--Crucial 'Spunk' Element Apparently Misjudged--
It had all the makings of a monster hit: Three near-unknowns starring as characters from a comic that hadn't been published in years and marketed to people who weren't even born when the cartoon series tie-in went off the air.
So what went wrong with Universal Studios film adaptation of Josie and The Pussycats?
Industry insiders point to spunk.
"Honestly, we don't know what happened either," said a studio executive, on the condition of anonymity. "Our marketing people initially said to rev up the spunk, really spunk it up, make it a spunkfest...but then, when the dailies started coming in, they were saying the current youth trend is actually less spunk! Hey, we're doing our best here, but the public's taste for spunk is a tough thing to measure....how much spunk is too much? When do you draw the line and say, 'this much spunk and no more?'"
Rachael Leigh Cook, who plays Josie in the film, agreed, "One day they're saying, Rachael, you need more spunk. Is there any way we can get you to produce spunk? And I'm like, you know, I'm trying... I'm working really hard, but it's just not coming."
Co-writer/co-director Deborah Kaplan disagrees, "No, I don't agree with that assessment at all. We very carefully checked and re-checked the spunk levels through targeted focus group monitoring and we had very specific spunk goals. If anything, it's spunktacular, it's hip, it's now, it's spunkalicious, it's spunk rock, really. Now, if you want to talk about sass, maybe it could've used more sass. I'll give you the sass. We could've stuck in more sass. Some scenes are clearly sass-deficient.
"But spunk, man, do those girls project spunk. There's spunk ALL OVER this movie," said Kaplan, before returning to her script for the upcoming BABY HUEY film.
GUY IN CHAT ROOM SAYS GAME SHOW CATCHPHRASE
--"You Are The Weakest Link. Goodbye!" Says Wit --
The placid waters of an internet chat room were disrupted over the weekend, with hilarity, when a regular unexpectedly typed in the much-hyped slogan from the game show, The Weakest Link.
TRANSFORMERFAN1 said of the incident, "It was classic, man. Here we were, talking about Greg Rucka, and in comes this newbie guy, right? And we ask him, like, hey, what's your favorite Greg Rucka story? And he says, 'Who's Greg Rucka'? I'm not making this up.
"Anyway, so, without a MOMENT'S hesitation, DARKKNIGHTRULEZ pops up and says, 'You ARE the weakest link. Goodbye!'
"I laughed for ten solid minutes, man. I mean, the idea of taking a catchphrase that's been repeated every five minutes or so on network television and spontaneously using it in an ironic sense in regards to a chat room newbie, man, that's just genius," continued TRANSFORMERFAN1.
"I wish I could think of something like that. I was gonna say, 'let's vote him off the island! but I'm glad I didn't, now. It would have seemed dated and tawdry in comparison to DARKNIGHTRULEZ's bon mot. All the girls were swooning over him afterwards, so I'm going to be saying this hot new catchphrase a LOT."
FRANK MILLER TO GIVE SPEECH DECRYING "SORRY STATE OF SYRUP INDUSTRY"
--Pancake House Manager Forced To Ask Creator To Leave Restaurant Without Pancakes--
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
Famed ROBOCOP II screenwriter FRANK MILLER gave an impromptu speech at a neighborhood International House of Pancakes Sunday morning between drinks from a 'carafe' of orange juice, while waiting for his Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity breakfast special.
Holding up a copy of Wizard Magazine while tearing pages out at random, the fan-favorite writer/artist of DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and SIN CITY held forth at length, railing against both the breakfast syrup and comic book industries, much to the confused dismay of the restaurant's other diners.
"This is a tapeworm," said Miller, referring to the torn magazine. "Hollywood wants your ideas. But beware, they're a bunch of big jerks. I'm cranky. People are stupid. Why does the syrup have to be so gloopy around the spout? It's disgusting. The rest of the world thinks I have a bad haircut. Do we want more readers? Yes. More coffee? Yes, I'd like some more coffee. But don't drop the soap! Vast media conglomerates say a hamburger in Boise should taste like a hamburger in Seattle. No, I didn't order a hamburger. I ordered a Roooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity special with apple-cinnamon pancakes. Stand tall and steel yourself. Aunt Jemimah isn't your friend. You think Mrs. Butterworth's is your friend? Think you're going to get a piece of that smooth maple Log Cabin magic? No, all they want is your ideas. You ask Harv Kurtzman if the Bisquick call him on the phone anymore.
"And look at how I'm tearing up this Wizard magazine. Hey, I ordered over easy." said Miller, right before the police arrived.
"Did he say tapeworm? Urgh," said an unnamed restaurant patron.
"I like the way he bravely stood his ground against vast, faceless conglomerates and nameless Hollywood executives," said Bernice, a seven-year employee of the IHOP, whose dogs were killin' her.
"I'm just glad I was here to see this," said busboy and part-time Whiteout artist Steve Lieber.
"Look for my Dark Knight II ashcan offer in the July issue of Wizard," said Miller, at a nearby Denny's.
DISNEY LAYOFFS TO INCLUDE GOOFY
--"Gawrsh!" Says Goof--
In response to a weakened tourism market and reduced film and television profits, the Disney Corporation has announced massive layoffs in the company's animation, theme park, retail and feature film divisions. Employees have been offered a severance package for those who leave voluntarily, but it is not expected that the required labor cuts will be fully achieved with this offer. Unfortunately, that means some long-time veterans of the company will be fired, without the benefit of the severance package.
Michael Eisner, speaking from his solid gold yacht, responded, "I think we can run a better, leaner company than we have been running. We need to face economic reality. That means that we have to let some beloved characters go, much as we hate to. Hey, who wants some diamond and sapphire soup?"
"I got mah pink slip yesterday, hyuck! I been with this same company for sixty years, uh, huh! Now I'm gonna have ta go an' see if I can get a job as a 'Digimon,' whatever that is," said the animal of uncertain species, who had starred in over a hundred films and shorts for the Disney company, who then fell out a window and swallowed an umbrella.
NEWS IN BRIEF
JOHN BYRNE TO DO CREATOR-OWNED PROJECT
--Immediately Characterizes Self As "Evil"--
COMIC STRIP 'BC' TO FEATURE CAVEMAN TRAMPLING STAR OF DAVID
--"I'm Sorry If People Misunderstood," Says Strip's Creator--
DAVE SIM TO EAT BUG, CLAIM ITS STRENGTH
--Gearhard Busies Self Drawing Same Building Ten Thousand Times--
AGEING COMICS FAN REFUSES TO PART WITH LINDA CARTER WONDER WOMAN POSTER
--"Hey, Hey, I'm Still USING That!" Says Assistant Manager At Home Depot--
'MARVEL IRAQ' EXPERIMENT A DISMAL FAILURE
--Quesada Says, 'Maybe We Shouldn't Have Started With Captain America.'--
PRESIDENT BUSH ASKS FOR BARRY WEEN TO 'HELP UNIFICATE AMERICA'
--"That Little Guy Has Great Intellitude," Enthuses George W.--
STAN LEE SUED OVER SEVENTH PORTAL--"Why Bother?" Wonders Everyone--