Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Are Public Domain Heroes The Best Option For Hollywood In A Recession?
So says Dan Jinks, the producer of American Beauty, to the Vulture blog. Whereas the mantra of movie and, to a lesser extent, TV producers over the last several years has been licensing licensing licensing -- the bigger the property, like Twilight, Harry Potter, Iron Man, and Batman, the better -- a new slate of upcoming films and television shows reveal that Hollywood is turning back to the (free) classics for inspiration.
Take the rash of recent in-production or announced projects featuring Sherlock Holmes, Snow White, Grimm's Fairy Tales, Frankenstein, Greek Mythology, the Oz books, and on and on...Even Dreamworks has a new animated movie, Rise of the Guardians, slated for 2012 that features "a public domain Avengers if there ever was" -- The Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and the Sandman (yes, the basic idea of a "sandman" is apparently public domain, though I wonder what the trademark issues are w/DC Entertainment).
Certainly, there will always be movies based on Spider-Man and the latest Stephen King novel. But what about smaller, quirkier projects on the level of Locke and Key, even Wonder Woman? Instead of Wonder Woman, couldn't movie studios turn to another Diana -- Artemis of Greek mythology? Instead of another vampire franchise based on a series of novels, why not revisit Dracula? And hey, is Gladiator, that science-fiction tale by Philip Wylie which was one of the main inspirations for Superman, in public domain yet?
Posted by Verge at 5:51 PM