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Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist to be re-imagined as a heist movie; Bookworms worldwide die a little inside

02.12.2013

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Ow...this hurts my brain...

THR has news that Sony has a re-imagining of the Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist in the works called DODGE AND TWIST. The idea comes from Ahmet Zappa (yes they are related) and his company Monsterfoot Productions will be helping to produce.

DODGE AND TWIST "takes pickpocketing rivals Oliver Twist and Artful Dodger and re-imagines them 20 years down the road. The two are on opposite sides of the law and get embroiled in an affair to steal the Crown," and may have a similar tone/style as the Robert Downey Jr. lead SHERLOCK films. Writing the script is Cole Haddon, creator of the new NBC show Dracula. The movie is not associated at all with the graphic novel of the same name by Tony Lee.

This is only slightly less ridiculous than the 3-D parkour version of Oliver Twist that Red Bull is (or was?) planning. When people like to complain about Hollywood not having any original ideas it is movies like this that help support their argument. DODGE AND TWIST may turn out to be a fun 19th century heist movie, but couldn't we get the film without it being associated to Oliver Twist? I'd watch an original heist movie set during that time period, wouldn't you? Is it because there's such little faith in the writers out there to deliver something unique or is it purely because the studio is chasing dollar signs?

This isn't the first case of a classic novel being updated/re-imagined and I'm sure it won't be the last.

Extra Tidbit: Does this sound like a good idea to anyone?

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+3
6:49PM on 02/12/2013
So, someone, somewhere was sitting around thinking "what would Oliver Twist be like 20 years later?" Is that something people care about? Besides the awful name (really?), the plot sounds too hokey to be a semi-sequel to the classic novel. This isn't so much an adaptation as it is creative license with the source, unwanted creative license.
So, someone, somewhere was sitting around thinking "what would Oliver Twist be like 20 years later?" Is that something people care about? Besides the awful name (really?), the plot sounds too hokey to be a semi-sequel to the classic novel. This isn't so much an adaptation as it is creative license with the source, unwanted creative license.
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6:38PM on 02/12/2013
Let's be serious. Bad idea, sure. But you can't tell me that it's the worst idea that has come out of Hollywood.
Let's be serious. Bad idea, sure. But you can't tell me that it's the worst idea that has come out of Hollywood.
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11:33AM on 02/12/2013
What the fuck is this garbage?
What the fuck is this garbage?
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11:29AM on 02/12/2013
You write, "I'd watch an original heist movie set during [the late Victorian Era such as Conan Doyle's tales], wouldn't you?" Yeah, I would. And, which audience members does Sony think that the studio gains by name recognition? Dodge and Twist refers to the Artful Dodger and Oliver Twist. Well, who knows those characters? Who loves those characters and Dickens? Is that audience the same core demographic for this project? Does Sony plan to fool English professors or something?
On one hand,
You write, "I'd watch an original heist movie set during [the late Victorian Era such as Conan Doyle's tales], wouldn't you?" Yeah, I would. And, which audience members does Sony think that the studio gains by name recognition? Dodge and Twist refers to the Artful Dodger and Oliver Twist. Well, who knows those characters? Who loves those characters and Dickens? Is that audience the same core demographic for this project? Does Sony plan to fool English professors or something?
On one hand, halloweenshape makes a great point. Movies re-interpret established literature all of the time. This evolution is a necessary process for sharing culturallly essential stories from generation to generation. It is a necessary process for keeping old tales fresh.
HOWEVER, a culture's essential stories must maintain their essential elements. For example, Gulliver's Travels must be a work about both ideas and spectacle. Arguably, it should not become the Jack Black adaptation with giant robots fighting at the end. Nor should Black's Year One be a person's version of the Bible. A story's original version does matter. For example, some tales are very somber, sad tales with sad, thoughtful endings. A movie audience should not get the surprise of a redacted "Hollywood ending" to such a tale. Nor should cerebral works become about endless, mindless action. Nor should many other alterations occur to a work "perfect" as it is.
Does an adaptation remain true to a beloved story's spirit and events? I suppose that that question is the heuristic. And, has the adaptor adapted with his heart in the right place and for the right reasons? For example, Shakespeare re-presented pre-Elizabethan history in a way that spoke to his Elizabethan times. Besides making a profit, the Bard was making a better society. King Roger Corman has been upfront about his profit motive, but he has been also honest about his adaptations of greater works. He provides the same big studio films that one loves, but he does so with more T and A and OTT violence. That's fine. We B-movie lovers love all of that shit. On the other hand, modern Sony seems to want to whore-out and pander. The studio turned the Spider-Man property into a Twilight version of Spidey, for example. And, the studio wants now to make Oliver Twist into. . . . . I don't know. The Fast and the Furious? Heat? Scarface? The Great Muppet Caper? Great Gatsby 3D? The story cannot "just" be the canonical classic Olvier Twist. In Sony's hands, Oliver Twist cannot be a well-done tale of poverty and small-time crime. It cannot be like contemporary cinema's City of God. Dickens work has to become something sucky for short attention spans and the inevitable video game adaptation.
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10:09AM on 02/12/2013

Predictions

Let's [link] tween-friendly, young rivals with prefect hair who come together at the end to fight a common foe. Both infatuated with an upper-class girl even though there's one girl in the neighborhood who is secretly in love with one of them. Several parkour-inspired chase scenes (up-ended fruit carts included). End of movie left open for sequels.
Let's [link] tween-friendly, young rivals with prefect hair who come together at the end to fight a common foe. Both infatuated with an upper-class girl even though there's one girl in the neighborhood who is secretly in love with one of them. Several parkour-inspired chase scenes (up-ended fruit carts included). End of movie left open for sequels.
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9:45AM on 02/12/2013

Bookworms Die a Little... Why?

Why would bookworms die a little? They've gotten countless adaptations of this novel already, and classic stories are constantly re-imagined into strange, oddball, and fresh takes. Look at how The Odyssey was adapted into O Brother Where Art Thou? Or how Dracula and Frankenstein and have been adapted into hundreds of varying takes. Don't judge before you see it.
Why would bookworms die a little? They've gotten countless adaptations of this novel already, and classic stories are constantly re-imagined into strange, oddball, and fresh takes. Look at how The Odyssey was adapted into O Brother Where Art Thou? Or how Dracula and Frankenstein and have been adapted into hundreds of varying takes. Don't judge before you see it.
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8:49AM on 02/12/2013
Simple question: Why?
Also Sherlock Holmes worked merely because of two reasons 1) RDJ convinced us that Sherlock can be an action hero, and 2) Watson was perfectly cast....
Simple question: Why?
Also Sherlock Holmes worked merely because of two reasons 1) RDJ convinced us that Sherlock can be an action hero, and 2) Watson was perfectly cast....
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7:53AM on 02/12/2013
What's next? William Shakespeare's Hamlet re-imagining as one-man army revenge tale by way of Taken meets The Terminator?
What's next? William Shakespeare's Hamlet re-imagining as one-man army revenge tale by way of Taken meets The Terminator?
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7:53AM on 02/12/2013
My wife is an English major and she was pissed that Kristen Stewart is in the movie On The Road. Now because of this news, she's going to lose her shit.
My wife is an English major and she was pissed that Kristen Stewart is in the movie On The Road. Now because of this news, she's going to lose her shit.
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