If one chooses to believe the following notion, there are certain scenarios that have yet to be perfected in film. Specifically, in the fantasy realm. Now there has been admirable attempts at the below forthcoming points. But it’s not quite there yet.
So without further delay — and worthless banter — here’s a look at six fantasy ideas that we desperately still need to see in film.
1. A Fantasy Epic Where Evil Wins (Muhahaha)
What if Frodo kept the ring? How cool would it be if Hades won? Although I consider myself a film historian (on training wheels), it is tough to recall when something this monumental has taken place. It probably has somewhere in random underground fantasy flicks throughout history. Yet the recent mainstream products keeps their distance from this idea.
What scribes are blatantly missing in their storytelling is that just because it is a happy ending, that does not necessarily mean it is a good one. Even though this will hurt my cool factor (although I’m writing for a fantasy site), this idea entered my gem-of-a-brain after completing a Star Wars videogame (losing female Facebook friends as we speak). Specifically, Knights of the Old Republic.
After playing it through and being a good little Jedi, I took in the cinematic ending for my accomplishments. Then I went back and played through again — basking in pure evil.
Upon completion, the “dark side” movie and storyline was extremely better than the typical good guy celebration. Why? Because the writers embraced the evil themes instead of dabbling in it. Being able to say, “WOW” is just as satisfying as leaving with a smile on your face after the good guys win.
Of course we ultimately cheer for protagonists such as Frodo. Yet part of me kind of wanted to see Sauron appear and wipe out the noble heroes. Curiosity and change is the spice of life and exploring a new side of drama couldn’t hurt. So having said that — in an epic arena — how would that creative concept come off? I believe there is a way to do this without disappointing the audience. Have the good guys go down using the old western “blaze-of-glory” concept.
Although the odds are stacked against them, by depicting an “all-in” battle, where good does some damage — yet eventually loses — could be crafted to drive home the above mentioned “WOW” response from the viewer. Because in the end, a filmmaker truly just wants to get a reaction from his viewers — and something this unexpected would definitely provoke.
Admittedly, the physical storytelling would have to be impeccable for this idea to work. Plus, the filmmaker must resist all urges to avoid showing a silver-lining after the evil victory. No coddling allowed, my friends.
2. Satan vs. God
Now this has been attempted in subtle ways, but no one can seem to truly bring this up to a level it needs to be (South Park doesn‘t count). People are fascinated with the end of the world and if there is an anti-Christ walking among us. Problem is, there has never been a full-scale epic that tackles every angle of the biblical apocalypse. End of Days made a feeble attempt with this theme. It brought in the devil but couldn’t muster up a worthy opponent (sorry, Governor Arnie) or atmosphere.
What I truly want to see is a creative writing scenario that encompasses an audacious battle between two actual immortals. I’m tired of seeing a mismatch where a human’s morals somehow always end up saving the world. Complete horse-crap. Let’s get to the part of the book where the anti-Christ is unleashed and a great battle happens on earth.
No more demons possessing people to do their fighting. Create a workable demon character — with minimal human likenesses — and form an army to take on angels. Now the image of an angel is fairly well known. So dump the logic and take liberties with the character. Make angels twelve feet tall. Then usher in the leads — God and Satan — in their true form. We all think we know what Satan looks like, so surprise the hell out of us.
As for God, unless you can create a tricked-out version of Keith Richards or Ozzy (who are convinced they’re immortal and God-like), drop the old-man with the beard stigma and go for the outrageous. God is subjective, so even if the great being is in the form of an unusual creature, who’s to argue?
Now, the trick is to have them fight all over the world and stop working in ridiculous subplots. Sure, we need a mankind perspective, but maintain the focus on the two stars. Spend at least $100 million on this sucker and do it right. The definitive apocalypse flick that brings the meat instead of dancing around the idea and teasing us. Have you noticed that all of the flicks that have tried to depict this subject matter are low-budget and go direct-to-DVD? Time for a change. Prophecy had its storytelling moments, but way too subtle in its approach.
Yes this sounds like a Clash of the Titans rip-off, but the one element that sets this idea apart is the actual characters being depicted (God and Satan). Sometimes less is more, but this is film, dammit! Sometimes more is more too.
3. Adapt the Fable Videogame
All one hears on comment boards is who will create a fantasy flick as memorable and sophisticated as The Lord of the Rings. This past decade, so many second-tier fantasy novels have half-assed their way onto the big screen. Judging by the endings of all them (The Seeker, Eragon, etc.), they were hoping to continue. Not so much my friends. The respective studios chopped up the story and refused to spend the money. Yet strangely, they have no problem blowing a $100 million on another lackluster rom-com that fails to arouse any profits at the box office.
The Fable story is rich and already has legions of fans. Scoop it up, drop a ton of money on it, and the people will come. It’s not that complicated.
4. Create the Next LightSaber
As in, who will create the next iconic weapon that all of us will dream about having? Even at 31, I still wake up swinging my blue blade (or is it blue balls from my imaginary lady friend?). Moving along, Harry Potter’s wand does zilch for me. Susan’s Narnia bow is stale and overused. He-Man’s sword in the ’80s cartoon was interesting, but in the end, it’s just a sword. All the wizard’s staffs look fun if I was confined to just walking around New York City. Seriously, imagine the fun you could have with that “walking stick.”
There was a time I began thinking the X-Men flicks would come up with some innovative device. Although they are mainly armed with super powers, I was banking on Hollywood not sticking to the source material and inserting their arrogance within the product. What better place than the weapon department right? Instead, it is all super powers. And even if I wanted a super power, it would have been Superman’s X-ray vision. Yet that is now worthless to me. Why? A plane ticket to Amsterdam isn’t all that expensive and there are plenty of windows. If you know what I mean. (For the younger audiences, Google Amsterdam Windows. You’ll thank me later).
Where was I? Oh yeah…Weapons. Clearly I could not come up with anything myself. Any thoughts, or did I miss a great weapon since the lightsaber? Didn’t the Blade franchise have some cool gadgets? I shall go watch those again. And I will be doing a noble deed in doing so. Heard Wesley Snipes is having some cash flow issues.
5. A Dragon Movie…That Isn’t Pathetic.
Not sure if this is possible actually, for the character may not be workable in a feature script. Definitely could see recurring patterns where the flick drags due the dragon is not being captured on camera. Two flicks come to mind that were tolerable at the very least though. 1981’s Dragonslayer and 2002’s Reign of Fire. Intriguing stories and the CGI work for their respective times was admirable. Aside from those two, the only flick that looked pristine was How to Train Your Dragon. An animated film. That was a nice movie, but I’m looking for something gritty and dangerous.
Believe it or not, Dragonslayer was a Walt Disney Picture that brought in an element of danger. In contrast, Reign of Fire was supposed to be dramatic and dangerous. As it went on, though, it became a platform for the CGI nerds to have fun with the technology. And the lead characters’ acting ability transitioned into something out of a bad porno (if there is such a thing).
Seeing complete trash such as D-Wars and whatever childish flick Sean Connery voiced the dragon (too lazy to look it up and still trying to repress the memories) is making my ass itch (it‘s just what happens). I believe the dragon character could find a proper vehicle in cinema with someone who had the right vision and respect for the material. Paging Guillermo del Toro…
6. Torch’s Choice ________
Authors must be honest with their readers and vice versa. And trust me, my readers have been very honest and graphically descriptive over the years, in my archive of comment boards. Especially when I give Twilight just 3 out of 5 stars (my apologies milfs, but feel free to grow-up anytime now).
Coming up with other moments that need to be seen in an epic fantasy flick should be relatively easy. However, picking a final topic has become quite the task for yours truly. I was thinking about giants. Then I jumped to how a filmmaker needs to shoot an epic battle scene in Iceland. The landscape just feels magical. Looks a lot like Middle-Earth too. Also started thinking about what not to do. I have an extremely hard time grasping that escapism feeling when magical forces are on display in a present day big city such as New York or Chicago. Just doesn’t have that same old feeling when executed in a period piece. Felt that on the last Harry Potter flick (Deathly Hallows) and the recent Sorcerer’s Apprentice debacle. Modern landscape fails to provide the appropriate atmosphere in pleasing us dreamers.
Anyway, rather than force the issue, let’s yap, Torch followers. If that doesn’t sound enticing, feel free to rip on me below. Suggestions for blind dates are also appreciated — cause once the legion of females see my name on the byline for this article, I’m going to need all the help I can get.
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- There’s a Reason People Get Upset That the LORD OF THE RINGS Movies Changed Arwen. Sexism.