x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Stories best left untold

In Hollywood, prequels, sequels and threequels are all the rage. We take a look at the pitches for a few that might not receive funding...

Star Trek was a success. A rash of summer movies have numbers in the titles. And prequels to The Lord of the Rings and Alien are in the works. In Hollywood, prequels, sequels and threequels are all the rage. We take a look at the pitches for a few that might not receive funding...

Groundhog Day Drama set in a Pittsburgh TV station featuring many days in the life of Bill Murray as a selfish and mean-spirited weatherman. Laugh as he viciously insults his cameraman before firing him. Roar as he returns home to cold takeaway and glares at the television with hard and tearless eyes. Film will also attempt to set world record for time-based montage sequences: calendar pages blowing away, clock hands speeded up, time-lapse day-night photography, etc. A "reboot" of the series that should meet with enormous success.

Jaws A tearjerking examination of the little-observed life cycle of the great white shark, set in the warm waters off Baja, California. A female great white becomes pregnant and eventually spawns her young. When Mom leaves to avoid eating her offspring, little J is left alone. But will he ever rise to the top of the food chain? Suggested slogan: "We're going to need a smaller boat." The Sound of Music

A hard-edged, millennial reboot of the film, chronicling the desperate efforts of a captain in the pre-war Austrian navy to discipline his children after the death of his wife. Exhausted from repeated tours of duty, Captain von Trapp humourlessly attempts to marshal his household with blasts on his bosun's whistle. Whistle provides the entire soundtrack to the film. Suggested director: Lars von Trier.

Night of the Living Dead Trapped in a morgue, seven corpses realise that they are surrounded by a hospital full of horribly intelligent humans intent on burying, burning or dismembering them. Will they survive the siege until morning by the simple expedient of keeping very, very still? Night of the Living Living will be a modern masterpiece of suspense in the (re)making, cunningly inverting the franchise's premise to provide a searing real-time commentary on anthropocentrism and social exclusivity. Suggested length: 10 hours. Suggested director: Terrence Malick.

Conan the Septuagenarian A clear-eyed examination of human frailty and the will to power in the tradition of The Wrestler. A former governor of California, far gone in years and bulging with gristle, ropy veins and flaps of skin, is slowly dressed in costume and made to lift, carry and exercise with a supernaturally large sword for two hours while reciting infantile platitudes in an Austrian accent he lost several decades ago. Suggested tagline: "He said he'd be back"

The Usual Suspects 2 Follows the fading fortunes of the crimelord Keyser Soze as he attempts to come to terms with professional setbacks caused by the loss of all his former associates - as well as curvature of the spine and repetitive strain injury caused by prolonged counterfeiting of a limp and gammy hand. Eventually finds redemption taking part in a community storytelling workshop. Suggested director: Robert Zemeckis.

Aliens vs Predator vs Transformers vs Zombies Optimus Prime crash-lands on an alien planet populated by ... oh, it doesn't take a genius to work it out. Possible opportunity to include (delete as appropriate): Spider-Man, Batman, Daredevil, Wolverine, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Mummy, The Emperor, Ming the Merciless, the T-1000 and Harrison Ford. Suggested director: Michael Bay (vs Michael Bay).