THE NEGATIVE ZONE #003: LOOPER, WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY RIAN JOHNSON
by Andrew Neal
The timeline has changed. The promised review column I wrote for the comics of Brandon Graham will run in two weeks instead of today.
In another timeline, I overheard several phone calls made by folks working on the production of the movie Looper. Something has happened in my past self’s present which is causing my memory to blur, but I have recorded the ones I can remember here. There are some mild-to-moderate spoilers here, or if you haven’t seen the trailer, I guess there are some major spoilers:
“Do you think people are gonna buy that Joe and Bruce are playing the same guy? Yeah, yeah, I know they’re good actors, it’s just that people might not get that they’re playing the same guy. So here’s what I’m thinking: in order to make it a little more clear that they’re the same guy, we’ll put Joe in that mask I have that looks kind of like Ray Liotta as Frankenstein. Cool?”
“Hey, I’ve been looking over the script, and I’ve got to say, there’s a really significant issue with the flow of the movie. Specifically, you get to the middle of the movie, and it’s moving along and we’ve finally built up some momentum, and I’m worried people are going to get too caught up in the flow of what’s going on, so here’s an idea: about halfway into the movie, maybe a little more, we’ll introduce two new important characters in such a way that it just slams all the action to a halt. That ought to just confuse and bore the hell out of people, which would really bring us back to where a time travel movie ought to be.”
“Hey, man, I’m kind of freaked out and I don’t know what to do. Yeah. Yeah, okay, I’m calm. I’m cool. Okay. Thanks. Thanks for cooling me down. So here’s the problem: remember how at the beginning of the movie, we had this whole thing about telekinesis? Yeah, well, we completely forgot about it after that, and now we’re almost done with the movie! So, okay… yeah… oh, wow, great, I like that idea. So what you’re saying is that we can just jam the whole telekinesis thing back in there at the end, and the whole end of the movie can be about telekinesis. Right? Awesome. Thanks.”
“Hey, could I speak to Mister Oldman, please? This is Bruce. Bruce Willis. Yeah. No. Willis. Yes, I’ll hold… hey, Gary, it’s Bruce! Yeah, listen, do you still have that hairpiece thing you wore in The Fifth Element? Yeah? Hey, that’s great. I’m working on this new thing where Joseph Gordon Levitt and I are playing the same guy, and… what? Yeah, it’s a time travel movie. No. Not like Twelve Monkeys. But yeah. We’re playing the same guy. Anyway, so you know frogs? Yeah, frogs. Like the reptile. Okay then, amphibian. You get what I mean. Frogs. So imagine Joe is the polliwog, and I’m the frog, right? No, I’m not playing an actual frog. This is conceptual, Gary. Pay attention. Okay, so Joe is the polliwog, and I’m the frog, but we need a shot of that in-between phase where it’s like a polliwog with little frog legs coming out the back, and for that, I’m thinking if you still have that Fifth Element hairpiece thing, I could throw that on and it would be perfect for showing that intermediate phase. So yeah, I’ll be over to pick that up, let’s see, when? Would eight o’clock work for you? Great, great. I can burn you another CD of my harmonica stuff to bring over if you… Gary? Gary, are you there?”