Brett Ratner Threatens Broadway Musical 'Wicked' as His "Dream Project"

by Sam Price
October 29, 2011 1:29 AM
9 Comments
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It’s been a while since chubby megalomaniac Brett Ratner deigned to bother the film world with his mirthless blitherings behind the camera, but with the decidedly non-revolutionaryTower Heist” hitting theatres in the proximate future, the bolshie “Rush Hour 3” director seemingly can’t keep his trap shut.

Not merely content with becoming a ubiquitous by-word for offensive mediocrity (next time you’re stuck in a public bathroom with a case of the runs be sure to scream out “I’m Ratnering!”), in an otherwise unremarkable New York Times piece, he lets slip that helming a film version of hit Broadway musical “Wicked” would be his “dream project." Which is an odd coincidence, because we've had actual nightmares about that.

In the same piece Ratner also reveals himself to be possessed of a persecution complex that would slightly outrank Jesus Christ, though remains a hair shy of hubris champion James ‘King of the World’ Cameron, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that such a lowly proposition as a “Wizard of Oz” inflected musical would be incongruous for this titan of cinema – until you realise Ratner has the build and world-view of an over-zealous representative of the Lollipop Guild. This is, after all, the same Brett Ratner who thought it in good taste to position a set-piece in a family film that involved Roman Polanski conducting a cavity search as the stuff of ribald hilarity. All together now – “If he only had a brain…”

“Wicked,” for the few mouth-breathers left on the planet unfamiliar with the tale, is near enough the Patient Zero of the ‘revisionist fairy tale’ nonsense that Disney punted into the cinematic stratosphere in 2010 c/o Tim Burton’s creatively bankrupt art-design haemorrhage “Alice in Wonderland.” Repositioning the L. Frank Baum literary classic from the Wicked Witch’s POV, it does, at least, have a shimmering track record behind it – both as a successful novel and a phenomenally lucrative international hit on the stage. It also includes ditties like “Popular” which includes lyrics such as, “It’s not aptitude/It’s the way you’re viewed.” – a position with which Ratner will no doubt empathize – and a line that it might be useful to trot out when people point out the guy who directed “Red Dragon” might not have the same critical skills as choreographers-cum-directors such as Bob Fosse and Stanley Donen.

As a project, this has been outwardly dead in the water for over a year, when J.J. Abrams, Ryan Murphy, James Mangold and Rob Marshall were in the frame as potential directors; none of whom are incendiary mavericks, but all arguably more competent than Ratner. The quixotic allure of Oz is vaguely baffling, given that it’s felled great directors (Sidney Lumet’s “The Wiz” stands as the eternal cautionary tale) but continues to trundle on to the tune of several million dollars in the form of Sam Raimi’s “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” attracting talent as diverse as Rachel Weisz and, uh, Zach Braff.

But Brett Ratner is just hypothesising about Brett Ratner, as Brett Ratner is wont to do. He assures us he’s nothing if not prodigious, in a state of terminal reinvention, imploring, “I’ve always challenged myself, and whether I failed or not, I didn’t fail in my mind.” Of course not, Brett, of course not. The Chris Tucker for Scarecrow campaign begins here.

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9 Comments

  • matt | October 30, 2011 12:40 PMReply

    Don't really care either way about Monsieur Ratner, but I don't see what the point of calling him chubby was. No need for insult-slinging when his "work" pretty much speaks for itself

  • Oliver Lyttelton | October 30, 2011 5:47 AMReply

    Thanks for calling Ryan Murphy a masterful storyteller. I haven't laughed so hard since I saw the American Horror Story pilot.

  • Concerned Man | October 30, 2011 4:40 AMReply

    I concur. The writer of this article is irrational. Although I myself am not an avid fan it Brett Ratner, I do not deem him as the worst cinematic director. Sam Price - please don't bring JJ Abrams, Rob Marshall, Tim Burton, and yes even Ryan Murphy into the picture. These gentlemen are extraordinary storytellers and shouldn't be disdained by a lone blogger. And Sam, I'd like to see your Academy Award winning or Emmy winning piece to validate your arguments.

  • Jess | October 30, 2011 2:50 AMReply

    Wow. The person who wrote this sounds like a douche.

  • sam | October 29, 2011 11:13 AMReply

    if there is one thing ratner does well (i like some of his work) is big splash visually intresting films with big casts and more often then not big special effects and set peices so this could work well.

  • CCYPOP | October 29, 2011 10:28 AMReply

    "The Chris Tucker for Scarecrow campaign begins here" well, theres no scarecrow per se, but theres a Fiyero, and oh please dont put ideas on Ratners head.

  • TJ | October 29, 2011 7:22 AMReply

    What's special about this? It's just about a green girl and a goat.

  • Brocky | October 29, 2011 2:11 AMReply

    While I've never hated the man as much as the rest of the cinema-going world seems to, I have to say that him directing Wicked would be one of the biggest mistakes in movie history.

    Adam Shankman would be my personal choice. He's an Oz fan and practically begged Disney for Oz: The Great and Powerful, losing to Raimi. Just my opinion but I think it'd be a perfect fit if they wanted to go with someone who knew what they were doing.

    Or maybe hiring a director who no one expects will actually work in the films favor. Either way I wish this project would hurry up and get off the ground, the musical has already toured most countries, so it is fresh in many minds. Don't wait for it to close on Broadway before you do something with this property, the citizens of NY aren't the only people who will see this movie. And we know how Hollywood loves money, it doesn't make sense for them to not make it.

  • Glass | October 29, 2011 1:54 AMReply

    I'd like to see Brett Ratner in a Broadway bro-down with Stephen Sondheim.

    "SUP BRO"
    "TAKE A SWING BRO"
    "RIGHT HERE BRO"

    This article brought a handful of luls.

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