Hollywood is rather risk-averse during the summer season. It is all about getting as many butts in seats, and popcorn in the belly as possible. No one in Hollywood wants to miss out on a summer blockbuster.
Because of the low tolerance for risk, storylines tend to be rather formulaic—the simpler the pitch the better. Here’s our take on five Hollywood releases this summer, and our imagined Hollywood Pitch of the storyline:
The Kings of Summer:
Hollywood Pitch: “Stand By Me” meets “Parks and Recreation.”
Three boys run away from home to spend their summer in suburbia-adjacent woods with a plan to build a house and live off the land. Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman play parents any kid would run away from.
Hollywood Pitch: “Dude, Where’s My Car” meets “True Blood”
Perhaps the worst title ever (after Snakes on a Plane and hot Tub Time Machine), this ludicrous tale is not for the religiously conservative set. But we say, what’s better than an apocalyptic comedy? “I’m not going to let the Anti-Christ steal my girlfriend, Dad!”
Hollywood Pitch: "Goodfellas" meets "The Sopranos."
The Iceman is based on the life of the New Jersey contract killer Richard Kuklinksi. Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder Chris Evans, David Schwimmer, James Franco and Stephen Dorff — and even Ray Liotta for a true Goodfellas influence.
Hollywood Pitch: "Mad Men" Meets Doris Day at a typing competition
“Welcome to the 39th Annual Typewriting Competition of the World.” Populaire is a French period piece focused on a speed typing competition with a quirky love angle. Yes, you heard me right—a speed typing competition in 1950’s Paris. Who among us ever used a typewriter? Or remembers any of our high school French? Still, it looks like it could be a lot of fun, and a good Saturday date night flick.
Now You See Me
Hollywood Pitch: "Ocean's Eleven" Meets Penn & Teller (and Siegfried & Roy)
Replace George Clooney and Brad Pitt with Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Isla Fisher, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman and you’ve got “Now You See Me.” FBI agents track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money. What could be more entertaining than that?