Hot on the heels of recently leaked Where the Wild Things Are test footage, news is now circulating that Warner Bros. may dump Spike Jonze’s film version in favor of a complete do-over. CHUD is reporting that the WB suits are unhappy with the tone of the film, as well as with the performance of the main child actor. Seems to me both of these issues should have been visible in dailies, so why they waited until post-production to express their opinion I don’t know. But WB knows best… remember how much better Exorcist: The Beginning became when they handed the directorial reins over to Renny Harlin for a reshoot?
This news stinks of test screening bullshit. There was in fact a screening in Pasadena last year, a screening of an obviously unfinished product, and WB was apparently unhappy with the results. Kids began to cry. Parents got up and left. Comments from the astute filmgoers called the film subversive, too adult, and too scary. You know, the same things reviewers said about the book when it was first published. Folks at the screening also felt the wild things weren’t cute enough.
The monsters. They weren’t cute enough.
These are just rumors for now, so hopefully they won’t come to fruition. And who knows, maybe Spike’s cut does suck. The man’s only made two movies, Being John Malkovich and Adpatation, and while both were inventive, original, and visually appealing, neither were truly great films. But what I do know is that you don’t hire Spike Jonze for a $75 million tent pole children’s movie… if what you want is some generic Chris Columbus-style franchise-friendly kiddie-film blockbuster. You hire Chris Columbus.