WorldStar! WorldStar! WorldStar! WorldStar! Worldstar! WorldStar! WorldStar! WorldStar! Worldstar!
Seriously, everything below the headline could just be the WorldStar chant (WorldStar! WorldStar!), and the point would come across the same. But just for fun, here are a few words that aren’t synonymous with street beatings and portrait mode:
Paramount is making a WorldStarHipHop movie. Well, not just Paramount, but Insurge Pictures, a division of Paramount dedicated to microbudget features, which is the ideal format for blurry phone videos of awkward slap-fights and public sex. Thanks to Deadline, we know who to blame for the WorldStar movie: Ian Edelman, writer/creator of How to Make it in America. Edelman pitched a WorldStar movie to Insurge, was somehow given a green light and is now writing the screenplay and may even direct.
Budget-wise, the mission statement for Insurge is to shoot films at around $100,000 each, but the studio’s best known films, Katy Perry: Part of Me and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, each set the studio back a cool $13m. So who even knows what “microbudget” really signifies in the context of a WSHH movie.
And before anyone tries to say “Well, there was a Facebook movie,” let’s go ahead and preemptively prove that statement stupid and inaccurate. WorldStarHipHoptheMovie is not The Social Network. One, because I’m fairly sure David Fincher has never yelled rap lyrics while bashing someone’s head in with a shovel (and all while recording it on video — truly, we live in an age of multitaskers). And two, because The Social Network isn’t so much a Facebook movie as it is a movie about Mark Zuckerberg.
WorldStar is not the story of Lee “Q” O’Denat, who first founded WorldStarHipHop.com in 2005 as a music site but was immediately beset upon by hackers, who brought WorldStar down like a pack of hyenas, then sat around contentedly chewing scraps of its carcass. Eventually, O’Denat realized what the online community really needed, not another music site, but a site where regular folks like you or I could punch or have sex with each other in public.
That might be an interesting story. But the Worldstar movie will not be that story. Per Deadline, it’ll be “akin to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in tone,” so expect a couple of precocious youths who have a long, adventurous day, and any time anything even remotely interesting happens, they’ll whip out their phones and upload a video onto WorldStar. Which will probably neuter any kind of dramatic momentum as soon as it starts to build.
Come on, we all know seeing Matthew Broderick lip-sync “Twist and Shout” to the Von Steuben Day crowds would be so much more joyful if no one in the crowd was singing. Or dancing. Or moving. Instead, all would be statue-still, eyes reflecting the glowing “record” button on their smartphones (actually, if you pitch it that way, WorldStar might make a decent Body Snatchers type of horror movie).
WorldStar could be a turning point in the film industry. Right now, it’s a close race between “action figures” and “snack foods” for the subject that least deserves a movie yet still has a movie. “Video Site” might just take the crown. And if a WorldStarHipHop movie is even the slightest bit successful, we’re done for. Instagram: The Movie. Hulu Plus: The Movie. Samsung Galaxy S5: The Movie.
Decide for yourself which is worse: the oncoming horde of “this is a thing that can play videos” movies or the idea that WorldStarHipHop is so totally going to have a sequence shot in Portrait Mode.