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WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE Has A New Release Date! But... What Will We See?

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. That’s the question right now. We have a very impassioned letter that showed up in the Geek Headquarters mailbox recently that seems like the perfect companion piece for the announcement (which I'd link you to, except is a shitshow that rarely works right) that Warner will release the film in October of 2009. I’m sure I’ll be able to weigh in on my own feelings about this one at some point, and I can tell you that passions are running high on all sides about what form this film will finally take. For now, I’ll leave you with the heartfelt words of one first-time spy, moved to finally send us something because of just how strongly he feels about what he’s seen:

Harry, I’m writing to you tonight out of desperation. I heard through the grapevine that Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are is in danger of being recast, rewritten, and reshot. Having seen an early cut in December, all I can say is I’m beside myself with shock and dismay at this news. But before we delve any further into that, I feel I should explain why this is the most terrible news I’ve heard since Michael Bay created Platinum Dunes. I’m afraid that to do so, I must take you into spoiler territory… I really can’t begin to tell you how much I love this film. Even in its most incomplete form, WTWTA is startlingly dark, adult and deep, but it’s also the most accurate depiction of childhood and that moment where we begin to lose our naïve thoughtless innocence that I’ve ever seen. Take, for example, Carroll, the WT voiced by James Gandolfini. He’s both Max’s best friend and a jealous, petty, violent monster. It’s positively heart-wrenching and scary to watch, but at the same time it’s completely understandable because he’s hurt and acting out because he’s losing touch with his sister who’s outgrowing him, much like Max’s sister back in the real world. I’m sure you’ve seen the test clip by now, the one with the line “Yeah, robots are the best.” The one where the WT, Carroll, simply turns and walks away from Max, his heart breaking on the screen. That’s pretty much how this movie in a nutshell—in the most wonderful way possible. That one simple bit, how a child can say something so seemingly innocent without thinking, about how a simple statement can have devastating effects we’re almost completely unaware of—or could possible anticipate—is central to the story. Max, according to reports, is considered “unlikable” by the studio execs handling this movie. I don’t see that at all. Max is a lonely, frustrated child whose older sister has no time for him and neither does his single mother. He wants what every child wants: to be loved, paid attention to, understood, and he’s not getting that and he’s too young to really know how to get what he wants—he lacks the ability to articulate those feelings because, on some unconscious level, he doesn’t really understand them yet. He does what all creatures do when they’re angry and frustrated: he lashes out. Then he runs away to the world of the Wild Things. The Wild Things are wonderful because they’re so perfectly a product of Max’s imagination. They talk like him and they understand him without explanation. Max runs away after his mother yells at him for soaking his sister’s bedroom—an act of retaliation against her because she let her friends bully him. “You could have caused permanent damage to the floorboards!” his mother shouts. Later, while talking to one of the WTs before bed, Max explains why he ran away. “I caused permanent damage.” He doesn’t need to explain any further—his new friend understands. At the same time, the WTs become a valuable learning tool for Max. They declare him their king, which seems like a pretty neat idea. But WTs, like people, need a leader who takes care of them. Max tries his best to lead, but what does he know? He’s just a kid and he makes lousy choices that upset and in some cases physically harm his new friends. To me, this is Max beginning to understand one of the most important lessons of childhood: he’s not the only person in the world who matters and that life is equally lonely, hard, and painful for everyone around him. He really gets a taste of what it must be like to be a grownup and have to worry about other people (only in this case there’s always that chance that they will eat him if he screws up too badly). The WTs also embody his personal relationships among themselves: there’s a brother/sister duo, a mother & son, an angry and frustrated one and another who’s so shy that he only speaks to Max once. By allowing him to see mirror images of his personal relationships/aspects of his personality, the WTs are allowing him the opportunity to safely come to terms with his own issues. The movie ends with him coming home and hugging his mother. That’s it. No big conversation about where he’s been or what he’s done. Just a hug. “I get it now/I’m sorry/its okay/I love you” it’s all there in that one moment. Needless to say, this isn’t a movie for children—it’s a movie about childhood and the first fleeting moments where you start to become aware of the world around you and realize you’re not the center of the universe. This is a movie for parents to share with their children when they get older, when they’re dealing with these same feelings of being hurt and lonely and unloved and misunderstood. This is a movie for old friends to watch together, to remind them of their childhood in a much more profound way than simply by geeking out about days past, movies we loved and our favorite toys (which it seems are now coming back as movies). This is one of those rare timeless movies that people will revisit again and again and again throughout their life, each time finding something different to love. This movie is Fred Savage’s grandfather saying “As you wish” at the end of The Princess Bride. This movie is the look Susan gives to 12-year-old Josh as he walks away at the end of Big. This movie is River Phoenix fading away at the end of Stand by Me. This movie is important and special. Spike made this movie for us. We have to save it. I’m writing to you tonight because I think you might be the only person in the world who understands where I’m coming from and because I want you to understand that we can’t let this film slip away. I’ve read your site for so long that I feel like we could almost be friends. While I sometimes disagree with your reviews (Hatchet), I have a deep admiration for your ability to approach every film you watch with and open mind and an open heart. There’s always a moment or two in your writing where I marvel at how your mind operates—your King Kong review comes to mind. The only thing I remember is a comment you made about the brontosaurus stampede and how tragic it was that these magnificent creatures are going to die slowly at the hands of time and the teeth of predators in a crumpled broken heap. I read that before seeing the movie; when I did see it, I was saddened by that scene because I couldn’t get the imagery of “two weeks later after the boat is gone” out of my head. It’s for little things like this that you need to see WTWTA. Please, Harry, help me save this movie from becoming The Cat in the Hat. I don’t know where to begin. Even some advice—anything—would be helpful. I don’t want to be just another wackjob with an online petition. This needs to be more than that. This needs to be a united front: movie geeks, fanboys, cinephiles and anyone else who is as starved and desperate for the return of truly magical storytelling. This is that return. We can’t let it slip through our fingers. Even if I can’t change the cinematic world, I would love to at the very least scream loud enough so that Spike & Dave Eggars and company hear us and know that we support them even if the studio does not. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to make such a deeply personal film and have it shredded for the sake of slapping some cartoon monsters on lunch boxes. If I can, in any way, make it known to them that they (just like Max) aren’t alone, I’ll consider this at the very least a bittersweet victory. I love the work of these men dearly and I can’t bear to think of how discouraging this must be on both a professional and a creative level. I want them to continue to challenge and entertain me, and I want them to know it. Please, help me try and make a difference. For all of us. Help me Obi-Geek Kenobi, you’re my only hope. Sincerely, Cinemaniac1979
Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 27, 2008, 6:17 p.m. CST

    i'm worried as fuck!

    by bob oblaw

    it's makin me sick!

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 6:19 p.m. CST

    Who wrote this? Spike Jones himself?

    by moondoggy2u

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 6:20 p.m. CST

    Oh, and judging by that weird video

    by moondoggy2u

    that has been making the rounds lately, I can see why many would want this thing scrapped and redone.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 6:21 p.m. CST


    by irrelevntelefant


  • Feb. 27, 2008, 6:21 p.m. CST


    by irrelevntelefant

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 6:25 p.m. CST

    I know someone in post-production

    by Mr. Gunderson

    on this and he's on hiatus because they totally stopped work for now. Hopefully they can get it together because he seemed optimistic about the film.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 6:30 p.m. CST

    i haven't seen it but...

    by robot_parade

    i'm with you, cinemaniac. hate the haters, love the lovers. passion is ten million times more important than what appears on a lunchbox, even when it's not appreciated. if there's a petition, i'll sign it.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 6:31 p.m. CST


    by Bernard Black

    Did the studio watch any of his movies before they moved forward on this? Did they really expect The Grinch ? And really, what's wrong with a great movie that they'll be able to sell for decades instead of a crap movie that will be forgotten after 3 weeks?

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 6:34 p.m. CST


    by The Pusher

    I haven't seen any test footage or screening of this, but based solely on this letter, I'm willing to support whatever this person wants to do. Jonze's "Where The Wild Things Are" sounds like a movie I would absolutely love, and it kills me to know that it exists and I might never ever get to see it. So, I don't know about anyone else, but count me in.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Who wrote this letter?

    by LoneGun

    It sounds very much like someone connected to the project, not just an appreciator of the film but someone personally involved. Either way, this is one passionate plea. I think, the studios should recognize that Spike Jonze has a unique style of filmmaking. If they were bold enough to produce his film from the start, they should stand behind him to the end. That said, it's always easy to side with an eccentric director. Perhaps Jonze did not deliver the film he said he would. Who knows?

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Fuck the studio execs

    by slone13

    They're the reason this industry is in such shambles as it is.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 6:42 p.m. CST


    by Brians Life

    Moondoggy, you're either an idiot or 14 years old or both. Spike Jonze is one of the most creative film makers of our time. <br><br>EXECUTIVE DOUCHEBAGS...don't let the opp for a timeless classic slip so that you can join the Mercedes club. Yeah, it's not THAT simple, I know...but still, there's some one out there that's making the decision.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 6:43 p.m. CST

    Let us see Spike's version!

    by odysseus

    The studio made a decision to hire him; they should live with it. If it's everything this writer says it is, the movie sounds too special to be buried. If it truly is a wild thing... then set it free!

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 6:45 p.m. CST

    RE: Leaked footage

    by Mr. Gunderson

    Wasn't that proven like a week ago that that footage was a test and that it in no way resembled the finished product? I believe this very site had a statement from Spike saying so.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Brian's life

    by moondoggy2u

    To be perfectly honest, I couldn't give two shits about how good a director Jonze is, the fact is that video clip that was released/leaked was an absolutely uninteresting mess. Sure, they got the look of the main critter so that it greatly resembles his 2-D incarnation, but the environment bore no resemblence to the children's book and the acting and pacing made the whole thing seem more disturbing and dull than entertaining. <p>Oh, and as for being an idiot, that's fine--call me what you will, but I wasn't the only one who questioned the direction in lieu of the source material.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Well, I hope that is the case, Gunderson

    by moondoggy2u

    I've been on here a lot more regular than normal these past couple of weeks, but I guess I missed Spike's statement. I do recall, however, that a lot of rumors were flying around that the leaked footage was actual footage from the film. <p>Do you have the link to Spike's statement?

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 6:56 p.m. CST


    by Mr. Gunderson

    Can't find the link for this site because their search engine suck bu here's the story on Filmdrunk

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 6:56 p.m. CST

    It's Not Footage...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... from the actual film. It was a pre-shoot test done to determine how they'd do the monsters, a test to show to the studio. <P>But I sort of disagree with Spike when he says it's "nothing" like the movie. This reviewer said it best... that clip catches a tone that is definitely present in the film as it exists right now.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Damnit, Mori...

    by Mr. Gunderson

    I wish we could hear your thoughts on the film, especially given the state of the film, we keep getting these small tidbits of an opinion. Understandable but frustrating.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 6:59 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Gunderson, and Moriarty

    by moondoggy2u

    Well, if that is the tone of the film, as the reviewer intimates, then its all wrong with the book. In the book, the creatures were smiling and happy. In that test footage, it just seemed creepy...kind of like Donnie Darko or something.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7 p.m. CST

    Does Spike seriously not have final cut?

    by Bungion Boy

    Or creative control? He's Spike Fucking Jonze! I figured that whatever he shot, whether the studio liked it or not, would not be able to be changed. This pisses me off. My friend saw this and said it was one of the strangest, most unique things he'd ever seen.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:02 p.m. CST

    weirder and frakking weirder

    by newc0253

    one week we get 'test footage' that is distinctly lo-fi and naturalistic. it's also very charming in its own way but very much at odds with the very stylised look of the book.<p> next week we get a note from Mr Jonze saying it's just test footage.<p> now we get this passionate rant against the corporate suits messing with Jonze's artistic vision.<p> three things occur to me:<p> one, this production seems troubled.<p> two, i'm happy to give Jonze the benefit of the doubt. i've never seen a film of his that wasn't ten kinds of clever.<p> three, if that wasn't test footage, though, it may just be possible that Jonze disappeared up his own ass with this one and the suits are right.<p>

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:03 p.m. CST

    Moondoggy...which would you rather?

    by Brians Life

    Serious question...if there was no middle ground would you rather a WTWTA made for adults or kids? <br><br>Also, sorry for the sharpness...not my usual bag. Been a rough week at work. Peace?

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:04 p.m. CST

    Also, in the test footage...

    by moondoggy2u

    why was the kid wearing the bunny suit instead of a wolf costume? I never did understand that one.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:04 p.m. CST

    Also Moondoggy...

    by Brians Life

    ...ah, it's already been pointed out, but also that is not only NOT a scene from the movie...but also not a set (it was shot in Griffith Park here in LA) and not the kid who's in the movie and not the suit from the movie.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:05 p.m. CST

    no worries, Life

    by moondoggy2u

    I would have it made for kids. My reasoning is that the author made a children's book and not a more cynical, slightly disturbing novel.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:05 p.m. CST


    by Brians Life

    Spike Jonez said last week that the kid in the test scene is wearing a Lamp costume they bought real cheap.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:06 p.m. CST

    "In the book, the creatures were smiling and happy"

    by newc0253

    yes, but to give Jonze the benefit of the doubt again, i don't think a free adaptation of the book precludes taking some significant liberties in order to catch the spirit of the thing.<p> also bear in mind the book is really short. anyone spinning that thing out to at least 90 minutes would have to supply plenty of exegesis.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:06 p.m. CST

    Moon...than I greatly respect your opinion...

    by Brians Life

    ...but I don't think you're gonna like this movie for any reason. From what I've heard it's more disturbing and adult, but not at all graphic or anything so kids can still watch it. I'm expecting the reaction to be something like HAPPY FEET only better....if that makes sense.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:09 p.m. CST

    Yeah, I didn't know that it was just test footage

    by moondoggy2u

    I guess I didn't get the memo. Still, for me, the tone of that footage is what proved most problematic; it was just all wrong. If the film really is like that, I can see why studio execs might balk.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:09 p.m. CST

    Damn fine review!

    by SkinJob69

    Sounds like they really made something that respects and transcends Sendak's book. Gotta see this!

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:09 p.m. CST

    The Book

    by drew mcweeny

    It's a book about a temper tantrum. <P>Whatever else it is... whatever we attach to it in our love of the images or the art or the design or our memories of hearing it as children... it's a book about a child having a tantrum and then returning to his mother's embrace when it's done. And one would hope that, whatever version the final film takes, it would honor that primary theme. <P>Personally, I'd love to know what Sendak thinks of it.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:11 p.m. CST


    by The Funketeer

    Nothing like taking a classic children's book and making the movie for adults. Lord knows there's so much quality fare out there for children right now. They don't need a good movie.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:11 p.m. CST

    I desperately want to see this

    by red_weed

    Please let them spend time to work on fx for spike's cut and not re-shoot the whole thing. It sounds just like the kind of film i love

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:12 p.m. CST

    Power to the People

    by jleft

    And there it goes... no longer a virgin. After 6 years of keeping track of this site I've found a page that I can't stay away from . Everyday it gets harder for me to understand why it is we are lead by the least amoung us. The future is such a long way off . Seems to me that the 90% of the planet that isn't tuned in are getting furthur & furthur out of tune . This is really making me sad.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:13 p.m. CST

    Hey, that's alright, Life

    by moondoggy2u

    I'm not exactly the target audience for this thing anyway, children's story or no. All I'm suggesting is that the "suits" might actually have a legitimate reason for disliking Jonze's direction, especially when you consider the idea that the suits may have been under the impression that they were adapting a children's book so that they could successfully market the film to, you know, children...

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:13 p.m. CST


    by Bob of the Shire

    Sounds like the studios have no idea how to sell this. And that's exactly the problem with Hollywood these days, films are made based solely on their marketability. I understand the need to make money, but when you're worrying more about the trailer for the film than the film itself, you've got a problem. <br> <br> Hopefully Spike can wrangle control of this film back and get his vision released. Even if it is terrible, I'd rather see his unique mess than another cookie-cutter kids flick.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:14 p.m. CST

    Kids or adults

    by Mr. Gunderson

    A good movie is a good movie. Neverending Story scared me when I was a kid every time I watched it... and I loved it. I think you try to make a good movie, not a good KIDS movie.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:16 p.m. CST

    "you’re not the center of the universe"

    by Yeti

    Sounds like this movie should be required viewing for all of generation "Y" and everyone born since.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:17 p.m. CST

    It seems to me most kids stories are a bit disturbing...

    by SkinJob69

    even the Disney films.<p> Why should this one be different.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:19 p.m. CST


    by moondoggy2u

    It might be that Jonze didn't know how to direct this. After all, he is the one that is taking a children's story and slapping a disturbing, adult tone on the thing. <p>On the other hand, if it turns out management is halting production just for the sake of fart jokes, than I'll be on the side of Jonze.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:22 p.m. CST

    Kill this abomination

    by Liberty Valance

    This is why you don't make a feature out of a 48 page kids' bedtime story and put some twisted misanthrope in charge of it. This "spy" (cast/crew member) describes it as "startlingly dark, adult and deep" that "isn’t a movie for children." I'm sure that's exactly what the movie execs wanted when setting out to adapt one of the most beloved childrens' books of all time. Fuck Spike Jonze and all this blind allegiance to him.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:24 p.m. CST

    "Blind Allegiance"

    by Brians Life

    How is that possible when we're WATCHING movies!?! That's just bad writing. <br><br>Go home before Jimmy Stewart pretends he shot you!

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:26 p.m. CST

    The Cat in the Hat movie was an abortion. . .

    by Uncle Stan

    . . . despite the source material being one of the top ten works of American literature. Screw you, Pynchon!!

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Might as well shit in my mouth

    by Gozu

    I was looking forward to this for SO LONG. Jim Henson + Spike Jonze + Monsters = awesome. To be fair, it's a problematic book to adapt into a movie because it's really just about a kid who plays with monsters. But everything I hear about it makes me believe it's a fine little movie that the suits are going to fuck up beyond recognition.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:30 p.m. CST

    They can't totally re-do this...

    by SkinJob69

    look at all these folks doing voice work:<p> Lauren Ambrose ... KW (voice) <p> Forest Whitaker ... Wild Thing (voice) <p> Catherine Keener <p> Catherine O'Hara ... (voice)<p> James Gandolfini

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:33 p.m. CST

    And Tom Hanks & Maurice Sendak are producers

    by SkinJob69

    Would they have let the production go too far off track? Doubt it.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:37 p.m. CST

    Maybe Sofia Copolla got to him...

    by Brians Life

    ...and included a WILD THING voiced by her. It's called "Dad?" and it's name is simply her line reading from the end of GODFATHER III.<br><br>This would set up WTHTA 2 in which "Dad?" leaves the Forest and uses her father's entertainment connection to make bad movies that French Audience's boo.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:41 p.m. CST

    I, for one, loved the test footage.


    This is one of the few books that suck with me from my childhood, even though I haven't read it in probably 15 years. I say fine if the studio wants to fuck with it, but they better release Spike's version at some point... completed.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:42 p.m. CST

    *stuck with me from childhood


    Wow, that sounded terrible.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Cap'n Jack

    by Beldo84

    A budget of $75 million might have something to do with it? But I think the people saying the execs might have a legit point are being silly. The best kids movies are the ones that were a little scary and a little over our heads when we were children, but we ultimately were able to gather what they were about: Willy Wonka, Watership Down, The Princess Bride, Neverending Story, E.T., Pinnochio, Big, etc.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 7:56 p.m. CST

    Watership Down kicked my childhood ass

    by SkinJob69

    Pretty darn violent as I recall. Very mature, philosophical content as well. Wouldn't mind seeing it remade for today's youngin's

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 8:03 p.m. CST


    by waggy

    I thought the studio was crazy from day 1 for giving this thing to Spike. I love the guy, and was excited to see how the movie turned out, but seriously, they should have known from the beginning that he was not going to turn in a kiddie movie for the masses. I'm disappointed by this news, but not the least bit surprised. Just compare the BO's of Alvin and the Chipmunks and Being John Malkovich (and if you think any other factor matters to the studios here, you're being naive)

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 8:11 p.m. CST

    Good Ol' Fashion Internet Power

    by ryandowneyjr

    The internet has a resonance. I think I read in an interview on CHUD that execs DO read these sites and we DO influence decisions. This sounds like a movie that we can all believe in, that will have a resonance like the Iron Giant or Toy Story. These were simply kids movies but they had a vision - much like THIS has a vision. We believe in Bird and in Pixar to deliver because they understand what childhood is really all about. Not like 90% of the shite that comes out. Not A Sharks Tale, not Robots, not the Grinch or Cat in the Hat. These movies are exactly what the studio want but are footnote joke in the history of children's films. If they play it right, if they believe in the vision then WTWTA will become a classic that will resonate for decades. We will buy DVD's and Special Editions and books and merchandise for our kids and our grandkids, smiling as we know the amazing thing we're bestowing upon them.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 8:13 p.m. CST what are WE gonna do about it?

    by Brians Life

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 8:14 p.m. CST

    I really believe in Spike

    by Kloipy

    even though it was test footage, what this guy wrote really touched my heart. I see this movie as being something special and Spike is a great person to bring it to life. I know a lot of people said 'it's not like the book' but seriously the book is pretty short and if we can get something that can go beyond the book I think that's wonderful. This is I guess just a special movie to me as I love WTWTA. I really hope we get something with depth instead a bunch of WT's farting and making stupid pop culture referrances. It's like the live action version of Peter Pan that came out a few years back. It was still fun, but it had an undercurrent of sadness throughout and one of the most true feelings about love and growing up than we get with most of the hollywood bullshit. I really hope that we can get something better with this movie and I hope Spike can stay on board and keep the vision intact

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 8:17 p.m. CST

    This just got elevated to the status of MUST SEE

    by gruntybear

    Jesus. If those four examples of what this movie embodies are at all accurate, ("as you wish", etc.) this very well could be a contender as one of my all-time favorite films. I'm very impressed when someone swings for the moon with something other than million $ FX. Even if this comes up short, the attempt will be worth seeing. My expectations are now amped. Please, please, please good sirs, give us Spike Jones' original vision unadulterated.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 8:22 p.m. CST

    And I was invited to that screening

    by s0nicdeathmonkey

    really wish I could have gone.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 8:24 p.m. CST



    they sign off on a director and a script and then want to hump him, and the film in the ass!

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 8:25 p.m. CST

    Oh God....

    by Gungan Slayer

    they're going to turn this into a complete suckfest...I can already see it happening. Bob of the Shire, I agree with when you said that studios these days don't know what the hell to do with these types of films. If it's a bit off, or a 'strange,' nonconventional film, the studios freak out. Sigh. This really is sad to hear, I was looking forward to seeing this.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 8:33 p.m. CST


    by Scorecard

    is a little TOO emotionally involved in what could be...

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 8:35 p.m. CST

    Sounds like the Wolfman.

    by hamslime

    These studio types must think that we got too spoiled in 2007 and our standards may be raised as a result. So I guess it makes sense that they would sabotage any movie that reeks of quality. You gotta keep the bar low if you want to clear it. As for kids, as long as there are monsters in it, they will watch it. If adults like it too, you've just expanded your audience. Something to keep in mind. The Dark Crystal is still selling DVDs, how many copies of Garbage Pail Kids: The Movie are getting moved?

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 8:37 p.m. CST

    Sounds like the Wolfman.

    by hamslime

    These studio types must think that we got too spoiled in 2007 and our standards may be raised as a result. So I guess it makes sense that they would sabotage any movie that reeks of quality. You gotta keep the bar low if you want to clear it. As for kids, as long as there are monsters in it, they will watch it. If adults like it too, you've just expanded your audience. Something to keep in mind. The Dark Crystal is still selling DVDs, how many copies of Garbage Pail Kids: The Movie are getting moved?

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 8:42 p.m. CST need to read the book again

    by bacci40

    those "happy smiling monsters" are very close to grimacing and snarling, as they represent the inner turmoil of a child's rage...if spike has chosen to change the tone of the story into what it is like to be a child left alone, so be it...but as mori pointed out, the heart of the story is the personification of a child's temper tantrum...which is why this book is so beloved by both children and parents

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 8:43 p.m. CST


    by The Internet

    If poeple from this production really are writing to/reading this page... SET UP MORE WTWTA SCREENINGS. No matter what state the film is in FX-wise - if you're confident you've got a classic in the works - screen it. Screen it for people who can look past whatever rough edges the FX may have - film schools, conventions, festivals, whatever - people who will appreciate what you're aiming for. Don't ask the studio - just get it out there. Immediately. Fuck the studio - they apparently already want to flush your movie - what more can they do? Claim some interns stole the film + set up screenings without Mr. Jonze's approval. Prove to the studio that this film has an audience. Hardly anyone gets to see half-finished FX movies - anyone truly interested in film would be interested in that opportunity for novelty's sake - if nothing else. Make this thing a legend before the studios bury it. ps - I'll sign any petition that'll help a Spike Jonze movie get finished. The man is a genius. He at least deserves the benefit of the doubt.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 8:45 p.m. CST


    by The Internet

    If people from this production really are writing to/reading this page... SET UP MORE WTWTA SCREENINGS. <br> No matter what state the film is in FX-wise - if you're confident you've got a classic in the works - screen it. <br> Screen it for people who can look past whatever rough edges the FX may have - film schools, conventions, festivals, whatever - people who will appreciate what you're aiming for. <br> Don't ask the studio - just get it out there. <br>Immediately. <br>Fuck the studio - they apparently already want to flush your movie - what more can they do? <br>Claim some interns stole the film + set up screenings without Mr. Jonze's approval. <br>Prove to the studio that this film has an audience. <br>Hardly anyone gets to see half-finished FX movies - anyone truly interested in film would be interested in that opportunity for novelty's sake - if nothing else. <br>Make this thing a legend before the studios bury it.<br><br> ps - I'll sign any petition that'll help a Spike Jonze movie get finished. <br>The man is a genius. <br> He at least deserves the benefit of the doubt.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 8:49 p.m. CST

    Sounds like the Wolfman.

    by hamslime

    These studio types must think that we got too spoiled in 2007 and our standards may be raised as a result. So I guess it makes sense that they would sabotage any movie that reeks of quality. You gotta keep the bar low if you want to clear it. As for kids, as long as there are monsters in it, they will watch it. If adults like it too, you've just expanded your audience. Something to keep in mind. The Dark Crystal is still selling DVDs, how many copies of Garbage Pail Kids: The Movie are getting moved?

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 8:49 p.m. CST

    come on WB

    by darthnoodle

    don't fuck this one up! Trust Spike Jonze. sure you may not make as much money as you would with some pedestrian piece of shit, but you will be making a movie that will last for years. sometimes art does trump commerce. you've been generous to directors such as kubrick, arronsofsky and foreman. add spike jonze to that list and give him carte blanche. if you must, make a direct to dvd sequel that is as stupid and inane as your executives seem to be.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Studio Execs GOTTA EAT!!!

    by BGDAWES

    Seriously though, I hope Spike's vision makes it to the screen; I fucking loved that test footage. <br> <br> I wouldn't mind if the whole film was like that.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 8:51 p.m. CST

    I hear Renny Harlin is free...

    by kikuchiyoboy

    Seriously, drop these execs off on an island until this movie is released. <br> <br> This is truly unsettling. WTWTA is one of my all time favorites and one of my all time favorite directors got to film it. They better leave their grimy hands of this thing. <br> <br> Who knows how the movie turned out, but that's the beauty of Spike Jonze. Viva La Jonze!!!!

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 8:55 p.m. CST

    why does the mother have to be a single parent?

    by bacci40

    and why does max need a sister? or this is all just to fill out the story, and does it allude to a concept that a single parent is just not very good at discipline?

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 8:56 p.m. CST

    This year's Golden Compass

    by performingmonkey

    I wonder if the studio regrets fucking with Compass now? I know a lot of Dark Materials fans didn't even go see it because of the news that the end was cut and other things had been fucked with. Northern Lights/The Golden Compass is one of the best fantasy books ever written and the movie we ended up with felt like an abomination (not Abomination, he's from this year's turd Hulk)

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:02 p.m. CST

    LOL The Internet

    by Gungan Slayer

    I love you're post/idea. LOL

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:07 p.m. CST

    Bacci...single parents ARE bad!

    by Brians Life

    Where have you been man? All cigarette smokers are thugs. Only underage teenage skanks and losers that need to grow up smoke pot. White women that work at magazines all have horrible romantic lives. Muslims are all suicide bombers and there are NO black people that wake up before 2pm. Israel is always correct. America is "too hot" to be heroic right now. Welcome to "The Way a Hollywood Exec Thinks 101"

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:08 p.m. CST

    The studio needs to grow some fucking balls


    and market it as a movie for adults. How about that? A movie for thoughtful adults but also appropriate for children. There is a market for a deep kids' films. Try something original, Warner Brothers. Not all kids are Hannah Montana fans. Just most of them. And I swear, this would be a huge hit with the college demographic, which I myself am a part of.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:08 p.m. CST

    find a link to the test footage here

    by nooneimportant come check us out! ninjas only please

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:09 p.m. CST

    Well, I just looked at the pages of the book

    by moondoggy2u

    And guess what? The creatures are all fuzzy, smiling happy creatures. In fact, it appears that is what makes the kid dissapointed/disgusted with them in the first place. Yeah, the book is about the kid's tantrum and the use of his imagination to escape punishment (but eventually learn his lesson), the wild things are all these happy, smiling critters.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:10 p.m. CST


    by captainalphabet

    save the film!

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:10 p.m. CST

    Three times! Sorry about that.

    by hamslime

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:11 p.m. CST

    And after rereading that book and rewatching footage

    by moondoggy2u

    There is a deffinate and noticable change in tone.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:15 p.m. CST

    Am I the ONLY ONE who LOVED the leaked clip?

    by PVIII

    I feel like I'm taking crazy pills here. Even if it was only a test, I thought it was fantastic...

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:15 p.m. CST

    Some of you People are idiots

    by BrightEyes

    READ THE BOOK! The book had a very dark and sad tone, and if you ever read it you would know that, buy the book, read it then talk about what the book is or isn't. LET SPIKE's VERSION COME OUT!

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:16 p.m. CST

    I'm glad Spike made it different from the book!

    by PotSmokinAlien

    Jesus Christ people, when I have kids i want them to read the fucking book since it is a classic work of art, it's not like i'd be like, 'hmm, how best to introduce my kids to one of my favorite books when i was little? Better pick the movie, since i don't have to teach them to read to enjoy it and they are otherwise identical.' Fuck that. I'd bet the reason Sendak himself is involved is because they *didn't* try to make some fucking cartoon facsimile of his work.<P>and The Internet, that is the best idea i've heard all day.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:16 p.m. CST

    Why is kids v. adults even a question?

    by Larry of Arabia

    The absolute best children's movies are for both. I don't want a dark adult movie from this books. I also don't want a watered down Cat in the Hat thing. I want to see the very best. I want to see something like ET, Dumbo, or Millions. A children's movie that brings fear and joy and can resonate with parents. This is what test screenings are for. If the reports are correct and children did run out crying, remember this is a preK - K book, the movie failed. We can only hope that the right middle ground is reached instead of the studio panicking and making it into bland kiddie crap. It's an almost impossible target to hit and I wish them luck.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:18 p.m. CST

    I hope that Spike Jonze's vision makes it to the screen...

    by JackIsLost

    I would only add that it is very easy for people with no stake in the success of this film to INSIST that the studio release the film as is. It would be brave, surely. But a studio can only make so many $75 million no-money makers before they have to close up shop. Please bear that in mind...

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:20 p.m. CST

    Kid Idioteque

    by PotSmokinAlien

    'the college demographic' to studio suits is Van Wilder. 'hipsters' is closer to the moronic pigeonhole they'd pick for something like this... and they're afraid of 'hipsters.' too fickle.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:21 p.m. CST


    by PotSmokinAlien

    go back to hollywood

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:22 p.m. CST

    you dont even have to buy the book.

    by moondoggy2u

    they've got the pages all layed out online. Just google it and it comes up. <p>Bright Eyes--since I'm one of the idiots, I'll clarify this whole debae we're having. I'm not arguing that the book didn't have a dark tone. I'm simply arguing that it didn't have the weird, donny darko/disturbing tone that Jonze seems to have dreamt up. Also, I am suggesting that if the movie isn't intended for children, but rather, adults, then a studio that bought the rights to the children's book with the intention of making a children's movie might be justified in their trepidation. I'm not saying they're right or wrong. I'm just saying that there are two sides to this issue.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:24 p.m. CST

    No, I LOVED the leaked clip....

    by Brians Life

    ...which wasn't a CLIP at all, but test footage. I loved the clip though...fucking great.<br><br>I don't want an adaptation of a 20 page book in which a kid goes to his room for chasing the dog....I want something a little twisted. HELL, those were the BEST kids movies. Dark Crystal and The NeverEnding Story....those are the one's that stick with you.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:25 p.m. CST

    I agree, Larry

    by moondoggy2u

    Also, why is it that those of us who are suggesting that a studio could be justifiably nervous about their 75 million dollar investment are considered idiots.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:25 p.m. CST


    by Brians Life kids don't listen to Weezer anymore.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:26 p.m. CST

    I NEED this movie

    by afacewithaview

    I have been looking forward to this from Day One. Based on this plea, it is everything I was hoping it to be. With the new release date, it seems almost ceartain that there will be definite changes to the film. I'm trying to be optimistic and hope that they find away to keep the emotions, themes, and the maturity of this cut and make it a little less scary. Of course, I would love for them to release it as it is right now but that doesn't seem to be an option. Whatever changes are made I hope it is able to widen thier audience without losing its gut.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:27 p.m. CST

    Brian's Life

    by moondoggy2u

    Uhh, I work at a university. Trust me, the kids are still listening to Weezer.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:28 p.m. CST

    I GET why the studios nervouse....

    by Brians Life

    ...I'm sure they were thinking marketing would pay for itself w/ the Burger King toys and cool stickers for Trapper Keepers they can are my reasons for hoping that Spike gets his way this selfish...YOU BETCHA! I just wanna see a good movie...Spike has delivered one of them everytime.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:29 p.m. CST

    Hell, they're still listening to Green Day

    by moondoggy2u

    I can't even begin to fathom why.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:31 p.m. CST


    by El_Pollo_Diablo

    C'mon... you knew it was coming.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:32 p.m. CST


    by Brians Life

    Moon, don't do the "I'm more informed than you" Uhhhh at me...give me more respect than that.<br><br>Of course they're listening to Weezer, just as they are the Beetles, Dave Matthews and a ton of college mainstays....but I was refuting a specific point in which some one stated that college kids would flock to this movie if it had a Weezer soundtrack.<br><br>Do college kids enjoy Weezer enough for it to be the "BANNER COLLEGE BAND" into which all other college kids will follow?! <br><br>And congrats, I've worked at 6 Universities this year....and I'm not kidding.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:32 p.m. CST

    UHG...hate Green Day!!!!

    by Brians Life

    there is little that makes me more mad than when some one calls Green Day "punk"

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:38 p.m. CST

    Brian's life

    by moondoggy2u

    Give me a break. You've been copping an attitude all evening, kiddo, and the moment someone calls you out on it you turn this into a case of mine is bigger than yours. Believe me when I say that i am less than impressed by Internet Rambos and have little interest in your purported university experience. As for the poster that made the weezer comment, I think he was being a bit facetious, but considering where you've speaking from this evening, I'll understand if you're a bit hard of hearing.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:39 p.m. CST

    'the Beetles'

    by PotSmokinAlien

    give me a breek dude!

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Judging from...

    by PotSmokinAlien

    how happy and fulfilled Moondoogy and Brian's Life seem, I hereby vow to never work at a university ever in my life

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Can we focus here people?

    by TheSplinter

    One of the great works of child literature is about to be ass-raped by people who can't see past their own noses. I read this book to my kids all the time and truly enjoy that there are several pages where it is nothing but amazing drawings. The book is about imagination and how a child who can't express himself in anything other than a rage can come to grips with the changing world around him. While we all have to grow up, or try to, we still get stuck in those situations where we get pissed off, want to throw on the wolf suit and get back to the primal-scream tantrum stage we tried to leave behind. With Spike Jonze in charge and with the Henson puppets on board, we may have something close to the feel of the book. Too dark and scary for kids? Try to watch The Dark Crystal and not think, holy shit, we saw this as kids and didn't piss ourselves with fright. The most resonant stories from our youth revolve around dark things in life. Can't we demand that this movie stay true to the artist's vision? Especially if Sendak is on board? What I want us to do is stop bitching about college music and fucking focus on the shit that is being pulled on this movie. I don't like to get involved in talk backs too often, but dammit- this one is important. In fact, I am going to go right now and read this to my kids. Good night.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:44 p.m. CST

    nor should you, pot

    by moondoggy2u

    I have a life-long love for Guiness, so I'm satisfied ;)

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:45 p.m. CST


    by Proman1984


  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:49 p.m. CST

    Giving you a break...

    by Brians Life

    Sorry brother, but typically mine is bigger than yours. And how much of an "attitude" have I been coping?<br><br>Despite your non interest, I work in reality TV, did a University Tour this year w/ 2 shows...get past it.<br><br>Where am I speaking from? Los Angeles?<br><br>PotSmokinAlien...yeah, you got me on that one. Fast typing is no excuse for that. I can play Norwegian Wood on guitar if that makes up for it all!?!<br><br>Facetious? You think? (get it) He was making a sarcastic comment w/ intentions of negativity regarding the movie which is part of the subject. Am I wrong?<br><br>No, Leo, I didn't think you were serious and the fact that you asked makes me think if there is just something fundamentally wrong with the way I speak on the internet.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:50 p.m. CST

    speaking of good kids movies: MILLIONS

    by PVIII

    I'd make my kid watch THAT great movie.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:50 p.m. CST

    Ergh. Its gone. Its a disaster and its all over...

    by Tourist

    ...Just let it die. Bury it and let it surface on shady bootlegs years from now. EVERYTHING this guy says gives the studios every reason to completely retool it. You dont sink hundreds of millions of dollars into a childrens property, that would be stacked to the gills with merchandising opportunities so that a handful of hipsters can get a kick out of it, while, as this dick himself says, children scratch their heads and wish they were somewhere else. Now, I'm not complaining about the film, Im in the handful of hipsters who loves this shit, but be reasonable, its alot of money for someone else to flush down the toilet so we can get our shits and giggles. I'm just confused that they greenlit this in the first place. I've read peoples opinions of the script, I've seen the Proof Of Concept, I've familiar with the people working on its previous efforts, did the studio really have no clue what they were getting into? Did they think that Everything would magically change at some point and morph into an Alvin And The Chipmunks flick? One things for sure, this is gonna have some kick ass Brazil like stories coming out of it.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:53 p.m. CST

    This movie is...somewhat pretentious dribble

    by TallBoy66

    Maybe not, but that review made me roll my eyes after awhile.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:54 p.m. CST

    Oh good lord. You're one of THOSE people.

    by moondoggy2u

    You know, its funny, but omnibus and I were just talking about you, and those like you, just a few weeks ago. All of six universiies this year, hmm? A whole tour? I've got to hand it to you, Brian, you sure are an expert when it comes to campus life.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:55 p.m. CST


    by hawktownboonies

    I discovered this site when I was a junior in high school. Seven years later, though I visit the site usually twice a day, I have never, until now, felt the need to create a username, much less post a comment. After reading each and every comment in this talkback, I just get more and more fucking pissed off. Not at those making the comments, maybe not even at the studio(s). Many people are caught up in the "right/wrong" issue of the studio v. Spike. What really fries my ass in a goddamn skillet is the fact that our community, this huge group of "inconsequentials", cares about this film more than those ultimately in charge of its fate. What a sad fucking state of affairs. Assuming Spike did deliver a film completely different in tone from what the studio had expected, I will still always prefer an interesting failure (doesn't sound to likely) to a goddamn "Horton Hears a Who" (judging from today's review). I had planned on this speech being eloquent, epic, and affecting, but I'm just too sick to go on. You guys rock.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 9:56 p.m. CST


    by Beldo84

    The studio can be nervous, but they knew what they were getting into for two reasons: a) they hired Spike Jonze to direct, b)They approved a script by Jonze and a well-known, offbeat writer (by Hollywood standards, at least) in Dave Eggers. Dave Eggers for chrissake! Do you honestly think they expected for the guy to make "Sky High"? Or even "Labyrinth"? These people should not be whining, they got what they paid for. If they couldn't see that what was going to come of this wasn't an after school special featuring Jim Henson workshop creatures, they are borderline retarded and don't deserve their jobs in the first place (what a shocker, right?)

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 10 p.m. CST

    Never claimed to be...

    by Brians Life said "Uhhh, I work at a University"....and I said "I worked at 6". That was all. <br><br>I don't know who Omnibus is, but hold on....I can do this too...<br><br>Oh, you're one of THOSE people that calls one of MY people one of THOSE people. How good for you. Me and McGullicutty were just remarking over juice and tea the other day how sorry we feel for people like YOU.<br><br>For some one with no interest in my "portported university experience" you sure filled a post with comments on it. BOOSH!

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 10:02 p.m. CST

    B-Life... Im curious to know what you actually do...

    by Scorecard

    ...Because over the the Justice League talkback, you're a comic expert... and you mention you're 27.... and here you've apparently worked in 6 University's in the last year - What do you do? Are you a Professional Dungeon Master?

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 10:06 p.m. CST

    People keep bringing up...

    by Tourist

    ...Flicks like The Dark Crystal, The Neverending Story, Watership Down. These were all films I LOVED as a child. I also enjoyed my singing and dancing dreck too probally, but these were the ones that stayed with me and affected me the deepest. They also scared and upset me. The best work for children has to. It has to show them something outside of the comfortable world most of them know. The test footage, and reactions, reminded me most of the classic childrens film The Snowman (for those who aren't familiar with it The issue here is...well, they WERE childrens films. Dark, upsetting, movie, challenging CHILDRENS films. This letter flat out states that its not a kids film. Thats its strictly for the adults. What is the fucking point then? If I was the studio, and you had taken an expensive property that was alwawys intended for kids, and excluded them as some kind of perverse stunt, I would be pissed too. Unless thats how you sold it to me in the first place. Maybe this guy is just really bad at wording his plea, but I cant see shit like this helping Spikes cause. Which is a shame, because I really want to see this film and had sounded so promising. Oh, and don't bag on the Garbage Pail Kids Movie too much. Its an interesting abortion. Much like this film will probally end up being.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 10:08 p.m. CST

    The reshoot will have a rapping wild thing

    by mr.brownstone

    mark my words. I pray they release Spike's film

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 10:08 p.m. CST


    by Brians Life

    ...i work as a Set Dresser. I do mostly reality television w/ the non-union feature here and there. I WISH I was a professional dungeon master...but I've never played D and D, but my friends JUST intoduced me to MAGIC, so now I'm hooked to that. I was at like 24 schools last year for interviews for some reality shows....we ended up shooting at 6 of them. All on the West Coast.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 10:08 p.m. CST

    Maybe Spike can take a shot at...

    by Tourist

    ...Some other Briggs classics, like When The Wind Blows. Just take out the nukes and soviets and put in a-rabs and chemical warfare. Kids will love it. No, they will. I did as a kid.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 10:09 p.m. CST

    Though, Scorecard, like EVERYONE in LA...

    by Brians Life

    ...that is my "make money" job and not what I wants to do.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 10:12 p.m. CST

    Yeah, Beldo, that is an excellent point

    by moondoggy2u

    And really, I have to agree with you. How could the studio not understand? This, of course, begs the question that if they did know what they were getting into, why the change now? Is it possible that Jonze handed them something different than what was promised/implied? Or is it just another case of studios being short sighted? Normally, like most everybody here, I would assume that it was the latter, but consider the following: <p>As you said, the studios hired Jonze. Ergo, they hired him for his distinctive style. The script, as you also pointed out, is written by, well, weirdos. It would seem to me that they were going for weird and offbeat, but perhaps, and this is just me spitballing, Jonze delivered something even weirder and more disturbing than what was desired. In other words, Jonze may have taken the bit between his teeth and run wild.<p>Of course, this is all conjecture. In the end, considering the mixed reaction from us nerds in reguards to the test footage and the supposed rumors of children running screaming from the test screening, the studios might be justified in their tampering. Then again, maybe they've pulled a complete 180 degrees and are simply recouping perceived losses. It just seems a bit overly dramatic to jump to a conclusion since there are at least two distinct and probable possibilites. Even this letter from Harry's new "spy" can be used to reinforce both possibilites. Until there is more information, it seems a bit premature to simply assume the studios are mistaken.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 10:19 p.m. CST


    by Beldo84

    First of all, you're taking this guy's word for it that this is not a children's film. We don't know what context he's speaking in. He might not consider it a kids' film because they don't make kids' films like this anymore. Or maybe it's because he enjoyed it so much and on a high level. However...Did he ask any kids what they thought? No. We're getting second hand accounts of people saying their kids were crying and upset. I cried in The Witches (the scene of them taking their masks off scared the shit out of me), didn't mean I didn't love it. Likewise, I watched The Simpsons when I was a kid and fucking loved it. I highly doubt adults watching it at the time thought kids would get much enjoyment out of it, but they did. Now I'm an adult and love it even more than I used to and it's on a whole other level. Why couldn't Where the Wild Things Are be the same way? (Hope this post made some sense, apologies for my rambling)

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 10:26 p.m. CST

    You're right moondoggy, but...

    by Beldo84

    I agree that the studio has a right to get cold feet if the test screenings with kids aren't going well, but again, what did they expect? I can almost picture Jonze in a meeting with studio heads saying over and over "this is not going to be a kid's film. I think kids will enjoy it, but this is not pandering to them." And the studio nodding, and cut to a year and a half later, and they're shouting at him, pulling their hair out of their heads "I thought you were making a kids film! The kids hate it!" and Jonze just shaking his head. I'm coming around to agree with you...Jonze was also naive if he thought he could get out of this thing unscathed.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 10:27 p.m. CST

    That's funny, beldo

    by moondoggy2u

    Cause you're really convincing me to side with you a bit more. Oi--I really am terminally contrary.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 10:27 p.m. CST

    It could be the same way...

    by Tourist

    ...But this dick says its not. Like I said, I'm taking issue with his letter, not the film, which I highly anticipate. Just like The Witches was an exellent and exciting childrens film that was also darker and more unusual than crap like Surfs Up, this could be a sad and disturbing, yet highly entertaining childrens flick. But letters like this just put nails in the coffin by reinforcing the retarded mentallity that dark material is for adults, and stupid cat in the hat crap is for kids.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 10:36 p.m. CST

    Witches, Watership Down, Secret of NYHM...

    by Brians Life

    ...these are the movies I remember. The ones that stuck where the one's that didn't underestimate us as children. <br><br>Tourist, you raise a REALLY good point, in that alot of people have just assumed there is a static notion of what kid's will enjoy. Somewhere along the way the masses assumed that everything had to be as tolerant and sensitive as Shrek.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 10:38 p.m. CST

    Who's to say, esp. at this point, that this movie is NOT....

    by Brians Life

    ...for kids. Just because it's not watered down nonsense, doesn't mean it's not going to be compelling for children. Look at HAPPY FEET (which I really liked)...I felt that was a movie that a kid couldn't just watch...he'd HAVE to think about it. There were questions in it that needed answers. Lessons about morality and self worth....

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 10:45 p.m. CST

    Kids tolerating

    by Beldo84

    It is pretty amazing how skewed the entertainment industry is in thinking that kids only enjoy sanitized sitcommy crap with all the rough edges smoothed out and shined. Do people not realize what kids read every day? Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz. Judy Blume books. Bridge to Terabithia (speaking of films smoothing out the edges). Harry Potter! And those films do a hell of a business too last time I checked. Do they think darkness only applies with the Harry Potter brand? So maybe the film will appear to the 9-12 year olds instead of the little kids. Is that really so bad?

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 10:46 p.m. CST


    by ragingdrunklove

    this guy should know that creativity and passion are dead in hollywood. but seriously, fuck hollywood.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 10:50 p.m. CST

    Jonze or no, this will never top the ultimate kids movie

    by moondoggy2u

    Which, as everyone knows, is Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. <p>And if you're looking for life lessons, I can think of none more useful than this: when encountering giant wasps, duck a hell of a lot lower than 1 foot.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 10:55 p.m. CST

    I miss....

    by RodJohnson

    ...this movie already :(

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 10:58 p.m. CST

    I'm pretty much on the fence abou this one

    by Lyghthouse

    It reminds me a little of the last time WB pulled this "reshoots" thing with the Exorcist prequel. Everyone got into a hissyfit about Paul Schrader's cut being thrown out for Renny Harlins, but then we found out that BOTH versions sucked. I love Spike Jones as a filmmaker, but great filmmakers can make great miscalculations. I for one don't think Where the Wild Things Are should make children cry. I don't think it should be dark and disturbing. Does that mean I want a crappy happy go lucky flick? No, of course not, but it should still be a movie appropriate for kids. Sure, movie geeks might eat this shit up and call it a great film, but great movies like ET appeal to all audiences and not just film lovers and movie geeks. So forgive me if I don't automatically call this movie a masterpiece merely because Spike Jones has directed it.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 11:04 p.m. CST


    by Pendejo Joe

    Posting this passionate letter is great and all... but what's going to be done about it?

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 11:05 p.m. CST

    Please release this now

    by S.Lowrey

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 11:05 p.m. CST

    Well, Pendejo Joe, first, we'll form a committee!

    by moondoggy2u

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 11:07 p.m. CST


    by Beldo84

    There's a difference between a film that makes children cry, and one that is "dark and disturbing." The word "disturbing" isn't used, he says "dark" and "adult." There's plenty of childrens' films that have already been listed on this thread that would fit in that category and yet, are still beloved by children the world over. A movie doesn't have to pander to kids to be appropriate for kids, and this guy (one man's opinion, btw) said nothing about it NOT being appropriate, he simply said he felt it was adult. Kids enjoy all sorts of things deemed "adult" fact, most kids I've encountered hate being condescended to, and they'd rather see something that they don't quite get. Again, maybe the film isn't for 4 and 5 year olds. They might not get the "Cars" market, but they might get the "Harry Potter" market, which is just as good one would think.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 11:08 p.m. CST

    So long as AT SOME POINT...

    by Brians Life

    ...we get to storm a castle.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 11:10 p.m. CST

    You shall know us by our Velocity: Great book. Dave Eggers rocks

    by Stormwatcher

    Plain and simple. Read that book then his more famous one, A heartwarming......., This movie sounds great. I can imagine them wanting to sell merchandise though and thinking to go in another route. Too bad.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 11:12 p.m. CST

    I hate to be a cheeseball and quote a movie...

    by Beldo84

    But I think back to that line in "Donnie Darko" when Donnie and his girlfriend have created the viewfinder that shows nothing but happy images, and Noah Wyle replies did you ever stop and think children might need darkness? That it might be part of their natural environment? There's nothing wrong with darkness, folks.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 11:14 p.m. CST

    I like committees...

    by Pendejo Joe

    This is going to be the best save-a-potentially-poignant-movie-from-stupid-studio-execs ever!

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 11:19 p.m. CST

    I'm watching ACROSS THE UNIVERSE....

    by Brians Life

    ...and I'm having trouble believing how bad this movie is. Like REALLY...I wrote this movie one night before I went to sleep drunk.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 11:21 p.m. CST

    Guys, stormin' a castle...

    by Brians Life

    ...seriously. I'm sure MGM has one, they've got that hideous building in Century City. Let's storm a fucking castle already!!!

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 11:21 p.m. CST

    Perfect Movie?


    This sounds like it could be a perfect movie as far as I'm concerned. I go into movies wanting to be entertained and my emotions to be shaken. I saw Shoot 'Em Up not looking for deep philosophical undertones but to have stupid fun and see things I know are impossible but have always imagined would be cool to do. The studios barely gave it a chance and sadly the audience didn't give it much of one either. WTWTA deserves much more than a chance but a push from movie-lovers because it sounds like and has the foundation of an emotional heart-warming movie that could appeal to a lot more people than my previous example. Studios need to realize this kind of movie should NEVER be made to appeal to someone who wouldn't enjoy the source material. This shouldn't be made to persuade anyone to come and see it but to give the people that would see it anyway more than their money's worth and move them in ways that only film can. This one is not for fans of WTWTA but for fans of the emotions you experience while reading the book... the appreciation for life and imagination.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 11:28 p.m. CST

    So wait....

    by Pendejo Joe

    We're forming a castle and storming a committee?

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 11:32 p.m. CST

    Decisions by the same people that made The Invasion and The Exor

    by AFriend

    What great decisions those were. Made a whole lot of money for the studio. Ya, lets gut the film we green-lit, the one that was exactly like the book we grew up w/, melancholic, strange, scary, and wondrous, b/c we're scared that the film won't feel like a big dumb live action Shrek money machine, a movie that will sour more and more w/ time, lets spend twice as much to make the big dumb shrek so we can maybe make a fast buck, just so we can cover our ass and justify our job, and b/c we're a bunch of philistines. We must try to recreate something like all the other successful films. Never mind, the most successful films are new and different and cutting edge. THAT'S RISKY!!! So lets spend TWICE as much money to make something dumb and simple and safe but will likely BOMB anyway. Let's make something that's nothing like the book, b/c the book sucks in the same way that spike jonze's film does. That's why no one read it and liked it. That strategy worked so well with the past successes like The Invasion and The Exorcist prequel. Let's all go out and do some coke and get blow-jobs. I'm tired of blowing myself nightly.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 11:33 p.m. CST

    happy feet made me think too

    by slappy jones

    it made me think "what the fuck happened to george miller and why in the fuck have I paid to sit through this garbage"

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 11:34 p.m. CST

    and as for this news...has anyone thought about

    by slappy jones

    the fact that maybe the film is a piece of shit? a ridiculous over thinking of a wonderful book that is about 30-40 sentences long??

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 11:35 p.m. CST

    I have seen this film

    by shmu65

    And I don't agree with this reviewer in the least. But I don' think the film needs to be re-shot (well, maybe a few scenes) I saw a very unfinished version and I believe that the film has potential. So I think that it should be released despite what the douchbag studios think. I will say that the kid does come across as a brat and, in doing so, is very "unlikeable." But that can be easily fixed by showing him learning a lesson or changing in some way. Anyway, let Jonze have his shot and see what he pulls off.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 11:35 p.m. CST

    No time for answers JOE!!!

    by Brians Life

    Put on your storming boots! AND your forming boots! Watch out for the hot oil!!!!

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 11:44 p.m. CST

    Just like Pan's Labyrinth was a failure...

    by AFriend

    I'm one of the nervous executives handling Where the Wild Things Are. Spike Jonze's film sucks just like Pan's Labyrinth did. It will probably do just as poorly as that sad melancholic wondrous film w/ a sad ending that wasn't for kids and made in a foreign language. It totally wasn't likable at all. I'm probably the only one who saw it. It had no crossover appeal or success--philistines just weren't interested. I never read the trades. Please, ladies, douche with me.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 11:46 p.m. CST

    It's go time

    by Pendejo Joe

    Yeah, Harry. What's up? *Puts on one storming boot and one forming boot*

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 11:47 p.m. CST

    By Maurice Sendak


    The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another his mother called him “WILD THING!” and Max said “I’LL EAT YOU UP!” so he was sent to bed without eating anything. That very night in Max’s room a forest grew and grew- and grew until his ceiling hung with vines and the walls became the world all around and an ocean tumbled by with a private boat for Max and he sailed off through night and day and in and out of weeks and almost over a year to where the wild things are. And when he came to the place where the wild things are they roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws till Max said “BE STILL!” and tamed them with the magic trick of staring into all their yellow eyes without blinking once and they were frightened and called him the most wild thing of all and made him king of all wild things. “And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start!” “Now stop!” Max said and sent the wild things off to bed without their supper. And Max the king of all wild things was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all. Then all around from far away across the world he smelled good things to eat so he gave up being king of where the wild things are. But the wild things cried, “Oh please don’t go- we’ll eat you up-we love you so!” And Max said, “No!” The wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws but Max stepped into his private boat and waved good-bye and sailed back over a year and in and out of weeks and through a day and into the night of his very own room where he found his supper waiting for him and it was still hot.

  • Feb. 27, 2008, 11:58 p.m. CST

    So Spike Jonze turned a children's book into an adult film?

    by MrMysteryGuest

    Good grief!

  • Feb. 28, 2008, midnight CST

    Who Liked Max in the book?

    by AFriend

    Well, remember, Max was a brat. That was the point. And we all loved it. B/c we all identified with it. So yes, what I'm saying is--we were all a bunch of f'n brats. But unlike most, the 'executive handlers' on this film didn't grow up. They just became more unlikable and brat-like. But isn't that the point? They're executive handlers. It's their nature. It's in their nature to change that key part of the book. "Let's change the whole Max part. Let's 'improve' on the unlikable parts." B/c that's what they do best--meddle, justify their meaningless middleman jobs, ruin things, and not understand other people, specifically, the audience. And that's the funniest part--they think they all understand the audience. They think they know what it takes to make a hit. But the fact is--no one does. It's a crap shoot. These cold callous philistines think they understand people. They think they have empathy. But perhaps the better strategy would be to change the executive handlers instead of changing 'the max character'. Hey Rich--pay attention down below--do some micromanaging. These douche bags are burning up your money. They're making a terrible decision in an effort to save themselves...from nothing. B/c they're nervous pussies.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 12:20 a.m. CST


    by Tourist

    ...I gave Shoot Em Up a chance. It was insulting, boring, ugly dreck. I too went in expecting mindless fun, what I got was mindless drudgery. It wasn't clever or exciting, just completely underbaked. The choreography was dull and phoney, like everything else in the film. A real half assed effort. The studios put ALOT of money into a long shot, and it didn't pay off for them on that count. Also, as I said before, Pans Labrynth didn't cost the studio over a hundred million dollars to make and market, and doesn't have the potential for merchandising that this flick did. Which lets face it, sounds ugly and greedy, but it PAYS for the art. The kid thing is interesting though. Spike didn't want the actor the STUDIO forced on him, now they are bitching the kid is unlikeable. Strange. But yeah, at the same time, why not just support what you have one hundred per cent and get it out there and either take your loss or your money, since this is just strangling it to a slow death. Isn't Warners the same dumb fucks who tried to mutilate and dump Jesse James? What the fuck is wrong with their heads?

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 12:26 a.m. CST

    I would love to see the original Spike version.

    by kungfuhustler84

    I agree that we should push for the original shooting, especially after seeing Happy Feet (ugh). I agree with Kid on targeting the college crowd as well. I am currently a freshman and have discussed this exact project with several people. 100% of them were ecstatic. I remember reading this book as a child. It gained a lot of popularity when I was at the peak of my reading extravaganza as a child. Right at that point when all the words get really easy and you can just dig in and read for fun. I loved the book and would like nothing better than to see it realized in a thoughtful, contemplative manner, rather than having it be scrapped for a carbon copy of every Dreamworks piece of crap. Please, just keep going, finish it, and give all us former (and continuing) children what we want!

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 12:37 a.m. CST

    How about a Sendak Anthology film?

    by Bones

    You can make it the "Pulp Fiction" of kids movies and adapt some of his greatest childrens stories, without adding anything to them or padding any story out. Maybe have WTWTA, In the Night Kitchen (with digital penis cover-up), Outside Over There, Hector the Protector and one more...<p> I think they should do the same with Dr. Suess. Rather than expand his stories, collect them and adapt them RIGHT.<p> Now, having said that--this film sounds too interesting to miss. It sounds like it is a beautiful fable of a film. I just keep thinking that Spke Jonze would be a better fit for adapting older shildren's stories by authors like William Sleator, Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker or Edward Gorey...

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 12:39 a.m. CST


    by BrightEyes

    Well maybe we just see things differently but as someone who grew up with the book as a kid and still has it to this day, I feel the book has a total wierd "Donnie Darko" type feel to it, I mean look at frank the rabbit doesn't he seem like a monster creature who befriended a angry boy... hmmm that sounds kind of familiar. and as for college kids who listen to weezer yeah I and many others do.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 12:52 a.m. CST

    I Need This Film

    by geemenblue

    Cinemaniac just explained everything I felt about the clip perfectly. The knowledge that the rest of the movie has the same tone, strangeness, and poignancy, makes me weep with joy. I need to see this film, but just the knowledge that this film was made like that will at least provide some comfort when the corporate fucks rape it.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 1:20 a.m. CST

    I feel the same

    by landosystem

    I saw this film in its incomplete form as well and it moved me to tears, it was so strong with its message of a boy trying to deal with the frustration of becoming a man, but not yet being treated as one, and his lashing out at the world coming back at him. My girlfriend and I totally loved it and both of us thought it could be released without any computer effects at all and still be one of the great childhood films. PLEASE, don't fuck this up!

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 1:25 a.m. CST

    Too bad Brians Life

    by BurgerKing

    I enjoyed it for what it was. Bought it today, obv not the best movie ever, but good shit none-the-less, that is, if your a tree hugging Beatles fan............and even if your not.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 1:27 a.m. CST



    I don't see how anyone can say that. Everyone that puts the movie down only describes things in general. The choreography was bad? Be a little more specific. Unoriginal? You mean when the main characters hands (a vital body part for a gun-totting "hero") are broken to pieces and he has to burn his hand with bullets between his fingers to shoot them? Or when the casings are bouncing off the pregnant woman's stomach as she gives birth in the middle of a gun fight? Yeah, I've seen that before... Can't remember the last time I saw a carrot used in any of those ways either. Also, the whole "Ya know what I hate?" scenes just go to show it's about an angry guy fighting for what he wants even if it's a douchebag using his turn signal.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 1:35 a.m. CST

    I fear for this film...

    by Carbonara

    I do. I truly do.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 1:37 a.m. CST

    No, in the book, the creatures weren't smiling and happy

    by Milou

    At least, the first readers didn't read it that way... In the wikipedia article for Maurice Sendak : "Sendak gained international acclaim after writing and illustrating Where the Wild Things Are, though the book's depictions of fanged monsters concerned parents when it was first released, as his characters were somewhat grotesque in appearance. Sendak's seeming attraction to the forbidden or nightmarish aspects of children's fantasy have made him a subject of controversy." And you can add that the librarians, the parents and the educators sent negative letters to the editor, thinking that the book would upset small children or induce nightmares for others... (one librarian writing "it is not a book to be left whre a sensitive child may came upon it at twilight") And Publishers Weekly wrote "the illustrations may well prove frightening, accompanied as they are by a pointless and confusing story". (these quotations come from "The art of Maurice Sendak" by Selma Lanes) And then it became a well acclaimed best-seller and a reference in children literature... The guys at Warner didn't know that ?? They should think a lot to the critics the book received when it was published in the 60's to decide if the film is good or true to the book.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 1:56 a.m. CST

    Why not CGI Animated?

    by skywalkerfamily

    Hell, give the entire movie to PIXAR this thing is made for them.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 3:35 a.m. CST

    If WB hired this team to make this movie...

    by utfluke

    then they should allow them to make it. Market it as an adult film, with those expectations. With such an important literary property, your product should dictate your market, not the other way around.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 3:41 a.m. CST

    Tourist - RE: Garbage Pail Kids: The Movie

    by hamslime

    I was trying to illustrate a point about the longevity of quality kids movies vs. a forgetable cash grab. Unfortunately Garbage Pail Kids was the first thing that came to mind or that I could even remember. Maybe I should have mentioned The Peanut Butter Solution instead. Actually I can't remember any movies I watched as a kid that was on the level as say, Scamper The Penguin, but that's kind of the point. The Dark Crystal, Gremlins, Labyrinth, ect. got plenty of my money over the years. The random crap that was shoveled out to make a quick buck I may have seen once as a kid, forgot about it, and never looked back.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 3:50 a.m. CST

    When I first heard about WTWTA as a movie property....

    by RipVanMarlowe

    My immediate reaction was intense dismay...after seeing what Hollywood had done to the two Seuss properties, there was nothing worse in my mind than a sugary, bullshit-fest version of a Sendak book. However, seeing Spike Jonze take this on gave me hope. So please, Warner Bros., don't you fucking dare fingerbang another one of my childhood favorites. Its a classic, which is a term that once meant something to WB.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 4:03 a.m. CST

    This Years "Invasion"?

    by DerLanghaarige

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 4:12 a.m. CST

    I'm sort of hoping......

    by Berbs

    this whole reshoot nonsense is just an elaborate PR stunt thought up by the studio to generate some heat for the film. Jonze's version is clearly going to be a tough one to pitch to why not stir up a bit of awareness in the geek community by leaking some test footage......and then pretending the movie shot in that vein is going to be totally rebuilt from the bottom up. Seems like a great way to start a grassroots style campaign to get people excited about the film. Wow.....those WB execs really are marketing geniuses.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 4:18 a.m. CST

    by Tourist

    The choreography was bad. You know, in the action sequances. It looked retarded. Not retarded in an over the top, high spirited completely-impossible-but-still-exciting way, but retarded in the way that a 13 year old boy and his friends making a Matrix/Woo youtube rip off would think is totally awesome kind of way. It didn't look like they were actually having gunfights, it just looked like some actors awkwardly messing about with props. Theres some stuff in the film we haven't seen before. Its because its stupid. Its crap that a little kid would think was cool after overdosing on bad action movies for a day. But its not cool. Its really boring. Theres alot of ideas out there that haven't been commited to celluloid, not because people didn't think of them before, but because no one wants to see them. Shoot Em Up was filled with these moments. It sat awkwardly somewhere between parody or homage and just plain shitty film making. It wasn't that it was unbelieveable, it was that it was unconvincing. The whole thing looked and behaved like a rough sketch for a parody film. Its also false to say the studio wasnt behind it. It was a film of maybe DTV pedigree, that had a neato pitch with moving pictures that got alot of expensive hype and a big cast. None of which helped. Because it was lazy and didn't work. Crank was a similar film, and it worked at what it did. Sure, it was a hell of alot less ambitious than Shoot Em Up, but it played it straight. Shoot Em Up never once attempted to be anything but a series of action film jokes. But they werent especially new or funny. It seems really bizare to bring this up with Where The Wild Things Are too. I don't see the comparison.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 4:20 a.m. CST

    Toys can still be sold.

    by hamslime

    Spike Jonze didn't take the monsters out of the movie. Look at Hulk, as much as people didn't like it for the lack of "HULK SMASH" it still sold toys and other ancillary crap. Wild Things can still sell Happy Meal toys, bed sheets, and whatever other crap they want to put the logo and/or characters on in spite of the quality of the movie. So if Spike Jonze is already filming the thing, let him finish. If money is all you care about it doesn't make sense to start from scratch.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 4:25 a.m. CST


    by Tourist

    ...The studio could burn the negative and reshoot it completely in CG with the budget and talent behind a saturday morning cartoon, sell a trillion toys made by slaves in china, and the geeks of the world wouldn't not only do anything about it, but wouldn't be able to, even if they wanted to. The past year, with the triumph of fucking turd water like Blades Of Glory or Meet The Spartans or the fucking Chipmunks movie over expensive and much touted geek centric films has probally emboldened the studios. Our 1 per cent of the profit, vs. the 99 per cent generated by the unwashed masses means jack and shit to them.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 4:26 a.m. CST

    If I were a studio exec...

    by Stollentroll

    I think I might have anticipated something like this. Did they even bother to watch "Adaptation"? Did they confuse Spike Jonze with someone else, maybe Chris Columbus?

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 5:07 a.m. CST

    Learn Hollywood

    by hallmitchell

    Just release the Spike version. You did this with the Exorcist prequel. Did that work ? NO! Just release. How bad can it be? Guys don't do this. Trust the talent. Ask Spike.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 5:10 a.m. CST


    by hallmitchell

    Alot of great kids stories have a dark element. From Snow White to Hans Christian Anderson. Trust the film maker for once. Not everything has to have a happy meal tie in.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 5:14 a.m. CST

    In other news, Step Up is going 3-D!

    by Judge Briggs

    sigh... fucking execs... fucking execs...

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 5:15 a.m. CST

    A heartfelt and impassioned plea...I agree,

    by KillaKane

    I'm of a similar mind, I want to see Jonze's interpretation of WTWTA, unfortunately without any intervention or pressure from without (petition, buyout etc)this is going to slide into a generic studio kiddie flick more focussed on merchandising revenue streams than making something truly menorable. Judging by Cinemaniac's thoughtful review it seem's Jonze has added extra weight, insight and emotional depth to his adaptation, which is what I'd been hoping for from such a talented director. I hope a workprint of this surfaces somewhere.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 5:49 a.m. CST

    it is totally fair for them to be worried

    by Lost Jarv

    $75m is a shit load of money. <P>However, they really should have seen this coming. They did hire fucking Spike Jonze for god's sake. What did they expect?

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 6:05 a.m. CST

    When Will Studios Learn?

    by JaPra

    When will studios learn that film is ART not COMMERCE? This is like seeing a piece by Monet and loving it and asking him to create another piece as a commission and then after receiving it, asking if he can re-do it because it's not as light-hearted as they wanted it to be.<br><br>When you hire an artist because of her or his vision, that's what you are expecting. I don't feel one iota of pity for the studio spending 75 million on this film.<br><br>These studios are filthy rich, and it's time they invest more in their art then in their commerce. The Academy Awards this year [and its historically low viewer-ship] is a symptom of a greater disconnect within the Hollywood system.<br><br>I don't know what's to be done.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 6:24 a.m. CST

    Wanna save this movie? I have an idea....

    by The Tao of Joe

    A spy named" Cinemaniac1979" sent AIC a rather passionate letter begging Knowles & co. to save Where the Wild Things Are. Here is my favorite quote from that letter: This movie is Fred Savage’s grandfather saying “As you wish” at the end of The Princess Bride. This movie is the look Susan gives to 12-year-old Josh as he walks away at the end of Big. This movie is River Phoenix fading away at the end of Stand by Me. This movie is important and special. Spike made this movie for us. We have to save it. Parts of this letter sent shivers down my spine when I read them, and they've given me a renewed vigor and zeal to try and save this film. But what can we do? Online petitions are lame, and have been proven time and time again not to work. We film lovers of the world need to attempt something that will phisically affect the bosses at WB's lives. I'm not urging people to cause bodily harm or anything, but for instance, when fans tried to save the TV series "Freaks and Geeks," they mail bombed the corporate NBC offices with bags of peanuts in what they referred to as "Operation Hoverchuck," an attack named after the character Bill who was deathly allergic to peanuts in the show. The campaign didn't save Freaks and Geeks, but it did get the network to devote a three-hour Friday night time slot to airing the never-before-played final three episodes. All we've got to do is convince a movie studio to release the film they've spent $75 million to make without doubling the budget in an attempt to 'fix' it. If it were up to me, I say we all find copies of Sendak's original children's novel, tear out all of the pages, put each page in it's own envelope with a note saying, "Do not destroy this story. Signed, The Wild Things" and mail them to the WB offices. What do you guys think we should do?

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 6:24 a.m. CST


    by Stollentroll

    I actually believe that the real problem is the audience. If the studios would be rewarded at the box office for offering artistic quality, they certainly would focus on providing it. Unfortunately, arthouse films are still quite risky (eg The Assassination of Jesse James), while "torture porn", low budget horror and trash comedy such as Meet the Spartans usually come out on top financially. I think we should be more aware of what kind of studio behaviour we are supporting by buying our movie tickets or DVDs.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 6:59 a.m. CST

    My guess...

    by Bobo_Vision that the execs watched the film, and realized that it is not the type of film that children would enjoy, and their hope for a huge opening weekend box office numbers from families going to see this movie suddenly vanished. <p> Is it fair? Not really, because there are many directors to choose from, and if the execs want a certain type of film, they should choose a director who has the style they are looking for. I'm sure there were several creative meetings as well where the film was discussed and Spike made it clear the type of film he was making. So for them to watch it afterwards and change their mind is not fair. An argument could be made that it's their money and film to do with as they like, just like the Weinsteins re-edited the movie "Fanboys", but I think these types of decisions should be made before hand when reading the script and choosing the director. <p> Plus, there are really just a handful of directors who have a unique artistic vision, and Spike is among them. To subject those directors to this treatment really kills what little art is left in Hollywood. The whole test-screening process is really an example of the corporate side of movies encroaching on the artistic side, which is why I have no problem with spies sending reports to websites like this after test-screenings. Feedback can be helpful at times to help directors shape their vision, but to dictate how a director should craft their film entirely eliminates the creative process completely, and the end result will be movie execs creating movies or hiring puppet directors to make them, and there will be an avalanche of crappy movies....and we are already seeing that happen.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 7:02 a.m. CST

    Spreading the word

    by Makinov

    Maybe a fruitless move, but everything helps I guess. Created a Facebook group to support Spike's version, go join spread the word.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 7:26 a.m. CST

    Kids movie eh?

    by Giant Ape Balls

    I don't know any parents whose kids have read this nowadays. So why are they making it for them when the nostalgia market is obviously the one thats going to want to watch it?

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 7:27 a.m. CST

    isnt the wild things unkown by

    by mutombo

    the youth these days, or does the book still sell as popular as it did back then? Because if all kids know these days is spongebob and pokemon, every mother and father will be GLAD to bring their kids to the cinema to watch something else beside retarded crap.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 7:28 a.m. CST

    and indeed

    by mutombo

    we want to hear from sendak and spike what the fuck is going on.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 7:29 a.m. CST


    by tile_mcgillus

    I desperately want to see this one. Make a kiddie animated version also...those cost like a buck to make. Release the kid one a few months before and then the adult one later. It will be like Antz and Bugs Life. No one will care that they came from the same studio.<p>I don't care just as long as you ... GIVE ME THE SPIKE JONZE VERSION!!!

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 7:45 a.m. CST

    I loved the test case any damn suits are...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...reading this.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Brazil and studio interference

    by filmcoyote

    They should get it out covertly like Gilliam did with Brazil. The studio rehashed his masterpiece (because they didn't get it) into a sanitised love story that ran 90 minutes. Gilliam kidnapped his original print and screened it for LA critics circle. They declared it the best film of the year and forced the studio to release it. Seriously execs have no clue. I'm a film journalist and I have heard so many rival execs (not Disney, thank god) say off the record that they are not worried about Wall-E because "it's a robot and robots don't work, they're not cute" !!!! They are clearly basing this on Robots and Cars. Wall-E will fail because those films didn't do gangbusters. That can't be anything to do with the fact those films were a) terrible and b) Pixar's weakest (though still solid) movie. Execs don't have a clue, it's scary how everything comes from analysis. "The kid's not likeable" and...?! Some of the films i loved most as a kid had dark sides and lots i didn't get at the time (Princess Bride, Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, E.T.) and these are the films i've held onto into adulthood. Miyazaki gets this. Kids will go with, they are not stupid. Adults are determined to turn children into simpletons who know nothing but wise-ass furry animals, fart gags and mcdonalds. They aren't all like that, some still read, have their own personalities and imaginations. I think this sounds like Jonze has made a film that kids can roll with and cherish as they grow while working for adults too in a different way. But they have to get this version out there so it can seen before the studio kills it.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 8 a.m. CST

    wow, went off on one a bit there

    by filmcoyote

    sorry, i got carried away. this post got my passions going

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 8:08 a.m. CST

    If they do this...

    by karmattack

    I'm boycotting WB for life. I represent some of their core market, and I own a ton of their DVD's. If they take an adult, artistic version of this movie and turn it into sanitized, kiddie fluff, I will never give them my money again. That's a tough thing to say with The Watchmen, Akira, and the last Harry Potter movies on the horizon. I don't care though; I have The Watchmen paperback, the Akira animated movie, and the Potter books, so fuck 'em.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 8:12 a.m. CST

    fair enough filmcoyote...

    by Giant Ape Balls

    I've not been this pissed off since flames on Optimus. Or nipples on the Batsuit. They have a chance to have a film that will last and be watched by generations to come but it looks like the quick money is what they want. Very shortsighted.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 8:19 a.m. CST

    Don't let this be ruined!

    by Farron

    Oh.. this is bad news! I really hope this doesn't happen, and someone, somewhere, somehow can save it.. I’ve been waiting for this movie for what seems forever. I’m quite a fan of the original story and I loved everything I’ve heard so far about this movie. They don’t need to totally kidify this movie for a pre-school audience. Such great fantasy type movies such as The Dark Crystal and The Labyrinth were made in the past and they had their scary scenes (well at least The Dark Crystal did), the creatures were also created by the Jim Henson company (just as they are in this version of WTWTA). Another 'childs' movie to remember that has scary scenes is ‘The NeverEnding Story’. These are classics! Spike Jonze and his work is amazing. The story is about monsters who live in the wild so it isn’t all fluff and flowers. Please, please, please Warner Brothers see the amazing piece of work already in front of you and don’t change it. This is sure to be a classic movie as long as you keep it as it is! I hope Warner is listening and if not, someone who knows how to get in touch can slap some sense into them.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 8:21 a.m. CST

    Art vs Commerce

    by JaPra

    I never proposed the idea that art is by definition, opposed to commerce. The fact is, art ISN'T commerce. The two will coincide, and one can be used to inspire the other, but they are not, and will not ever be, the same thing.<br><br>That being said, this film needs to be saved. Harry might have a better chance connecting with Spike Jonze on a personal level and posting his correspondence on this site to generate continued support & interest.<br><br>In terms of studios being rewarded for their artistic endeavors, for myself, that's a bit of a ridiculous argument.<br><br>I'm a painter, I make my art because my art demands it of me. We collaborate on work, not because of the money we think it will make us, but because it has a rightful place in this world. There is a drive, a hunger, a need for expression.<br><br.Of course, the romance of art only goes so far. These are movie studios we're talking about, business, and I completely realize that they can't shell out hundreds of millions of dollars on projects that find a limited audience, without even breaking even or marginally turning a profit.<br><br>The point is however, these films come along quite infrequently. I think it would be a bold move on the part of the studio behind 'Spike Jonze's Where The Wild Things Are' to declare "This film is a work of art, and we plan to keep it's integrity intact and release Spike Jonze's original vision."

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 8:25 a.m. CST

    Test clip was great! It's Jonze AND Eggers!!

    by cowboyone

    Why doesn't anyone ever mention Eggers when we're discussing nuances of TONE in the script?! Either sign the petition to save the movie ... or hope you can get a chance to see the Jonze Eggers version ... on DVD. Because this decision is all about money and merchandising. Too dark = uh uh for the kiddies + parent money equation.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 8:25 a.m. CST

    A more adult spin is a perfectly legitimate...

    by FlickaPoo

    ...angle on this material. Think about it, there are far more adults in the world who love the story than there are kids (most of the people born in the last thirty years are adults least theoretically). Also, picture books are for kids, but most often they are read to the kid by an adult. Most classic children's books work for both child and adult on some level...the psychology of a fairy tale has to work for the kid hearing the story AND for the adult telling the story. Go back and look at Grimm stories as an adult...not only are they dark (everyone knows that), but they deal with all sorts of adult anxieties and fears...the responsibilities of parenthood, the fear of losing a child, the pregnancy fear that your new baby will be strange or different in some a version of Wild Things that is a love letter to our collective childhood sounds like not just an interesting take on this, but a take I want to see.......a lot.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 8:27 a.m. CST

    Harry Set Up a Screening for Us!!

    by cowboyone

    C'mon big guy you've got pull! Save this cut. This movie is going to be something special.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 8:38 a.m. CST

    Everybody keeps mentioning...

    by karmattack

    The Labyrinth. Besides being smoking hot, was Jennifer Connelly's "Sarah" very likable? I remembered hating her the first time I saw the movie. As much as my little mind could process, she deserved everything she got for being mean to that baby. Just like Max in WTWTA, Sarah being a selfish jerk is the basis for the story. Plus, some of the monster sequences in The Labyrinth scared the chocolate milk and Cinnamon Toast Crunch outta me...enough to give me nightmares when I was little. That's the literal truth. I had nightmares about the goblins coming to steal me, and about the Fire Gang trying to tear my head off. Years later, I own the effing DVD because I love the movie. If it would have been condescending, or light and fluffy, my post would look like this: "Everybody keeps mentioning The Labyrinth. I totally forgot about that movie! I haven't seen it in forever." Also, how did The Muppet Show and *gasp* Looney Tunes get popular? Weren't those shows created for adults? Wow, how boring...

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 9:24 a.m. CST

    I'd Like to Know What Eggers and Jonze Think About It

    by cowboyone

    Jesus Harry and Mori and everybody else at AICN ... you've got a real opportunity to break this thing wide open! WTF. Make some calls, huh.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 9:28 a.m. CST

    i want to see this movie.

    by teddanson37

    the movie described above. i want to see that film. not the one with that they're going to replace it with. with cheesy dialog, cartoony characters, and a slapped on, in your face moral at the end. with all the sarcasm i can muster i ask "who'd a thunk hollywood could bastardize our childhood yet again?"

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 9:58 a.m. CST

    Let it be.

    by riskebiz

    You don't hire Spike Jonze and then be surprised when you get a Spike Jonze movie, you damn stupid studio suit!!!! RELEASE THE MOVE AS IS. People will see it and love it. These studio suits think they know better. Hah.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 10:03 a.m. CST

    that was a great review

    by Lloyd Bonafide the Korean War Veteran

    and plea for help. Thats the kind of thing i fought in Korea for. I didnt fight in Korea to come home and be full-on boot-heel kicked in the groin by bunless hamburgers and kiddy versions of WTWTA. Sure, the empty suits *often* see green in widescreen, not art, but we should still tell them they suck when they dont abide. Common dudes ABIDE!!! Peter Pan almost had that cerebral adultness about it, but i have a suspicion it was held back by those wanting it more kid friendly. But the book itself was fairly dark...and totally rad.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 10:04 a.m. CST

    If it fails, Hulk it

    by AFriend

    Release what you have. If, IF, it fails, just remake it a few years later a la Hulk. Isn't that a safer and more sensible financial decision? Oh, wait, we're talking about the same people who created the Invasion and Exorcist prequel.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 10:12 a.m. CST

    If the execs want something else

    by AFriend

    rather than tossing something almost done in the trash and spending twice as much to make something else...finish what you have and pay twice as much to make a whole different movie--make two instead of 1. Idiots. Who hired you guys to WASTE MONEY. You're executives--you make decisions for a living. You weren't hired to second guess past decisions and be indecisive. Grow a pair. You bunch of pussies.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 10:26 a.m. CST


    by AFriend

    Who are the film's handlers? What's their address--home and work? Who supervises them? What's their address. Emails/addresses/phone numbers. OUT THEM and GIVE EM HELL.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 10:33 a.m. CST

    This is one movie where the suits need to...

    by NeoMaxiZoomDweebie


  • Feb. 28, 2008, 10:34 a.m. CST

    The best kids movies came out years ago

    by Reel American Hero

    This movie could be one of the great ones,a Neverending Story, a Dark Crystal, or a Princess Bride for another generation, but unfortunately for the world, Hollywood it seems doesn't want to make those kind of kids movies anymore. So they'll take it, re shoot it, and have Wanda Sykes and Ben Stiller doing voices. And it will be a hit with the kids, make it's money back with merchandising, and then fade away into obscurity. I sincerely, truly hope that we can save Spike Jonze's version, we need more movies like this to be made not just for us, but for our children and future children. I don't have kids yet, but when my wife and I do have children we've already got a collection of movies we'll be showing them, and very few of them are anything that came out in the past few years. I really hope that this movie is something I can share with the next generation, and not something I'll be avoiding like the plague.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Getting it Wrong

    by epevensie

    Rather than attack "the suits" for messing with these artists' "vision," why not ask what the fuck Jonze and Eggers hoped to accomplish in the first place. The leaked test footage, we have been told, offers only an idea of the "tone" of the film; obnoxiously, it has been implied that, if you like the test footage, you'll like the film, but if you hate the test footage, well, that's OK, because the film is very different. Ridiculous. In any case, it would seem that Jonze and Eggers have "re-imagined" Sendak's story to death, by heavy-handedly stuffing it full of adult "insight" and "psychological truth." This was probably inevitable, in that the book's brevity is perfect for its intended audience of four-year-olds, but makes it entirely unsuitable for a full-length film (or at least one which bears more than passing resemblance to the original work). For critical assessment of the work, take a look at http://www.north things.html Reading the cited page in the context of the pleading letter above suggests the unfortunate possibility that the artistic team has opted to smother Sendak's simple magic with the leaden, overt and obvious. BTW, the coolest thing about the book was always the transitioning between Max's bedroom and the forest of his imagination (when his bedposts become trees and the walls dissolve to become "the world all around"); accordingly, if they didn't get the designs right, the movie will crap. ALSO, if the filmmakers want support or some type of internet buzz which might "save" their film, they need to release a real clip rather than one which comes with explanations and excuses. This "letter" is most likely a plant designed to sucker film critics and sophisticated fanboys into unwarranted pre-release adulation of a film which will ultimately be "misunderstood" and a financial disaster.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Loved the test footage.

    by no-no

    It was sweet and beautiful and a bit sad. Far superior than the (already very good) children book. Let him (Jones)do his thing.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 11:06 a.m. CST

    Let Jonze have final cut

    by Veraxus

    I wasn't looking forward to this movie at all until I read the plea above. As a rule, I don't let my kids see any "stupid" kids movies. That means they don't get too see a whole lot these days. As a rule, that means pretty much every single movie branded as a "kids movie." "Family movies," on the other hand, are a different story. Road to Terabithia, Happy Feet, Millions, Ratatouille... those are appropriate movies for kids. They contain important life lessons, they're not overly silly, and they allow your kids to better cope with real life drama when it arises. I never understood why so many other parents feel the need to treat their kids like an entirely different species. They're little people, and it's YOUR JOB AS A PARENT to raise them into intelligent, capable, stable, well-adjusted human beings. There's no need to shelter them from everything in life - because they're going to experience it themselves, and without your preemptive guidance they'll be lost. I'm sorry, but trash like Madagascar and Over the Hedge just don't help achieve that result.<br/><br/> That said, this version of WTWTA sounds like just the kind of "kids/family movie" I WANT my kids to see... the kind of thing I grew up with. You're going to be there with your kids when they see the movie, anyway... right? RIGHT? You should be. Just about anything you see with your kids can be turned into a lesson. Even if the movie IS "scary", you're there. Nothing can hurt them while their daddy is there... and afterward, you can have a great discussion about it.<br/><br/> No, my vote is to keep the movie the way it is. If I find out the studio has been screwing around with it, you can count me out either way. One, because I really don't like the idea of bean-counting, uncreative studio executives interfering in an artistic project, and two, because I just know this will be turned into a throw-away, garbage, content-free animated piece of filth like Madagascar.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Studio Execs GOTTA EAT!!!!

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    And stop COOKING THE BOOKS!!!

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 11:27 a.m. CST

    A Stephen King anecdote I feel is relevant

    by PotSmokinAlien

    Apparently whenever an interviewer asks Stephen King how he feels about so many movies of his work getting it wrong and ruining his books, he says, "The books aren't ruined-- they're right on the shelf behind me. See?"<P>as an old film professor of mine was very fond of saying, MOVIES ARE NOT BOOKS AND BOOKS ARE NOT MOVIES. Because Jonez and Eggers decided to do something different in adapting the source material to a film does not automatically eradicate the book forever, like some of you seem to think it will. If you love the book and are worried about it enduring through the next generation, get a copy and read it to your kids, if and when you've got them. Simple as that.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 11:28 a.m. CST

    How hard...

    by it for well known directors like Spike Jonze to independently distribute their work? Why are so many good directors being told what to do? George Lucas caught on a long time ago and made his own movies the way he wanted with his own money. The result? STAR WARS! Technically, all the Star Wars movies were independent movies since Lucas paid for them himself.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Wizard of Oz

    by filmcoyote

    Can't they look at a classic example of one of the best family movies ever made, that remains as loved today as 70 years ago - Wizard of Oz. The first time i saw that movie a) i didn't find Dorothy likeable to begin with, she's a selfish, spoilt girl who runs away from home because she doesn't get her own way and causes all kinds of worry for her poor 'doing the best they can' family, but she learns to care for others and realise how important the life she had was, even in the face of the wonders and new friends of Oz; and b) the witch and flying monkeys scared the crap out of me. As an adult i still love it. Damn execs would probably not let that happen now: " oh no, we can't have her kill the witch" "oh, no we can't have a tin-man they don't test well, change it to a clown", "oh,no the dog looks like a mongrel, get a labrador"!!!!

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 11:33 a.m. CST

    well said, potsmoking alien

    by filmcoyote

    that is all

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 11:45 a.m. CST

    AFriend says let's out the execs,

    by filmcoyote

    A quick google search under Warner Bros head of production brings up the name Jeff Rubinov again and again. So figuring the warner bros e-mails are why not send a complaint to and let's see if that gets us anywhere. Why not suggest they at least have an AICN organised screening to guage reaction? Harry, you must know these people, can't you set something up?

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 12:14 p.m. CST

    the "test footage" said a whole lot

    by Rupee88

    I could see the studio execs coming to their sense and not wanting to release a colossal clusterfuck of a save face if nothing else.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 12:31 p.m. CST

    If this happens and you're mad: Boycott WB!

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Here's their slate of upcoming films: 10,000 BC, Snow Angels, Funny Games, Speed Racer, Get Smart, and the Dark Knight.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Don't forget the WB DVDs too

    by Samuel Fulmer

    I guess they're making more profit off of these than from cinema viewing.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 12:42 p.m. CST


    by PotSmokinAlien

    FilmCoyote: thanks dude/tte<P> DevilCat: could be-- i coulda sworn i heard it as being from King but lord knows i've been wrong before. Luckily my point remains intact despite.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 12:49 p.m. CST

    Sam Fulmer

    by PotSmokinAlien

    Aint gonna happen dudicand. Funny Games and Speed Racer are probably gonna divide people like the Red Sea but DK is going to kick the summer's anus hole thanks to the readers of this site... and everyone else on earth.<P>And when you think about it, say a boycott actually did work, wouldn't that just push WB further in the direction of making safe, lowest common denominator garbage?

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 1:01 p.m. CST

    lowest common denominator garbage

    by Samuel Fulmer

    You mean no more remakes and films based on comic books/old cartoons. How will the world survive?

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 1:27 p.m. CST

    Whatever they do..

    by Aethyrr

    ..we can only get bootlegs of the original *complete* film, right..?

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 2:29 p.m. CST

    The Pea's Are Touching My Corn Again!!!!!

    by ThePilgrim

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 2:31 p.m. CST

    The Muther Fucking Pea's Are Touching

    by ThePilgrim

    My Corn!!!!! Goddamn It! Jerk off in your Mouth, Tounge Kiss your Mom, and toss your Dad's Salad! You Fucked it all up!!! You made the Pea's Touch the Corn!

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 2:35 p.m. CST

    I aint boycotting shit...

    by Tourist

    ...It makes no difference anyway, you boycott those flicks, they'll just release boycott proof films like Meet The Spartans.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 3 p.m. CST

    alright y'all

    by applescruff

    Enough talking, let's bust out the muthafuckin AK's and roll on these fools. Fuck this shit.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Execs - look at the message you are sending

    by hallmitchell

    You are telling artists in America that if you make a vision movie. We will take it and destroy it. You have just put up a red flag to every talent in hollywood.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Like execs gives a fuck about talent in Hollywood....

    by Tourist

    ...Talent doesn't sell tickets, cheap CG and loud voiced comedians or lazy rushed knock off sequals to horror flicks do.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 5:40 p.m. CST

    Boo to Studio Execs

    by fastcars

    What's "likable" to them is usually "unlikable" to me. Whenever creators of shows describe the studio notes, they're always completely ridiculous. How do people so clueless ascend in power? Does the smog in Los Angeles slowly drain your brain cells? I'll see the Spike Jonze-Dave Eggers approved Wild Things, and nothing else.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 5:48 p.m. CST

    HULK Screenplay LEAKED find link here:

    by nooneimportant ninjas only please, don't tell where you found it!

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 5:48 p.m. CST

    Why is everyone againt CGI

    by skywalkerfamily

    Shit, this movie screams out CGI me!

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Revenge of the Bean Counters

    by bswise

    Get Brett Ratner to re-shoot, trim it to 73 minutes, redub the voices with Jim Carrey and Chris Tucker, CGI in a hip but loveable rapping side-kick mutt named Poochie... Oh, it'll be great! TO THE EXTREME!!

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 6:26 p.m. CST

    The Book and the Film

    by duanesm

    This is all crap. The book is NOT dark or scary (although, like all of Sendak's work, has some very deep psychological underpinings). The book is about every 5 year old's wish: when mom and dad punish me (in a world in which I have no control), it sure would be nice if I had my OWN world, where I was the boss, where I could have wild rumpuses to my heart's delight, and where I could send my "kids" to bed without supper, too. There's a reason EVERY 5 year old in America loves this book, after all, who wouldn't like to go Where the Wild Things Are--especially as a kid? Heck, it looks pretty cool to me as an adult. The inherent problem in all of this is the fact that some idiot at the studio managed to hang a huge bag of money in front of Sendak and got him to sell this thing in the first place. You can't take a book with less than 300 words in it and turn it into something that lasts 90 minutes without adding a ton of extraneous crap (single mom, sister, blah blah blah). Jonze is a talented filmmaker, but completely WRONG for this movie in the first place. To turn this whole thing into a dark movie for college students is to miss the point in the first place: it should never have been made. Oh--one last point--some of you keep listing "great kids' movies" like The Princess Bride, The Dark Crystal, and The Neverending Story. To begin with, TPB was NEVER a kids' movie and was never intended to be so. It's just that rare movie that works for both adults and kids. And TDC, while well-designed and beautifully created, never was a hit because it lacked a character that audiences could care for (the Gelflings were just too creepy looking)--and I LOVED that movie when I was a kid. And The Neverending Story was a horrible adaptation of a TRULY dark book. Read the original Michael Ende novel and you'll see just how screwed up the movie actually is. Let the flamewar begin, I'm fully aware that I will be attacked for this, but seriously, it's ridiculous that everyone is fighting for a movie that was a mistake in the first place.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 6:37 p.m. CST

    In ten years no one will care... as usual

    by Emperor_was_a_jerk

    Why do people make all this hoopla over movies that no one will really care about in ten years- hell, five years. "SAVE FANBOYS!". So in five years the version we see for the 100th time on Comedy Central will have a cancer plot? "SAVE WILD THINGS!". So it will be on the DVD sale shelf with every Harry Potter and Narnia movie at Target and people will buy it just to have it. Then never watch it. My point is that all these movies are transitional. They are made, then the go away. I know, I can't really say this because I have not seen them. But honestly, are ANY movies that are really amazing pieces of art been made lately? Wild Things is a studio movie. What everyone thinks is the greatest thing ever since anything and may not ever be seen was approved and financed by a studio. It will be no worse or better than any reshot version. Anyone remember people talking about how the Paul Schrader version of the Exorcist prequel HAD to be seen? It was said to be the greatest damn piece of cinema ever made and the movie company and execs were the worst kind of scum to keep us from seeing it. Five years later, its on the shelf at Target. Who cares? Just watch the movie that comes out, like it, don't like it, move on!

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 6:43 p.m. CST

    Parents are a bunch of pussies...

    by moviemenace

    nowadays. I grew up in the 80's, and kids flicks had balls... Gremlins- Little monsters reeking havoc and even killing people. The Goonies- Murderous crooks chasing children. Monster Squad- Murderous monsters chasing children. Temple of Doom- Dude tears out a beating heart, for Christ's sake. and many more... And these were kids flicks. Are parents so overprotective that studios think there kids can't take a little bit of darkness in there movies?

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 6:53 p.m. CST

    What can we do?

    by torgosPizza

    Boycotting is a dumb idea, but I'm up for doing something to make sure they are aware. I mean, you guys sent fucking peanuts to save a show most people had never heard of, and it worked. What can we throw at these cocksuckers to remind them that people want to see it as Spike intended us to, and all of their "happy-go-lucky" opinions are wrong?

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Return to Oz 2

    by Mattapooh

    As much as I'd like to check this out, I can definitely see the studio having a problem with a dark, cerebral take on a FUCKING CHILDREN'S BOOK. Putting the dark, slightly scary stuff in there is fine, but making it the main focus is just a dumb idea. If you're making a $75 million adaptation of a children's book, maybe your main focus should be to make a flick that captures the fantasy, darkness, silliness and fun of the book rather than some arthouse wankfest? I'm sorry, but they gave the guy a ton of money to make a playground and now everyone's pissing and moaning because he brought them an impressionist painting? Paintings are fine, but kids don't dig 'em. If you want to make the deep, dark version, go do it for $5-$10 million and you'll be okay.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Everyone's an expert on what "kids like"

    by bswise

    Me, I just want to see another Spike Jonze movie, the guy's a genius.

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 9:41 p.m. CST

    It will bomb anyway

    by skywalkerfamily

    Seriously, are people excited for this?

  • Feb. 28, 2008, 10:52 p.m. CST

    I need to see this film!

    by ijtfalcon

    I back Spike Jonze all the way. Who wouldn't want to see the Spike Jonze vision that has upset the studios? To me, that suggests the film is even better than I had originally thought it would be.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 12:09 a.m. CST


    by Tourist

    ...Not the studio, chose to allow Spike and Eggars to adapt it. He'd been offered huge amounts before, but he felt this team would best represent the material. Nods to the guy who brought up Return To Oz. I loved Oz as a wee little kid, but found Return To Oz a little too scary. Going back when I was a little older, around the same time I was going nuts for other darker childrens flicks, I still found Oz disturbing, but also really dry and depressing. There was no reason to really engage in it as a kid. I hope this isn't a similar case, but it seems to be.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 2:04 a.m. CST

    This will end up like the "Exorcist" prequel(s).

    by Mike_D

    we'll get the "studio cut" version in theatres and the "original cut" on dvd 6 months later.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 5:05 a.m. CST

    Spike Haters can fuck off

    by quantize

    really, what do you want? wall to wall shit, like the stuff you love to eat?

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 6:21 a.m. CST

    If this is a serious appeal

    by donnarumsfeld

    then publish some names and addresses for fuck's sake. e-mail whining is easy to dismiss but snail-mail is seen as serious.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 11:49 a.m. CST

    The book is "The Heart of Darkness" for six year olds.

    by Ingeld

    The movie should be called "Where the Wild Things Are--Now" The journey to the where the wild things are is a journey to the psyche in which language, thought and reason are absent. Notice when you read the picture books, the illustrations enlarge and push the text right off the page until he begins the return. It is NOT about some journey of introspection where Max comes to terms or understand of his psychological inner demons. He go to the island, has an emotional (not a psychological catharsis)and returns to the world of reason and rules. This movie may be interesting, but I am guessing aside from the name of Max, a white wolf suit and familiar looking creatures, it will not capture the spirit of the book.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Return To Oz was great

    by Lovecraftfan

    Not sure what the hate is about.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 12:40 p.m. CST


    by Multiplex

    Return to Oz was a bad example: that film was a more faithful adaptation of the books (even if it also wasn't very good); the original movie was not. The books are quite dark: the Tin Woodsman had all his limbs chopped off, for Christ's sake.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Track Record

    by TheBigChill

    Has Spike Jonze directed a feature length that was an abomination? I recently revisited the book, and while what the reviewer said was kind of true, it is about kids acting out, realizing that they were wrong and coming back for forgiveness, and in real life dessert. But all those themes the reviewer brought up, those are moments I can see being brought up. I don't know how popular WTWTA is now, I don't know how many parents still have their children read it. I just know that it was a staple of my childhood as well as my brothers', and when I heard Spike Jonze was being given the opportunity to bring it to the screen, I had faith. And after seeing those 'test' shots, I'm on board. I felt for both characters there. The simplicity of the dialog was perfect for the text. You could hear the heart of Carrol breaking in his voice. I could watch an entire movie about how the simplest of phrases can be taken out of context and turned into something that has such a greater effect on others than the orator intended. Max just thought robots were cool, but Carrol thought it meant Max didn't think he was special. Everyone has experienced this from both ends. Gah... just don't want to lose the opportunity to see a mature adaptation of the children's book. Someone start a petition.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 12:56 p.m. CST

    What's all this talk of college kids???

    by ZeroCorpse

    I owned this book as a kid, and I'm currently in my late 30s. The book wasn't published in the 90s, so I don't know why people are talking about it being tied to the current college crowd. It was published in 1963, so Weezer is not exactly appropriate. The Beatles might be a better fit if you're aiming for the nostalgic crowd. <p> Of course, I've noticed that every kid born in the late 80s thinks that everything they saw in their childhood didn't exist until they came around. <p> No, Kurt Cobain didn't invent grunge or angst-punk and he didn't write "The Man Who Sold the World." And no, rap is not new or youthful either; It's been on the music charts for over 30 years. No, Green Day isn't punk; They're pop punk, and they are about as rebellious, genuine and anti-establishment as the Monkees were a couple decades earlier. <p> Look-- What I'm saying is that Where the Wild Things Are is an OLD book. It's older than about 97% of the posters in this Talkback. It's not something specifically from YOUR youth unless you were a 5-year-old in the mid 1960s, in which case you'd be over 45 and this book would be a fuzzy memory from your youth. <p> Just because you 20-somethings read it 15-24 years ago doesn't mean it's "special" and "unique" to your generation. It's been around for over 40 years!!! <p> So no fucking Weezer. No Green Day. No Nirvana on the soundtrack. Making this book "belong" to a specific age group is completely and utterly ridiculous. <p> As for it being "dark" - - - Well, I remember it being a warm fuzzy book with cuddly monsters, with the premise being that Max is moping in his room and uses the Wild Things to escape and fantasize about being "in charge" until he misses his family and being a boy without responsibilities. There's no deep message to this book, and anybody who sees one in it is really filling in the blanks and reading between the lines. <p> Personally, I think they should leave it well enough alone and let it go another forty-five years as just a book. <p> If the tone of the clip we saw is that they're conveying in the real movie, then I say it sucks. That's not the tone of the book. That's fucking depressing and flat. I saw no heart in the clip; Just attitude. There's a damn difference.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Return to Oz was awesome.

    by ZeroCorpse

    The only Oz movie to get Dorothy's age right, and the only one to get the actual tone of Oz into the story. Oz wasn't a land of happy fun fun dancing midgets. It was a weird, unsettling place with oddities that made the reader think perhaps Dorothy was a little bit insane, or at least darkly imaginative. <p> Fairuza Balk was great in it. Tick Tock was pretty damn accurate, too.. And even though the combined a couple characters into one, and altered the whole Nome King story (even the part about the eggs) they still caught the feel of the books they were adapting. <p> The only problem with Return to Oz was that they tried to combine two (or even three) Oz books into one story. It was like a Cliff's Notes version of Oz, but with several pages from one book (Ozma of Oz) mixed into the other (Marvelous Land of Oz), thereby creating a totally new and unexpected story. <p> Anyway, I like it better than The Wizard of Oz, which is just too saccharine and silly for my taste. I also really hate the trend of Hollywood to cast adult actresses as the child leads in classic tales. Dorothy and Alice should be children, not older teenagers or adults. Making them adults screws up the themes of their stories for me.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 2:04 p.m. CST

    Oh well.

    by dr sauch

    I mean, come on. This isn't that big a deal.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 5:16 p.m. CST

    I concur, zerocorpse

    by moondoggy2u

    I, too, love Return to Oz; its a marvelous fantasy film in its own right. As a musical, Wizard of Oz will always have a special place in my heart, but as a fantasy tale, it does play second fiddle to Return. Also, was Queen Mambi or was she not one of the creepiest things ever seen in a film? I was in my twenties and it was pretty damn spooky.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 6:45 p.m. CST

    by DannyDorko666


  • Feb. 29, 2008, 9:10 p.m. CST

    Do marketing executives realize THEY are unlikable?

    by ebonic_plague

    I can only imagine what kind of delusional condescending feedback would result from a soulless marketing douchebag trying to critique and manipulate a real emotionally powerful work from a talented artist.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 10:13 p.m. CST

    Not sure about the movie troubles, but I do know...

    by Supernatural_Canary

    FOR A FACT that Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, has by contract final say on the director and the writer. Mr. Sendak really gets along with Spike Jonze and has enthused over Mr. Jonze's and Mr. Eggers's take on Max and the Wild Things. <p> Mr. Sendak is a towering icon of the children's publishing industry and a national treasure. He revolutionized picture books, which before him were often timid and shallow. Tragically, the influence of such greats as Mr. Sendak, William Steig, Ezra Jack Keats, and others is drowned in a sea of shameful mediocrity. <p> But here's the thing, and I know this really sucks. Generally the idiots in suits who run the show consider contracts minor obstacles to be "lawyered" into irrelevance. I don't know what's going to happen, but I hope Mr. Sendak puts up a fight. Or has trusted allies do for him, as the case may be.

  • Feb. 29, 2008, 11:42 p.m. CST

    RE: "Smiling Monsters"

    by amrcanpoet

    To whoever said that the book was about smiling monsters, please go back and read it again. WTWTA was my favorite book as a child, and I've been reading it to my son almost every night for the past 4 months, so I very clearly still have some haunting lines stuck in my head: "They roared their terrible roars, rolled their terrible eyes, gnashed their terrible teeth, and showed their terrible claws." That's the anger right there, not some smiling fucking monsters. "They cried, Oh please don't go, we love you so! We'll eat you all up!" There's the love. So, you can easily see how this book was intended to demonstrate an imagination full of anger AND love. So, if Jonze's movie is what the reviewer indicated it was, then it is an EXTREMELY close adaptation.

  • March 1, 2008, 4:45 a.m. CST


    by PeteBogs

    I love Jonze's work, and I loathe studio meddling... yet this review sounds a bit to me like Gilliam's Tideland, which I looked forward to seeing, but left me very disappointed... in that case, the studio was right not to give it a big release... it seems doing an adult take on childhood is tough for filmmakers to pull off...

  • March 1, 2008, 10:51 p.m. CST


    by rartus

    this thread is played out.

  • March 4, 2008, 5:41 a.m. CST

    by caltsoudas

    I know I'm etering this way too late, but... isn't this WARNER BROS. we're talking about? WB execs usually don't meddle too hard with producers' and directors' visions from my experience. Ofcourse unlike Paramount, Dreamowrks, Miramax, etc. they tend to make MOVIES and not films, but still. Most of my favorite artsy blockbusters happen to be released from Warner, so I'm a bit taken back by this news.

  • March 6, 2008, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Maybe the test clip is "nothing like the movie"...

    by rev_skarekroe

    ...because they're re-shooting it?

  • April 23, 2008, 9:31 p.m. CST

    Where the Wild Things Is As Dark As You Are... or were.

    by opaquemurdock

    amrcanpoet makes great points about the actual words found in the book not exactly being "nice". Anyone really looking at the art and reading the content should see that it is not a "cute" story. Its supposed to be a bit on the edge, without crossing the line. Max is an angry boy. He is frustrated, a bit out of control, and trying to deal with his anger for being punished. When he "runs away" what he is doing is working through his problems with his imagination. The wild things ARE his dark side! At least that is my take on it... It seems so clear to me and It's quite brilliant really. So I guess what I am saying is if you had a happy go lucky childhood, or choose to deny yourself access to those dark feelings you had as a child, then the monsters were smiling... for the rest of us, they were gnashing their terrible teeth in an attempt to keep the rage under control. If you grew up like I did, constantly under attack and in danger, you may be more interested in the Spike Jones version... in the same way that the original work by Maurice Sendak was more than just a cute little book to me when I was a kid. Mr. Sendak gave me a tremendous gift back then... he showed me how to escape.

  • April 23, 2008, 9:53 p.m. CST

    I hate....

    by opaquemurdock

    forum systems that don't resister line breaks... what year is this? 1996? Sorry... ugh.