I just watched a Netflix movie called UNKNOWN ORIGINS. What’s it about? It’s David Fincher’s SEVEN, with superheroes.
SEVEN logline – A grizzled veteran police detective and his ambitious young partner team up to catch a serial killer committing grotesque murders inspired by the seven deadly sins.
UNKNOWN ORIGINS logline – An ambitious young detective and a reclusive comic book nerd team up to catch a serial killer committing grotesque murders inspired by classic comic book origin stories.
Same movie… with superheroes.
It’s not a secret, either. UNKNOWN ORIGINS is sprinkled with lots of (mostly regrettable) pop culture references, including a scene in which the characters are puzzling over where the killer might strike next and one of them observes, “If only it was based on the seven deadly sins, it would be a lot easier.”
Whooo! We love you, Fincher!
Likewise, the recent Netflix hit PROJECT POWER is just THE FRENCH CONNECTION… with superheroes.
THE FRENCH CONNECTION – A rogue police detective and his partner race to find the source of a dangerous new street supply of heroin.
PROJECT POWER – A rogue police detective and a rogue army veteran race to find the source of a dangerous new street drug that gives people five minutes of superpowers.
Same movie… with superheroes.
This formula of [movie everyone loves] + [superheroes] = [green light] goes back to at least 2014 with CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, which was critically lauded for being THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR… with superheroes.
It doesn’t matter how you, or I, or even Ted Sarandos, feels about superheroes pervading every crack and crevice of society like a certain pandemic virus that’s going around right now. The bottom line is, it’s happening.
So, let’s play a game – classic movie + superheroes = sale to Netflix. Time to get that money! Pitch me!
PLASTICIA AND LARRY – A superhero and his normy boyfriend rob a bank to pay for gene therapy to remove the superhero’s powers so he and his boyfriend can have sex without the boyfriend exploding (DOG DAY AFTERNOON… with superheroes).
MY DINNER WITH ZIRCON – Two middle-aged superheroes reconnect over dinner at a restaurant and have a 90-minute conversation, but it is only possible to watch 30 minutes before you pass out on the couch (MY DINNER WITH ANDRE… with superheroes).
JOURNEY TO THE FAR NEBULA – Three aging superheroes travel to a distant star to capture the greatest source of energy in the universe, but discover that the star’s radiation neutralizes their powers, leaving them to wander around, napping in mud puddles and having long-winded debates about existentialism (STALKER… with superheroes).
THE LASERONIS – A young war hero from a family of supervillains refuses to join his family’s supervillainy business, until a war with a rival supervillain clan forces the young man back into the family fold, setting him on a dark path to his evil destiny (The GODFATHER… with superVILLAINS!).
Ooh – I could sell that one.