EDITORIAL: What current stories will make good films?
What Current Stories Will Make Good Films?
Once upon a time, it took a little while for Hollywood to take on modern stories. There was a sort of unofficial understood waiting period before a major, real life event could be turned into a film. These days, however, that period has evaporated, as evidenced by numerous recent examples. Peter Berg’s Patriot’s Day about the Boston Marathon bombing came out just a few short years after the event; Oscar-nominated Zero Dark Thirty followed a similar timeline after the killing of Osama bin Laden; and we recently learned that Charlize Theron is already set to play Megyn Kelly in a film about the Roger Ailes scandal. Basically, films about current events are coming out a lot closer to the actual events. That got me wondering about what current stories might make for good films. So, just for fun, here are a few ideas and suggestions:
The Trump Investigation
Needless to say for anyone keeping tabs on current events, the Trump presidency in the United States has been full of drama. There’s already one television adaptation on the way, specifically of the controversial tell-all Fire & Fury by Michael Wolff. However, it also seems inevitable that a major film or miniseries will be made about the justice department’s investigation into foreign involvement in the Trump campaign. It’s a compelling drama no matter where you fall on the political spectrum, and it’s packed with interesting characters. Here’s one particularly neat idea: Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the investigation, could be an ideal role to lure Daniel Day-Lewis out of his recently self-imposed retirement.
The Rise Of Mohamed Salah
On a lighter note, the past year has brought about one of the more remarkable sports stories about an individual in recent memory. Mohamed Salah was known as a great football player before the 2017-18 season, but catapulted himself to the top of the European ranks out of nowhere. He led the Premier League in goals scored and as of this writing has Liverpool in surprise contention for the Champions League title. This summer he’ll also lead Egypt, his national team, in the World Cup. It’s been an incredible rise, and should Salah have more triumphant moments this summer it will be worthy of Hollywood.
The Las Vegas Golden Knights
Sticking with sports for a moment, the Las Vegas Golden Knights of the National Hockey League have been an equally incredible story. An expansion team for this season, the Golden Knights have shocked the hockey world and have a legitimate shot at winning the Stanley Cup in their first season. Sports fans and even some moviegoers who don’t follow sports love underdog stories, and this would be one for the ages. It would need a good writer and a great deal of character dramatization (given that the team doesn’t have a big name star, really). But the core of the story itself is the stuff of an uplifting sports film.
There’s some risk here of exploiting tragedy, and for this reason the Parkland saga might ultimately work better as a documentary. But what happened and is continuing to happen following a tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida has been remarkable. Thrust violently into the middle of America’s ongoing problem with gun violence and school shootings, the students of Stoneman Douglas high school spoke up loudly and continually to change the nature of the gun control date across a nation. It’s a remarkable story that will ultimately go down in history books if and when gun laws change significantly in the United States, and it could well lead to a cinematic tribute of sorts.
HI-SEAS has gotten surprisingly little media coverage. But it’s a fascinating experiment that almost already sounds more like a movie than real life. Basically it’s an artificial Mars colony at a remote location in Hawaii, where a group of carefully chosen strangers were asked to live together for the better part of a year. The experiment produced a podcast already, documenting the interactions and findings of the participants, whose primary job was to provide NASA with some idea of the psychological and social impact on a group of people living in Mars-like conditions over time. A film could either build on the actual experiment or else simply use it as inspiration for a similar story.