This is a digression from the core goal of the Ideba blog, I admit, but the content of this entry is loosely related. My subject is: I’m tired of the backstory as source material for new story thing…it’s just getting out of control and I hope the movie Pan falls miserably on its face. Sorry Warner Bros.
Now, we at Ideba typically talk about marketing matters or subjects associated to it via business discussions or observations. And the point I’m making here is only loosely related. The media that captures the attention of consumers like advertising, online content, commercials are all squarely in the marketing space. They are oftentimes, however, tethered to entertainment content like movies or TV shows…so there’s your loose association to this blog.
Movie and television show producers hate to take a risk. I get that. So, the studio execs are very comfortable with gambling millions on “properties” (as they call them) which are very familiar. But this trend seems to have gotten out of control.
I’m glad that Star Wars is looking to the future now instead of looking back. That’s a step in the right direction, as is putting J.J. Abrams at the helm of it. But another upcoming release has just pushed me to feeling fed up: Pan – the origin story of Peter Pan. Do we really need yet another backstory posing as new story? I know, it worked for Wicked which was hugely successful on Broadway. But every single property seems to be getting the backstory treatment like the Gotham TV show about Batman. (Note: It did get renewed but with a cast including Donal Logue and Morena Baccarin, odds were good.)
With any luck, the success trend line for origin stories will start plummeting. Pan will hopefully help contribute to that demise. Then the studio reaction will be to reverse course as backstory or origin narratives cease being a good bet. So, I’m crossing my fingers that we’ll get a break from all of this retrenchment and start seeing more fresh stories getting produced.
-Mark Salow, Consultant