Thursday, June 4, 2009
JONAH HEX PHOTOS - WHY THEY MAKE ME NERVOUS
So these two photos have been making the rounds and while most nerds can't stop slapping their cocks over them, I'm not that excited. I'm a big Jonah Hex fan, have been since I was a kid. From Weird Western Tales to his own book and even the ill conceived but fun-to-read Hex series that put him in space in the future, I was always on board. He was like The Punisher but cooler because he didn't have super training for incredible weapons, Hex was just pure badass.
The stories were also incredibly dark and sinister with Hex being horribly deformed as well as cold blooded killer. Sure he had a code he lived by but it was a twisted and fucked up thing you could rarely figure out. When it was announced that the cultural vampires in Hollywood were focused on bringing Hex to the screen I was instantly nervous.
Unlike Iron Man or Hulk or Dark Knight, Hex isn't really a hero you root for. You may agree with what he's doing but it's never for heroic reasons. Hex does what he wants when he wants and nobody can even touch him. That's what makes the stories so interesting and him such an iconic character.
I really like Josh Brolin as an actor so I was amped when it was announced he would be playing Hex. However the arrival of these photos bums me out mainly because it looks like Hollywood will be sticking to Script Writing 101 which will not work for Jonah Hex.
Script Writing 101 has a few very steadfast rules that you can't break from if you want your script greenlit. Here are the basics.
1. Your main character can't be completely unlikable
2. There must be romantic involvement no matter how slight
3. The main character must have gone through a journey and changed in some way by the end of the movie.
If you take those 3 rules and apply them to movies you'll see that they almost always are involved in the skeleton of a film script. I think it's a preposterous set of rules and it's why we see a lot of forced romantic scenes in movies that don't need them, or sudden likable elements in a largely unlikable character and then the worst the ending that makes no sense except to show the main character has grown in some way.
What has me thinking these rules will apply to Hex are two fold. First of all the make up for Jonah Hex isn't awful enough, he still has some kind of "handsome" features and there's enough face left to make us remember this is Josh Brolin. That immediately takes away from Hex who is so goddamn ugly in the books people can't even look at him.
Then there's the casting of Megan Fox, who can't act and does nothing more than look good. She's too pretty for that era and casting her means there will be some kind of romantic or sexual tension between her and Brolin. That doesn't work, Hex doesn't involve himself with women in that way. I also worry that because he looks softer and co-stars with Megan Fox that the script will have him start as a bad guy but with a good heart and then end up him doing the right thing and blah blah blah.
If they do that then they're making The Adventures Of Deformed Cowboy Guy...not Jonah Hex.
I could be wrong, so far I'm about 95% when I call these things.