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David Poland

By David Poland

Hard Summer Questions, Part 2

How do you solve a problem like The Wolfie?
We have now moved into the last few days before the X-Men Origins: Wolverine is released. Tracking is solid. The Mexican opening has been delayed, but the rest of North America seems to be good to go. The film has been seen by a lot of press now, particularly the junketeers. The illegal leak of the film is sure to be mentioned in a majority of features and reviews in the days to come. Whatever the box office number, it will be spun by different people in different ways.
Last Friday, I wrote about the anonymous story on AICN and others picking up on that story. My core notion was that the story

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12 Responses to “Hard Summer Questions, Part 2”

  1. MDOC says:

    Care to venture a domestic box office prediction? I’m getting a Hulk/Fantastic 4 vibe in terms of quality and audience anticipation. The core audience is ready, everyone else will need convincing and word of mouth won’t help the cause.
    The first week of May is a great spot but Wolverine just isn’t bringing the goods. 300 million is a pipe dream, 200 million is probably the best case scenario. Put me down for $170 million.

  2. LYT says:

    When I heard the talk of “ester eggs” I thought they were talking about the DVD.
    So the post-credits scene I just saw won’t be on all prints?

  3. Tell me one thing: What’s the thesis of this piece?

  4. Hallick says:

    “Tell me one thing: What’s the thesis of this piece?”
    Crap, it has to be ONE thing?
    The thesis of the piece is as follows: in this day and age, when the internet has created a porous environment in which next to nothing about the product or the process of creating the product can be held back from the public eye, studios and journalists are struggling to adapt their standard operating procedures and kept up with the almost ravenous appetite of online users for content on demand, whether it’s ready or not, and whether it’s ethical or not to feed such a hunger.
    I think. I dunno, it was a pretty fuzzy entry.

  5. Kris, can you explain why it appeared you were twittering DURING your screening of Wolverine? Please tell me you weren’t.

  6. Okay, nevermind. I re-read them and it appears you were live-twittering the X2?

  7. jeffmcm says:

    Kris: I agree.

  8. TMJ says:

    “And if you are a film lover, the footage of unfinished effects is kind of interesting when you see the final version. It

  9. LYT says:

    The only extra I wanted on the Transformers DVD were CGI models of the bots that you could see transform at the touch of your remote. And it didn’t have that.

  10. Camel: No, I certainly wasn’t Twittering during Wolverine. In fact, I nearly smacked some annoying chick in the back of the head who was constantly checking her BlackBerry.

  11. Yeah sorry about that. Such is the problem with twitter – must read more carefully in future.

  12. storymark says:

    Dave… Both “easter egg” endings were on the workprint…

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon