SCENE: A STUDIO BIGWIG and his three JUNIOR EXECUTIVES sit at a table.
BIGWIG: We have had a very good run of late, haven’t we? I was amazed, One, that you managed to pull back the entire cast of the original The Fast and the Furious to make a sequel to The Fast And The Furious despite the fact that we’ve already made at least two sequels to that movie, one of which had none of them in it.
FIRST JUNIOR EXECUTIVE: Vin Diesel asked if I had any spare change!
BIGWIG: And Two, remaking The Women as a “Sex In The City” clone? Outstanding.
SECOND JUNIOR EXECUTIVE: Some girl I was trying to nail made me watch the original, and I thought “why aren’t they talking about men more?” And I ran with it.
BIGWIG: And Three… well, I’m not sure how you tricked me into making Hamlet 2, but it seems to have been a success for us, so I can’t blame you for that.
THIRD JUNIOR EXECUTIVE: I misrepresented it to you as an actual sequel to Hamlet, and disingenuously suggested that we might possibly cast Jason Statham as Fortinbras.
BIGWIG: You’re learning to play the game, Three. This pleases me. But now, gentlement, to business. We have Dane Cook under contract for several more movies, and I plan to maximize our use of this investment before his career collapses into a black hole from whence nothing can escape.
FIRST: Batman fights Popeye! Batman fights Popeye!
BIGWIG: One, we have been over this: so long as we have no means of blackmailing Christopher Nolan, your concept of Batman and Popeye fighting each other in outer space has to remain on the backburner.
SECOND: I have an idea. Let’s cast Dane Cook as a suave, romantic leading man type. Let’s make him classy.
BIGWIG: And then…
SECOND: And then he fucks Eva Longoria, but leaves her for a hooker with a heart of gold.
THIRD: She wouldn’t go out with you?
SECOND: I was going to buy her lobster and everything!
BIGWIG: I do not like your idea, Two. Three, hit me.
THIRD: I say we cut our losses. Dane Cook is an unlikable asshole, and the public is rapidly realizing that. He can get by as a standup, because you don’t have to like a standup, but as a leading man he’s worthless.
BIGWIG: Interesting. You have said something of merit.
THIRD: So we’re going to cancel the project?
BIGWIG: Don’t be stupid, Three. We are going to use your observation to our advantage. Gentlemen, we are going to make a romantic comedy which stars Dane Cook as an unlikable asshole.
THIRD: Oh sweet Jesus.
BIGWIG: We will do this by making use of the canard that hot girls secretly want to be with assholes. Dane Cook’s character will be an asshole, but all the other guys in the movie will be enormous wimpy baby-men, thus making Dane Cook look attractive in comparison.
SECOND: Wait, wait, and when Dane Cook has doubts that being an asshole is the right thing to do, we can have Alex Baldwin give him a speech about how being an asshole is the best thing in the whole world!
FIRST: Why Alec Baldwin?
SECOND: Because he’s an asshole who essentially gets paid to play an asshole in movies and on TV.
BIGWIG: I like this idea, Two. We shall use it.
FIRST: Can we call Dane Cook’s character “Tank”? I knew a guy in high school who beat up nerds, and he was called “Tank.”
BIGWIG: Excellent idea, One.
THIRD: Look, seriously – I don’t think this movie can work. You’d need the world’s most emasculated, most non-aggressive, most – oh, hell, you’re going to cast Jason Biggs as the lead whiny man, aren’t you?
BIGWIG: Precisely, Three. As I said, you learn quickly, and this pleases me. We will also find a variety of other nerdy, non-manly actors that Tank will “help” by treating their ladies like total crap, convincing these women that whiny, clingy passive-aggressive schmucks are the absolute best they can manage.
THIRD: …but that’s not a story, that’s a plot setup. For there to be a plot you need to introduce conflict. That means Tank actually has to fall for Jason Biggs’ girlfriend for real…
BIGWIG: Impressive. Most impressive.
SECOND: Can we get Kate Hudson to play Tank’s girlfriend?
THIRD: Are you over Eva Longoria already?
SECOND: I’ve moved on. There are plenty of whores on the street, my friend.
THIRD: Don’t you mean “fish in the sea”?
SECOND: I know what I said.
FIRST: Ooh, ooh, ooh, I have an idea!
BIGWIG: Do tell.
FIRST: Let’s shave off Jason Biggs’ eyebrows!
BIGWIG: In the movie, you mean?
FIRST: …that works too.
BIGWIG: Good. And yes, Two, I believe we can get Kate Hudson to star as our romantic interest in this film. We will tell her she is the new Meg Ryan, and that appearing in a string of romantic comedies is the only way for her to achieve film immortality and a successful career. When we contact her, be sure to use the phrase “just like Bogie and Bacall.”
SECOND: Who the fuck are they?
BIGWIG: Just do as I say. Trust me, she’ll flip if you say that.
THIRD: Not like that, dumbass.
BIGWIG: Actually, I understand that’s how Chris Robinson got her to marry him. Well, gentlemen, I believe we’ve worked out the kinks here. Send the notes down to the script monkeys and have them hammer out something PG-13ish, flirting with a light R.
THIRD: Let me guess: a scene in a strip club, but no actual nudity? Daring without being daring?
FIRST: Wait! I think a movie like this needs a prestige director. Like that guy who directed King Kong.
THIRD: There is no possible way we will get Peter Jackson to touch this.
FIRST: No, I mean the one about the video game.
THIRD: …you mean The King of Kong? The documentary? I don’t think this is his kind of –
BIGWIG: It is if we pay him a lot of money. Right: let’s get this movie made, people. Somebody has to finance the big blockbusters with a chain of solid C-level money-generators this week, and that somebody is us. Three, why are you shuddering?
THIRD: …no reason.