Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Hollywood’s latest craze: names.

One can generally find some reason for unusual trends in Hollywood. True, the notoriously unresponsive business is normally reacting to something that happened years previously. Recall, for instance, how the 1960s didn’t happen in Hollywood until 1971 or so. I …

Tue, Oct 23, 2012, 18:59

   
YouTube Preview Image

One can generally find some reason for unusual trends in Hollywood. True, the notoriously unresponsive business is normally reacting to something that happened years previously. Recall, for instance, how the 1960s didn’t happen in Hollywood until 1971 or so. I cannot, however, understand why the film industry has suddenly fallen for the eponymous adaptation of bestselling thrillers. Exhibit One: At the end of the year, Lee Child, among the world’s bestselling authors, belatedly sees one of his Jack Reacher books translated to the big screen. Tom Cruise stars in Jack Reacher.  Exhibit Two: James Patterson, who sells even more books than Child, is back in the movie business with another adaptation — following two starring Morgan Freeman — of one of his Alex Cross novels. Tyler Perry stars in Alex Cross. Exhibit Three: In a year’s time, resurrecting a franchise that previously featured Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck, Kenneth Branagh addresses Tom Clancy’s master spy Jack Ryan. Chris Pine stars in Jack Ryan. Think of recent revivals such as Rocky Balboa or (as it was known in some territories) John Rambo and one must conclude that a movement is afoot.

Somewhere there is a memo that explains the thinking here. It seems improbable the studios are responding to the, ahem, massive success of John Carter. Could they really be reacting to the genuine hit that was Sherlock Holmes? That appears almost as unlikely. Holmes has a much greater recognition factor than those of Ryan, Cross and Reacher. Calling your film Sherlock Holmes is a little like calling your movie Jesus Christ. The internal bells ring deafeningly.

If the technique works it could have tedious consequences. Maybe, the next 007 film will be called James Bond. Perhaps Peter Jackson will title his second Hobbit film Bilbo Baggins. What’s so terribly wrong with proper titles? Oh well. I at least provides me with the meat for a trivia question in the weekly quiz.

 

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email for the activation code.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 10 days from the date of publication.