SCENE. A studio BIGWIG and his three JUNIOR EXECUTIVES are sitting in his office.
BIGWIG: I find myself in a disagreeable mood, boys.
FIRST JUNIOR EXECUTIVE: Oh, no!
SECOND JUNIOR EXECUTIVE: We’ll do anything to make it better!
THIRD JUNIOR EXECUTIVE: They really will.
BIGWIG: I appreciate that. But I need only answers. How much money has Underdog made?
FIRST: Well, it has made about thirty-two million dollars.
BIGWIG: And how much did it cost us?
THIRD: Production cost about sixty. Advertising probably ran us another five to ten.
BIGWIG: Yes. I know the numbers. I was asking for rhetorical purposes. The actual question being asked was “why has Underdog not made us a very large pile of money?”
THIRD (shrugging): It’ll probably end up covering its budget after about a year of DVD rentals and sales. Maybe some of the television buys as well.
BIGWIG: …so you’re saying it will make a profit?
THIRD (recognizing a trap when he sees one): Oh heavens no. It’ll come very close to making a profit.
FIRST: But it won’t make one.
SECOND: Forrest Gump lost money, so how could Underdog turn a profit? I ask you.
BIGWIG: Again, you are answering appropriately but you are not telling me what I need to know here.
FIRST: Bad timing. Underdog arrived at the height of a cat paradigm.
SECOND: Yes. Everybody wants to see cats speaking broken English and talking about cheeseburgers. Don’t worry, I’m on it. Lolcats: The Movie is already in pre-production.
THIRD: The talking dog looked creepy, the jokes sucked, and somebody cast James Belushi in it.
BIGWIG stares at him.
THIRD: But mostly it was the dog. We need to get new CGI guys.
BIGWIG: Indeed. However, I feel we need to get away from lighter fare and make a gritty picture for older people.
FIRST: A costume drama! We’ll take a Jane Austen novel and film it! Demi Moore is… uh… one of those Jane Austen ladies!
SECOND: But they’re all cyborgs! In the future! And they all speak hacker! Pride and Net-judice!
FIRST: And then the dinosaur attacks!
SECOND: And then they travel through time!
THIRD: Oh god, it’s Van Helsing all over again.
BIGWIG: Mmm. Yes. While your ideas are of course valued, I already have a concept in place that I have licensed from a popular video game. We shall make Dungeon Siege: The Movie.
FIRST: I played that!
THIRD: Uh huh.
SECOND: I like World of Warcraft better.
THIRD: That explains why you were missing for those six months, but why are you here now?
SECOND: You proposition one fourteen-year-old girl for sex and everybody gets all up in your face like it’s a big deal.
BIGWIG: Gentlemen! I can see you’re excited about this. So let’s brainstorm.
SECOND: An evil sorcerer!
FIRST: Who will overrun the good kingdom with his orcs! The humans will be outnumbered!
SECOND: And the only way you can stop him is by destroying his magic ring!
FIRST: And we’ll have lots of scenes of them walking across gorgeous mountain ranges!
BIGWIG: A good start, although maybe we’ll lose the ring bit. It sounds kind of gay.
BIGWIG: However, we will need righteous action movie action in this. So I have already contacted Jason Statham and he will be our hero!
FIRST: He’s British! That means he’s classy!
SECOND: I smell Oscar!
THIRD: I actually am not filled with dread over this decision.
BIGWIG: I also think we shall need a sidekick. Who shall be Jason Statham’s comic relief sidekick?
FIRST: John Rhys-Davies! He can be a dwarf!
SECOND: Or a troll!
FIRST: A dwarf-troll!
THIRD: How about Ron Perlman? He got good press after Hellboy, and everybody likes him.
BIGWIG: Sound reasoning. We shall get Ron Perlman. And John Rhys-Davies, why not. But he will not play a dwarf, for he is a large fat man, and I don’t understand how they made that work in Lord of the Rings without having him bend over a whole lot.
THIRD: …wait, what? Seriously?
BIGWIG: I have also contacted Burt Reynolds to play the heroic king.
THIRD: Ah. There we go.
BIGWIG: And upon reflection, Matthew Lillard would make an excellent villanous duke.
FIRST: You might not know this, but Matthew Lillard’s first major screen role was as a villain in Scream.
THIRD: Actually it was as a comic relief hacker in Hackers.
SECOND: You see Angelina Jolie’s tits in that if you pause at the right moment.
THIRD: And I’m sure you’ve checked that for yourself.
SECOND: You also get to see her tits in Firefox. She wasn’t even legal then!
BIGWIG: And David Hasselhoff shall be our villain!
THIRD: We can’t get him. He’s busy on America’s Got Talent.
BIGWIG: Really? Damn. He was central to my vision for this movie.
THIRD: What’s your vision for this movie?
BIGWIG: That it makes us a lot of money without actually profiting us in any way according to our accountants.
FIRST: Wait! Wait! I have an idea! How about we get somebody else and have him pretend to be David Hasselhoff? We can even make him wear black leather with a high collar! Ooh, and he can fluff up his hair like David Hasselhoff does!
SECOND: Ray Liotta just sold his house to Britney Spears. He probably needs money if he’s selling property. I bet we can get him for a song.
BIGWIG: Excellent. Gentlemen, it’s all coming together. But now we have scheduling issues. I need this shot in two weeks or so. That way, we can release it in January.
THIRD (coughs as he drinks his coffee): Two weeks? Sir, I know you’ve got the magic touch and all, but that’s impossible. I mean, Uwe Boll couldn’t churn out a movie… that… fast…
THIRD trails off as BIGWIG looks at him, clearly amused. Meanwhile, FIRST and SECOND look horrified.
BIGWIG: I bet you he can. All right, gentlemen, go get the contracts signed. I want to see a promotional campaign by Monday.
FIRST: I don’t believe that you mentioned Uwe Boll.
SECOND: I mean, that’s just wrong.
THIRD: Oh, shut up.