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How much would you spend on a Western?


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#26
Wally Q

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I approve of the Wendigo suggestion. Creepy and underused. Would really be a "WTF!?" for audiences.

#27
Justus

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Question is, did Cowboys & Aliens and Jonah Hex fail because people don;'t like mixing other genres with westerns? Or because they were crappy movies?


The movies failed because the original ideas were not suited for the big screen. Many ideas not native to movies are simply not worthy of being a movie. This is a problem from the studio side and the publisher side; everyone is so desperate to see certain ideas as movie--that it actually has the appeal to be a film, but that's a dreadful belief not born of common sense, but of creator conceit (on both sides). Add bad adaptation decisions to appeal to mass audiences or geek jerk-off casting, and its a recipe for disaster, as the two fantasy-westerns illustrated with their failure.

This is why concepts like fantasy-themed western are easier to sell in other mediums; audiences just do not accept that as live action, but they will as a comic or cartoon. Hell, Justice League Unlimited's use of the DC western heroes (the 2-part "The Once and Future Thing") worked because the mixed genres have a natural home in animation & comics, where its easier to suspend disbelief--even with three 21st century superheroes running around the old west as in that JLU story.

Back to the topic. The Lone Ranger--if it ever gets off the ground--should not have a fantasy element. It does not need one beacuse HE is the fantasy element. He's the "costumed," strange character in the story, which forces writers to play up his unique qualities and how said qualities are challenged by well-written, normal villains--not aliens or supervillains. This is not a superhero story. Its just a western with an unusual edge, and its the job of writers to play up the colorful personalities that are found by the truckload in the real Amercian west, or base magnetic new characters off of the kind of real world "mosters" who were known to live in that period of history.

Producers just have to grow the balls enough to stick to the heart of the character and not think the audience just have to see the big "flash and wow" CG crap, THX sound over-sweetening everything down to crickets chirping, and injecting random, modern-day attitudes into film (because the audience is so slanted, it all has to remind them of themselves).

I doubt that will happen.

#28
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I'd pay to see a well done, not cheesy or campy, movie about the Wendigo. Awesome suggestion.

#29
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Question is, did Cowboys & Aliens and Jonah Hex fail because people don;'t like mixing other genres with westerns? Or because they were crappy movies?


The movies failed because the original ideas were not suited for the big screen. Many ideas not native to movies are simply not worthy of being a movie. This is a problem from the studio side and the publisher side; everyone is so desperate to see certain ideas as movie--that it actually has the appeal to be a film, but that's a dreadful belief not born of common sense, but of creator conceit (on both sides). Add bad adaptation decisions to appeal to mass audiences or geek jerk-off casting, and its a recipe for disaster, as the two fantasy-westerns illustrated with their failure.

This is why concepts like fantasy-themed western are easier to sell in other mediums; audiences just do not accept that as live action, but they will as a comic or cartoon. Hell, Justice League Unlimited's use of the DC western heroes (the 2-part "The Once and Future Thing") worked because the mixed genres have a natural home in animation & comics, where its easier to suspend disbelief--even with three 21st century superheroes running around the old west as in that JLU story.

Back to the topic. The Lone Ranger--if it ever gets off the ground--should not have a fantasy element. It does not need one beacuse HE is the fantasy element. He's the "costumed," strange character in the story, which forces writers to play up his unique qualities and how said qualities are challenged by well-written, normal villains--not aliens or supervillains. This is not a superhero story. Its just a western with an unusual edge, and its the job of writers to play up the colorful personalities that are found by the truckload in the real Amercian west, or base magnetic new characters off of the kind of real world "mosters" who were known to live in that period of history.

Producers just have to grow the balls enough to stick to the heart of the character and not think the audience just have to see the big "flash and wow" CG crap, THX sound over-sweetening everything down to crickets chirping, and injecting random, modern-day attitudes into film (because the audience is so slanted, it all has to remind them of themselves).

I doubt that will happen.



So you're saying my movie about Sherlock Holmes, The Lone Ranger, Tarzan and Dracula teaming up to hunt down a demonically possessed Jack the Ripper won't fly?

#30
Iceheart

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There's tons of native werewolf tales-- like legit native folklore ones... Twilight has just co-oped the connection of the two.

There's tons of native werewolf tales-- like legit native folklore ones... Twilight has just co-oped the connection of the two.


"I am your host, Vincent Twice, Vincent Twice."

I know... but Twilight is the more pop culturally pervasive version of the story. People are just going to think it's a Twilight rip-off nowadays. Five years ago, it would have been incredibly awesome.

If they want a native supernatural story, they should use the Wendigo.


:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

So you're saying my movie about Sherlock Holmes, The Lone Ranger, Tarzan and Dracula teaming up to hunt down a demonically possessed Jack the Ripper won't fly?


Sell it to the SyFy Channel. They'll pee themselves with glee.

#31
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So you're saying my movie about Sherlock Holmes, The Lone Ranger, Tarzan and Dracula teaming up to hunt down a demonically possessed Jack the Ripper won't fly?


Sell it to the SyFy Channel. They'll pee themselves with glee.


Written, produced, directed by and starring...William Shatner? I'd watch.

#32
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So you're saying my movie about Sherlock Holmes, The Lone Ranger, Tarzan and Dracula teaming up to hunt down a demonically possessed Jack the Ripper won't fly?


Add Will Smith as Holmes, Jon Heder as The Lone Ranger and Michael Cera as Tarzan, and maybe...just maybe it would work....

#33
Ryn

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First look: Hm. Er. Well. Okay.

#34
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Question: Does Depp know the meaning of the phrase "Not interested."

#35
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I wonder what combination of aging rock stars and cartoon characters Depp is basing Tonto off of...

#36
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I wonder what combination of aging rock stars and cartoon characters Depp is basing Tonto off of...


Chiquita Banana, The Racist Crows from Dumbo, Gene Simmons.

#37
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If nothing else, he'll make a cool action figure.

#38
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****ing hell. Depp as Tonto, because all the real Indians are dead right?

I will never see this piece of trash fail, it sucked bad enough when I read it wrong and thought Depp was playing the ranger himself.

#39
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Johnny Depp is half Native Anerican. Just cause Tim button always paints him white...

#40
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Horse****. He's stated that one of his grandmothers "down the line" was Cherokee. I'm sure his experience growing up with such a diverse family with all those Indian men around as examples will help shape his characterization.
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#41
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I know, this is ridiculous. Its almost as bad as when Depp got the part of Edward Scissorhands when there are so many quality Scissor-American actors out there.

#42
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The difference is there are native american actors to choose from, because they do still exist. Unlike scissor people, who are no more.
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#43
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Yes, but it is acting. You see he can act like a native american without being one! I mean he isn't Italian but no one seems to have a problem with him playing Donnie Brasco. He isn't English but no one seems to care about him playing Jack Sparrow.

Mel Gibson isn't Scottish but he played William Wallace, he isn't American and he's played a ton of American characters. Al Pacino isn't Cuban but he played Scarface. You can go on and on.

As long as the actor can pull it off by his looks, there really should be no issue. If you had a blonde hair, blue eyed guy with extremely fair skin playing Tonto it would look ridiculous and wouldn't work. That's not the case with Depp. He has dark features and can easily pull off looking like a Native American, especially in a movie that is going to be more "fun" than historically accurate.

To me its far more racist to say that only a Native American can play a Native American character than to just hire a good actor to play the part.

#44
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None of your examples are very good. Mostly white people playing other forms of white people. The main distinction is that there is a long history of getting other races (spanish, light skinned blacks or painted whites) to play natives in film. One of your examples, Mel Gibson, went out of his way to cast natives in "Apocalypto" and get them in on the creative process in terms of authenticity. Not saying we have to pull some unknown out of the tribe Tonto is purported to come from, but at least get his race and costume right. (Apparently Tonto's costume is far from authentic to his tribe but I digress)

A better example would be to get say Tom Cruise to play Kato in false slant eye prostetics or put him in blackface and cast him as Blade. Depp doesn't even look "nativish" he's totally a white dude in red face. Its obnoxious.

#45
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As has been pointed out, Depp is part Cherokee. One of his great grandmothers was full Cherokee and he had Cherokee on his fathers side too. So he is at least 1/8 Cherokee. What percentage is good enough? 3/8? 5/8? Who is the arbiter of it? Should we have a council to determine if someone has enough of a race in him to play that race in film?

If Depp has his face painted red and his portrayal is mocking in any way then I'd agree with you. As far as I know we've only seen one picture of him from the movie and it's covered in so much paint that it makes his skin color irrelevant anyway.

I really don't think authenticity is a huge concern here. This movie isn't going to be a historical epic, its going to be a fun action movie like Pirates. At least thats what it seems like. That's why I don't think this is all a huge deal. I don't think anything of this movie is going to be all that authentic.

The fact is it's doubtful the movie could even get made without Depp in the Tonto role.

Edited by The Choc, 10 March 2012 - 02:43 PM.


#46
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It never ceases to amaze me that people can't look at movies as a business. Casting Depp as Tonto makes perfect sense financially, which is really the only thing that producers care about. With good reason, too, as movies that don't sell ruin careers. If you would prefer a no name Native American in that role over Depp I'll show you a thousand other people who would prefer Depp. Getting mad about it is pointless because it's all about the money and always will be.
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#47
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No one is angry. I'm just pointing out this is the latest in a traditional racist casting tactic that if applied to any other race would raise ACLU flags high as an elephant's eye. Disney is one of the worst perpetrators of this type of thing, but it's native americans so nobody cares. I'm hoping Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has a Fredric Douglas played by Toby MCGuire in blackface. That would be great for the box office, and totally acceptable because the movie business is a business. Right?

#48
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No one is angry. I'm just pointing out this is the latest in a traditional racist casting tactic that if applied to any other race would raise ACLU flags high as an elephant's eye. Disney is one of the worst perpetrators of this type of thing, but it's native americans so nobody cares. I'm hoping Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter has a Fredric Douglas played by Toby MCGuire in blackface. That would be great for the box office, and totally acceptable because the movie business is a business. Right?



Well I mean we had white guys play Latinos, fairly often. We have white guys play Arabs. Look at Ben Kingsley, hes played roles of nearly every race. He played an Iranian in "House of Sand and Fog", yet he has no Persian blood in him. Was this wrong? Do they have to only have Persians play Persians or is someone of Indian descent "close enough". He played Otto Frank, a German Jew. Kingsley does have some Jewish blood, but is it enough? Who knows.

Then you have people who completely overreact to these things and are wrong anyway. There was a minor furor over Anjelina Jolie playing Cleopatra since Jolie is white. Yet the people complaining were completely and totally uninformed anyway as Cleopatra was a Ptomely and Greek.

Here is the fact of the matter, if Depp plays the part as a complete joke then it's wrong and racist. If he plays the part well, its not

#49
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Anyone playing blackface is going to get panned, unless it's a goof like Downey in Tropic Thunder. The reality of racial sensitivity is that some forms raise flags (anything involving blacks or jews) and others don't (pretty much all the rest). This is indicative of consumer expectations, not producers. If consumers will tolerate it, they'll do it.

I can see the argument that there is a question of responsibility in all of this, but again the bottom line is that it's all about the money and if people aren't offended by it producers will carry on, as they should, because they're running a business.

Your issue should not be with the people who cast Depp, but the ones who aren't offended by it. So I'll ask you this question: do you have a problem with people NOT being offended over the casting of Johnny Depp in a Native American role?

#50
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Anyone playing blackface is going to get panned, unless it's a goof like Downey in Tropic Thunder. The reality of racial sensitivity is that some forms raise flags (anything involving blacks or jews) and others don't (pretty much all the rest). This is indicative of consumer expectations, not producers. If consumers will tolerate it, they'll do it.

I can see the argument that there is a question of responsibility in all of this, but again the bottom line is that it's all about the money and if people aren't offended by it producers will carry on, as they should, because they're running a business.

Your issue should not be with the people who cast Depp, but the ones who aren't offended by it. So I'll ask you this question: do you have a problem with people NOT being offended over the casting of Johnny Depp in a Native American role?



If Depp has red pain on his face then thats wrong.

You are right that no one could wear blackface and no one should. However what if you had an actor that had one black grandparent and three white ones. Now lets say most people would call him white at first glance, not knowing his heritage because his skin is light and his hair isnt that dark. Now lets say a part comes along where thats intended for a black man but when this guy shaves his head and you can't see his hair he looks more "black". Can eh play the part? And if so, why can he at 1/4 black play a black man while Depp at 1/8 Native American can't play a Native American?

I mean what if Derek Jeter were an actor? Could he play white guys? Could he play black guys? Im guessing hed get casted as Latino guys all the time. Would that be okay?

Also at what point does this stop. There are people complaining that Depp is playing a Native American. Yet no one would complain if a Cherokee played a Navajo. That's just lumping all these different tribes together, which is racist in its own right. Its like saying "they are all just Indians". What Tribe is Tonto, should we look for someone from that exact tribe? From that exact region? Or is just being an Indian good enough?

Thats really the problem here, Bodega is trying to be the arbiter of identity. Its beyond doubt that Depp is 1/8th Native American and thats not good enough. Would 1/4? 1/2? What if he were 1/8th and was raised in a Native American community? Would that be ok. And under what umbrella is it ok to play a Native American? Any Indian can play any other Indian or does it have to be the same tribe? Or the same part of the country. Can an Eskimo play an Apache? How about a Mayan playing an Algonquin?

My point is this: See the movie. If Depp is out there making a mockery of Native Americans then be offended. My guess is that he won't.

Edited by The Choc, 10 March 2012 - 05:11 PM.

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