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Entries in Batman (1)

Monday
Apr072014

Why Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet will never be a movie

Ah, the movie question. Yup. It comes up a lot. So much that I might as well get out there with the truth of why Henry and Keiko are not welcome on the corner of Hollywood and Vine. Are you ready? Are you sitting down? It's okay...I'll wait.

The answer can be summed up in the question that was often asked of me when I met with several Hollywood producers and that was, "How do we mitigate the financial risk without a white male lead?"

I'll pause and let that soak in for a moment. While you're soaking, take a look at this image of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. I'll get to that in a sec.

Now where was I? Oh yes, Hollywood. Well, in case you're wondering, my answer to the aforementioned question was "First, you need to go perform hideous obscenities upon yourself." And the conversation went downhill from there.

Is Hollywood inherently racist? No. Seriously, they're not. But film making is a business that plays to the averages and in this case, the average ticket buyer is Caucasian, often male. So that leaves a movie where the main characters are Chinese and Japanese out of the realm of commercial viability.

Sure, there's always going to be a Slumdog Millionaire, but that's an outlier so far out I can't even think of another multicultural movie that had that kind of success in the US. Because there are no good stories? No, because no one is willing to take a chance. And despite selling more than a million copies of Hotel, my book is still a gamble most Hollywood financiers are unwilling to take. They'd rather dump the GNP of a small island nation into a film like, oh, say...Battleship.

Which brings me to the sidebar of this whole thing and that's Wonder Woman. We've had how many films staring Batman and Superman? (And coming soon, Batman vs. Superman, in which Wonder Woman gets to be IN the film, but isn't part of the title).

Is it because the character of Wonder Woman was once a Charlie's Angel-esque, T&A, 70's icon? Perhaps. But I'm guessing it's because to Hollywood, she's a bad bet--a poor wager. Why take the chance? Which makes me sad. Because if Hollywood is just now trying to figure out how to do a "white female lead" like Diana Prince AKA Wonder Woman, what chance do Henry & Keiko have?