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Friday, April 06, 2007

Silent Bob strikes out

My brother Alex pointed me to some Kevin Smith and Tim Burton trivia on Wikipedia.

In the Beetlejuice article:
The studio disliked the title "Beetlejuice" and wanted to call the film "House Ghosts." As a joke, Tim Burton suggested the name "Scared Sheetless" and was horrified when the studio actually considered using it.
In the Planet of the Apes article:
In Kevin Smith's Q&A DVD An Evening with Kevin Smith recalls, along with his connection to Burton on a failed Superman project, an odd coincidence about this film. Smith explained that, while talking to reporter friend Lou Louserman about Planet of the Apes, he saw that the film's twist ending, which depicted an ape head in place of Lincoln's at the Lincoln Memorial, was similar to a panel from Smith's comic book mini-series Chasing Dogma, in which apes take off Lincoln's head off the monument and replace it with the ape head.

Smith and Louserman joked about releasing a tongue-in-cheek article about Smith contemplating legal action against 20th Century Fox. However, when the article was actually printed, it did not come off as a tongue in cheek remark. In the article, Burton stated that "Anyone who knows me knows that I would never read a comic book and I would especially never read anything written by Kevin Smith". Smith jokingly remarked that Burton's statement "explains Batman".
There's also the tale of Smith's doomed Superman Lives script, in the weird article about various canceled Superman films:
Director and comic book enthusiast Kevin Smith was preparing for the release of his film Chasing Amy when he was brought into the offices of Warner Bros. to give input on several projects "up for grabs." Declining other films offered to him, he indicated interest in Superman Reborn. He... later said, "...the thing that bothered me about Greg Poirier’s draft: they were trying to give Superman angst. They had Clark Kent going to a psychiatrist at one point. Superman’s angst is not that he doesn’t want to be Superman. If he has any (angst), it’s that he can’t do it all; he can’t do enough and save everyone." "Batman is about angst; Superman is about hope."
Eventually, Lorenzo di Bonaventura decided to offer Smith the job, pending approval of producer Jon Peters. Smith personally presented his 80-page film treatment to the eccentric producer at the latter's home. Peters was intrigued, but he insisted that if Smith was to take the job, he would have to tightly follow parameters that he himself set: Superman could not be seen flying, Superman must have a 'modern' costume, and the third act was to have a fight involving a giant spider. Peters also wanted Sean Penn to play the lead role. Among Peters' notes to the writer were: ...Brainiac should have a furry dog of some sort, "like Chewie"... Brainiac's sidekick, L-Ron, must be a "gay Artoo type"... Superman's suit must be something he can piece together, a la Batman;

In spite of the "restrictions" placed on him by Peters, Smith completed a script with which he was satisfied in 1997, titled Superman Lives.

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