Friday, April 15, 2011

THE ITCH TO PITCH (Part One): "National Lampoon's Space Station Vacation"

Breaking into Hollywood in this day and age is a daunting task for any aspiring screenwriter -- especially those who aspire to originality. Remakes, reboots, reimaginings and sequels continue to dominate the yearly output of every major studio. Well, I'm broke. Screw originality! Sign me up for the goddamn job! Here are snippets, pitches, story outlines and casting suggestions for the ridiculous Hollywood sequels I'm ready to write NOW.


A reboot is already in the works for this franchise. It will follow Rusty Griswold, now a grownup, as he takes his own wife and kids on a vacation. Chevy Chase and Beverly D'angelo are set to reprise their roles as Mr. & Mrs. Griswold, but probably relegated to some glorified grandparent cameos. This is a poor idea. Uninspired. Boring too. Who are they going to cast as an adult Rusty?** Don't give me any of that Anthony Michael Hall shit either. The only qualified actor in my mind is Jason Lively. He crushed the role in 'European Vacation'.

Let's face it, Chevy Chase is the true star of the 'Vacation' movies. Seriously. Look at what happened when Randy Quaid took the reins on 'Christmas Vacation 2'. Actually, don't look. It's not pretty. In my opinion, they should totally scrap the reboot idea. So, what's the next logical step for a Griswold family vacation? Blast off into outer space!

Other franchises have done it; admittedly, some were not so successful. But here? It's a no-brainer. The set up is rife with comedic potential. Imagine: excruciatingly funny anti-gravity set pieces, super powerful space station toilets sucking out excrement, complaints about crappy liquid astronaut food, obligatory Uranus/anus jokes, Clark's quirky dealings with a few difficult-to-understand Cosmonauts, dangerously hilarious hull breaches, absurd faces caused by oxygen depletion, classic rantings and ravings about the miseries of cosmic travel, poignant pontifications on the meaning of family within the human experience, crash landings on desolate planets, hostile and/or friendly and/or sexy aliens... the list goes on and on. Hell, even Cousin Eddie could pop up as a stow-away! Yup, this thing is writing itself.

To the kind folks at National Lampoons, please, take this idea into consideration. Reboots are boring. Outer space is full of potential. 

P.S. If your gut instinct is to keep the Griswolds on Earth, fine. I have one more idea. Get rid of the 'vacation' as a major motif and make it a minor one. Stay with me, okay? Have the movie center on Audrey (a role reprised by Juliette Lewis). The story? Audrey gets impregnated for the first time out of wedlock, and her boyfriend abandons her (William Zabka). With nowhere to turn, she heads home to seek support from her parents: Clark and Ellen Griswold. Regardless of the circumstances, Clark remains the proud - yet hapless and annoying - expectant grandfather. He wreaks havoc on Audrey's life for eight long months. Eventually, a major falling out occurs. Not to worry though, Clark and Audrey reconcile and the Griswolds get together for a fun-filled family vacation -- camping in Canada (Jason Lively tags along as Rusty). But, while deep in the Canadian woods, Audrey accidentally induces an early labor by coming into contact with the wrong bit of fungi. Clark is the only person who can deliver his daughter, and his future granddaughter, to safety. Will he succeed? Yes, since the movie will be titled: 'It's A Griswold!'

National Lampoon's Vacation (20th Anniversary Special Edition)National Lampoon's European VacationNational Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Special Edition)
Vegas Vacation (Widescreen Edition)National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2 - Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure

**Ed Helms is the new Rusty. Suddenly indifferent. I'm holding on to the hope that the Griswold clan will have an outer space blast off in the reboot's sequel.

No comments:

Post a Comment