the idea of Monica Bellucci as Mary Magdalene (yow!). Our creative people suggest a name change to Heather. Could skew our audience a little younger.

-- Love Judas. Such a great villain. Our creative people suggest that he's a little complicated. Couldn't he be one thing? Just bad? Gives the movie much more of a motor. Also, thirty pieces of silver is not going to get anyone excited. I think it'd be very simple to make him a "new millionaire." Bring in the cash on a tray. Great dilemma that the audience can identify with.

-- Minor spelling error: on page 18, in the description of the bystanders, there should be a space between the words "Jew" and "boy".

-- Merchandising issue: it seems the Cross image had been done to death and is public domain -- we can't own it. Could the Crucifixion scene involve something else? A Toyota would be wrong, but maybe there's a shape we can copyright, like a wagon wheel?

-- I'm assuming "The dialogue is in Aramaic" is a typo for "American". If not, call me on my cell, or I'm at home all weekend.

By the way, I'm sending a group of staffers on a cruise to the North Pole, coincidentally around the time of your picture's release. Would love to invite your dad!

See you at the movies!


posted by Linus | 7:28 AM