I’d imagine that, for many of our hard-working teachers, saddled with this new generation of ADD-addled, ultra-ironic young whipper-snappers, it must be a mighty daunting endeavor to try to convince them that history is interesting and worth knowing, much less cool. After all, how can passed bills, the evolution of the electoral process and stuffy old white men in powdered wigs ever compete with the infinitely sexier distractions of text-messaging, “Twilight” and X-box Live? I suspect they can’t.
So, bless the oft-delusional folks in Hollywood, then, for doing their best to further the educational cause, building multi-million-dollar cinematic enterprises aimed at both informing and engaging the scattered minds of impressionable youth. Why, if it weren’t for them, this society just might completely disintegrate as we know it.
Their latest opus? “Leonardo Da Vinci and the Soldiers of Forever,” a rousing account of the Renaissance genius’ well-documented days spent saving the world as we know it from the sinister forces of evil. “Say what?!,” you sputter?
As detailed over at the Hollywood Reporter, the costly film, set up at Warner Bros., will “re-imagine Da Vinci as a member of a secret society who falls headlong into a supernatural adventure that pits the man against Biblical demons in a story involving secret codes, lost civilizations, hidden fortresses and fallen angels.” The project, still in its formative stages, is currently being pitched as “‘National Treasure’ and ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ by way of ‘Clash of the Titans.’”
Oy vey, some things you just can’t make up, folks (but if you can, you’ll be insanely rich!)
Although I’m not usually against the flagrant bastardization of history for entertainment value — I did name “Inglourious Basterds” as the best film of 2009, after all — there’s something about this project that kinda rubs me the wrong way. While I can see it sort of working if the filmmakers tackles it with their tongues-firmly-in-cheek, similar to the current bestseller “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter,” I’m foreseeing something much blander and generic — a joylessly moronic CG-crammed blockbuster along the lines of “Van Helsing.”
Plus, the fact that “Leonardo Da Vinci and the Soldiers of Forever” is being based on a treatment by producer Adrian Askarieh — whose sole completed work is 2007’s uninspired “Hitman” video-game adaptation — doesn’t exactly have me doing giggly somersaults of confidence.
And if this movie earns truckloads of cash, will that mean a future of flicks featuring dignified individuals of historical merit? I’m not sure I’m comfortable with seeing Betsy Ross single-handedly topple an army of invading cyborg warriors, or Herman Melville discovering the lost land of Atlantis via magical submarine. Even worse, can you fathom having to witness a loony Geoffrey Chaucer following around a brave knight engaged in an epic jousting tournament? Oh wait, that already happened…
Regardless, how do you guys out there in cyberspace feel about this potentially troubling creative decision? Are there limits to how far history can bend before it breaks? Cast your votes in the comments section!
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Follow Cam Smith on Twitter at http://twitter.com/camspcepisodes.