Rick's List — Hollywood Script Doctor Edition
You know what might be a fun job? A script doctor — the guy who gets called in to fix screenplays on films already in production.
The problem is, I'm not sure how to integrate myself into the close-knit, competitive Hollywood community. It's true my late friend Tim Choate played Bad Boy John Wilson in a Kenny Rogers made-for-TV movie called "The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw." (Tim had many far more, shall we say, respectable stage and screen parts, but he'd laugh hard that I chose this role to reference in print.)
Since he's dead, Tim is of no help getting me script doctor work. I also have no way to access scripts under current production, so I can't offer samples of how I might make any of those projects better. What I will do, though, is utilize my space here as a Day columnist to provide some "script doctor" suggestions on films that already exist. That way, through social media, these ideas could conceivably get to a Power Person in the Biz.
"That fellow's talented," a mogul will say. "Call him and give him a lot of money to punch up this new Weisz/Clooney turkey." Here, then, are my samples:
1. "Braveheart" — As Mel Gibson's William Wallace is being publicly drawn and quartered and is given a chance for quick death by asking for mercy, he defiantly cries "FREEDOM!" Change that. Instead, he mumbles something with a sly smile on his face. The magistrate leans forward. "What did you say?" Wallace clears his throat and, with his dying breath, cries, "Your hat ... It's ... stupid."
2. "The Wizard of Oz" — The setting is now the '80s music industry. Dorothy, a gets-around groupie, wakes up in a stupor on a tour bus and, seeing Steve Lukather and David Paich, asks, "Where am I?" Lukather says, gently, "We're Toto. You're not with Kansas anymore."
3. "Field of Dreams" — Kevin Costner's Ray Kinsella is about to have a catch with his ghostly Chicago White Sock of a father when an umbrella floats out of the sky and Mary Poppins arrives.
4. "Friday 13th" — Just as Jason Voorhees is about to kill his first-ever victim with an ice-pick, he reconsiders and goes to Harvard to play hockey, where he meets Jenny Cavilieri and they fall in love. He DOES keep his hockey mask, though, and, mad with grief when Jenny dies of cancer, he becomes a serial murderer in "Love Story II — Blood on the Ice."
5. "Titanic" — Leo DiCaprio's Jack, dying in the ice-choked north Atlantic, is hanging onto the floating door where Kate Winslet's Rose is afloat. Suddenly, Bad Boy John Wilson, portrayed by my friend Tim, sails up in Kenny Rogers' yacht with some hot chocolate and warm towels.