My favorite Stupid Evil Bastard points to the trailer of the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory remake that casts Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka. (No word on John Kerry co-starring as an oompa loopma.) Now, I liked the first CatCF, and I enjoy Johnny Depp as an actor (something I say about very few of the most left-wing jesters Hollywood spews forth), but why isn't Tim Burton putting his considerable creative skills towards a more original project?

It's easy for me to imagine being in Mr. Burton's shoes and getting a thrill from the opportunity to remake one of my favorite movies. Heck, if I had a billion dollars I'd love to take a stab at Star Wars or Raiders of the Lost Ark, even though it'd be a given that I couldn't make anything to compare with the originals. So maybe that's the explanation. You can't get big doing remakes, but once you are big you can indulge yourself.

As for Hollywood in general, it's inevitable that big-budget movies will get less and less creative. No one wants to risk capital on a new idea that might not fly. As I've written before (though I can't find the link) the modern movie industry treat books as a sort of minor league for ideas. It's far cheaper and easier to publish a book than to produce a movie (though publishing a book still isn't trivial), and any idea that can carry a movie can also carry a book (though not vice-versa, obviously).



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