FORMER SEQUEL WRITER KOEPP TALKS LEAVING SWATH: COULD SOCIAL MEDIA PLAY A ROLE ON SWATH'S DIRECTION?
"Yes, no, could be, could be not, who's to say?" The back and forth regarding "who's in" and "who's out" for a SWATH sequel or spinoff could be a battleship about to sink and one of the casualties could be a likable guy if social media takes hold.
In an interview, Rama's Screen reports what former SWATH screenwriter David Koepp judiciously said about his involvement and departure with the sequel.
"I’m not involved with that anymore." "There was a storyline I was pursuing that it turns out they don’t want to pursue, so we’re parting as friends. You have to have an idea and don’t take a job if you don’t have an idea and if you do have an idea, pursue it because ideas are currency. That’s what you’ve got. I had an idea I was excited about it and we pursued it for a while but then they wanted to go in a different direction."
Rama's Screen states that Universal will be pursuing a story about the Huntsman's background. It is unknown if this statement is based on something new or based on what The Hollywood Reporter wrote about back in April. Letting go one of Hollywood's top writers for an undisclosed reason leaves open questions for what is being penned now.
But if this is based on current information, the question is, "Can the film survive fan backlash?"
More after the jump
Based on the THR report a few days ago stating that Kristen Stewart (Snow White) "was dropped" from the sequel, fans went onto social media outlets in a feeding frenzy against THR's report that evening showing the type of backlash that is possible. Universal subsequently came out with a statement the next day indicating that any reports stating that Stewart was dropped "are false" along with a caveat that they are "exploring all options."
In the social media era, fans have the power to instantly express their feelings towards their likes and dislikes within the world of entertainment, politics and more.
If the sequel heads down the path of "Huntsman only", the formulation of blogs, Tumblr accounts, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts could be created instantly as fansites but also in protest.
If fans take the route of protest as intensely as they did that evening, the social media expression could be on a level that no one has ever witnessed before. However, the unfortunate party in any backlash to a Stewart-less sequel could be Chris Hemsworth.
If Hemsworth decided to go forth with a film solely about the Huntsman at the exclusion of Snow White, he could become the unwilling face and the target of the backlash and his "good will" and popularity that tested so well could wane.
THR recently wrote that a Universal studio chief indicated that Hemsworth "tested higher" with audiences and is liked by both men and women. This would lend for Hemsworth to bring in both audiences for a Huntsman solo film. THR concludes Stewart can be discarded because Hemsworth would be millions of dollars cheaper in salary (Stewart commands $10 million) and he would still bring in an audience.
The "audience test" analysis is poppycock. Did SWATH not bring in a box office of almost $400 million dollars featuring both Stewart and Hemsworth? Stewart has an extremely strong base of fans worldwide test or no test. Having mixed results of popularity with a female audience as THR indicates Stewart has, has not stopped Angelina Jolie from being successful with her popularity with the female audience which has been rocky for years. Last checked, she is in the process of making a large budget 3-D fantasy film called Maleficient. Stewart's life-time box office receipts is slightly ahead of Jolie's and Stewart is only 22-years old.
Will fans find Hemsworth's participation in a "Huntsman only" film a sign of disloyalty to Stewart? With a promising film career ahead, is he willing to take that chance? Money talks but to what end?
Things can turn on a dime in this business called "show". Fans are fickle as well as loyal. You can be loved today and be less loved tomorrow test or no test. What may look like a good idea or choice now, could be a battleship sinking -- and the Huntsman may be a casualty to go down with the ship.
Someone may want to tell Chris to grab a life vest, he may need one before it's over.