“I’LL BRING THIS FRANCHISE BACK FOR YA…”
But it’s not going to be easy. Big flick. It’s not like going back to the well for superheroes and buddy cops. Fans of this franchise get wind of it? They’ll boycott your box office whole. Some social media shaking. Trolls tweeting to tenderize ya. Down careers go.
Luckily Tinseltown Takedown has always been well and able to brings the goods to the table. This isn’t some limp dick flim-flam flick out to recycle the original’s greatest hits like it’s got the Halloween shits. Not at this house, sonny-jim.
Purists will call it blasphemy. It’s to be expected. No doubt outrage junky flunkies will go into conniptions getting their fixings off the word when it breaks. They’ll spew vitriol fuel. Further flame for the lame digital Dumpster fire that is Twitter, birthplace of cancel culture. Not to worry. Once word gets out over opening weekend, those same lame naysayers will jump that sinking shit show ship real quick.
However, to be on board for what’s in store requires radical thinking. Look at it like this: Marvel Studios made a boatload of dough off the production paradigm of its movies entwined in a “shared universe” capable of splintering into a “multiverse.” Now every major movie studio considers their franchised flicks with a sequel or more as a universe. Lucky us.
The key to salvaging the flatlined franchise from the bottom of the motion picture ocean and return it to the surface of silver screens means rebooting the first Hollywood sequel to use the number 2 in its title.
“KNOW WHAT I DO FOR A LIVING…”
Like my Uncle Benny used to say, then yell at random hours of the morning, “If you can’t beat ’em, hit harder. Nothing? Screw it. Join ’em.” So then…welcome to the AMITYverse.
It’s understandable no sane JAWS fan would be keen on the idea of using the retcon gimmick. However, when Takedown wields the retcon wand to wipe out the sins of the sequels to the shark movie with no equals, you can damn well take it to the bank there’ll be some stank on it. The good kind of stank. Not any of that dank stinky stank rank other retcon reboots reek of.
This JAWS 2 reboot recruit will be ditching pretty much the whole rigamarole of the 1978 movie. Regrettably, that includes the movie’s most memorable moment: the showdown between Shark and Man Made Machine. The machine in question is the harbor patrol helicopter. There’s always been something about the cruel fate of the doomed rescue pilot no one ever seems to mention.
When this rescue pilot shows up, he does so with the kind of confidence found only in a man sporting an Abe Lincoln beard can have. One look at those chin whiskers lets the audience know beardo means business. In no time, his helicopter is safely set on the sea surface. Following his perfect catch of the rope tossed from the atoll of wrecked boats, he assures the teens of their safety. Then he hops back in the ‘copter like a boss. Just another day at the office.
Until this happens.
When the shark chomps down on the landing pontoon, weird beard doesn’t know wether to shit or wind his watch. To be fair, this type of situation probably didn’t come up in the training curriculum. The doomed pilot basically becomes an easy opportunity to up the kill count and the shark to get a bite off something besides the kids menu.
The real tragedy here is how ol’ beardo’s death could’ve been avoided. Real simple, too. All it would’ve taken to put him on point would’ve been if someone, anyone maybe mentioned to the pilot about the psycho Great White Shark trying to kill them! Far as I’m concerned, those kids would be on the hook for the pilot’s death.
Whoo…that felt good to get off the chest. Alright, enough of this sharkin’ and jivin’. Time to get radical.
“I’VE GOT SOMETHING FOR YOU NOW!”
If there’s anywhere to lay the blame for this type of approach to movie making, look no further than Marvel Studios and its lucrative multi-universe. Now a franchise with a few sequels under the belt can be considered a “universe.” Consider this reboot of Part Two existing on an “alternate timeline.” This should appease the purists, allowing them to go see the new sequel without feeling like they’re cheating on the original JAWS.
Here at the AMITYverse, alternate timelines can be your friend.
With respect to the original and its world wide fans, there’s only one way to handle the retcon required to bring Bruce out of retirement. Through the movie’s marketing campaign, audiences will know going in what the premise of the reboot is. Therefore there’s no need to show Hooper and Chief Brody getting the shaking and tenderizing Quint received in one of the best and bloodiest demises in movie history.
Good stuff, am I right? Who knew Quint had the gift of premonition? He sure as shit didn’t. Quint goes down hard core and Robert Shaw nails the desperation in the old sea salt’s struggle to keep from getting lunched.
Takedown shameless promotion aside, Quint’s onscreen death is to JAWS what the chest buster is to ALIEN. There’s no need to repeat it or try to beat it. Something JAWS 3D paid no heed to and gave the franchise an official black eye thanks to this bounce house with teeth point of view.
The retcon approach can work. When properly applied as instructed, it’ll bring the bucks in by the truckloads. Better than stacks of box office greenbacks, this retcon returns the fear factor of the original. That is what JAWS fans want to feel again.
Now you have a proper sequel with all kinds of potential. The story can take place within a week of the Orca’s doomed voyage. It could also be present day and Amity Island could be a community haunted by the disappearance at sea of Chief Brody, Captain Quint, and that marine biologist fella from the mainland. How have the Brody family dealt with it? Maybe they’ve long since moved away, making room for all new characters. The plot possibilities are plentiful.
“I KNOW WHAT A SHARK LOOKS LIKE…”
The thing with all of the subsequent sequels in the JAWS franchise is that each time it’s a different shark. This causes the follow up flicks to suffer from a phrase coined while brainstorming in Takedown‘s Drink Tank. It’s called DIE HARD-itus. Or in layman’s terms, “How can the same thing happen to the same family twice?” With each time it’s a different shark?
Not this time. The retcon’s ruse for sacrificing Brody and Hooper is to bring back Bruce, the original shark from JAWS. Having the greatest Great White shark ever seen on the screen will skewer viewers knowing it’s the shark responsible for the deaths of the trio of fan favorites Quint, Hooper, and Brody. This is the shark that made you look over your shoulder when you were swimming in the deep end of the pool.
This means the shark in this reboot has to be built to look exactly like Bruce, the original shark. In order for everything to work, the audience has to emotionally connect to this new AMITYverse. When they see Bruce stiffly stalking the sea, still alive and hungry? The audience will subconsciously transfer all of the fear and villainy felt from the first time they saw the same shark in JAWS onto the same shark onscreen. Symbiosis between movie and audience will be complete.
In order for Universal to bring Bruce back to the big screen there are a few absolutes to follow. To dismiss any one of these crucial key elements is a sure fire way to doom this reboot to Davey Jones’ Locker.
First and foremost is do not announce this flick as part of a trilogy or some goofy shit like that. It reeks of “cash grab.” Also, it’s an admission the movie will essentially be a two hour commercial with a cheesy cliff hanger ending. Trust, there are endings to lend a finality, yet just enough to keep the ship sailing. Let the audience decide by the money offered to box office coffers as to whether another flick is in the future.
Secondly, fuck fan service. Same goes for “Easter eggs.” Double goes for call backs on any classic lines from the original. It smacks of ass kissing. These winks at fandom only succeed at turning the movie into less than it is. Leave lame-ass fan service to the STAR WARS franchise. it has no place in thee AMITIYverse.
Lastly and most importantly is this: NO DIGITAL FX for the shark. Bruce must be brought back by rebuilding it to the same specs as the original. It’s what the audience wants and what they expect. After all, it is supposed to be the same Great White. Bruce doesn’t need a digital facelift from Industrial Light & Magic.
What Universal doesn’t want to do is get cute with mixing digital effects with the practical Bruce. This will be hard to resist. However, let’s be clear. A creature feature reboot is doomed to fail if digital fx are blended in with the actual practical onscreen monster. It’s the quickest way to betray the audience. Just ask anyone who saw this garbage from the reboot/prequel to THE THING.
With the advice in this here article and map of the cinematic traps to avoid, at this point potential for franchise resurrection is for Universal to flounder. Let’s face it. Just the attention on the retcon factor alone will draw a lot of dollars out of must see curiosity. By treating the retcon as a genuine storytelling tool rather than a lazy device, JAWS fans will respect a movie that respects them.
Of course there is in fact one other approach to bringing Bruce back thats even more radical than the retcon angle: the genre mashup. Luckily for you reader, Takedown isn’t above committing another act of shameless self promotion. Why? Because you deserve the best. As always, this mashup is brought to you by resident movie mashup mix master Olivus Stoney.
Remember, you won’t find content like this on any of the other same-same lame-lame regurgitating entertainment news websites. Is this what makes Tinseltown Takedown better than the rest?
Does a scarecrow have straw balls?
As always, you’re welcome.