It's like you can hear the pitch meeting:
"What we made a movie with zombies...
... that are also kids?"
The Hollywood Reporter announced yesterday that Walt Disney Pictures is producing a 'Princess of North Sudan' film based on the real life story of a little girl from Virginia who became the princess of North Sudan.
If you're unfamiliar with the story and trying to place the country of North Sudan, don't worry, you didn't miss that day in Geography. The area now known as the Kingdom of North Sudan is called Bir Tawil and remained "unclaimed" until last year when Emily Heaton asked her father if she could become a real princess, and he went out and got her a country to preside over--by country, I mean "800 square miles of desert" between Egypt and Sudan. The family still lives in Virginia, but plans to use the Kingdom to build a sustainable farming system for Africa with the help of an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.
Screenwriter Stephany Folsom is now working on a script for a film inspired by Emily and her father's story, described as "focusing on the relationship between the father and daughter set against a backdrop of a fantastical adventure." Many have responded to the film with outrage, saying it reeks of colonialism and "literal white entitlement."
Stephany Folsom responded to the critique on her Twitter account saying,
In a series of additional (now deleted) tweets, she also defends herself with the following:
Agree w/everything people are saying. Wouldn't write that story. But if you want to focus your hate on me, go for it. #PrincessOfNorthSudan— Stephany Folsom (@StephanyFolsom) May 14, 2015
There is no planting a flag in Sudan or making a white girl the princess of an African country. That's gross. #PrincessOfNorthSudan— Stephany Folsom (@StephanyFolsom) May 14, 2015
I've been to the Sudan. The people there are amazing. Colonialism is bulls**t. Hope you all have a beautiful night. #PrincessOfNorthSudan— Stephany Folsom (@StephanyFolsom) May 14, 2015
We'll have to wait and see what comes of The Princess of North Sudan, but right now things look pretty shaky. Hopefully this controversy sends the film back to the drawing board.
If you haven't already heard, I've got some groan-inducing news for you: there's going to be an American adaptation of Death Note, courtesy of Warner Bros. Adam Wingard, director of The Guest, has signed on as director of Death Note alongside writer Jeremy Slater, who penned The Lazarus Effect and the Fantastic Four reboot due out later this year. Based on their previous work, it seems like the film is in fairly capable hands, but there are just some adaptations that don't need to be made. If you're unfamiliar, check out trailers for The Guest and The Lazarus Effect below.
Hollywood seems to have entirely dried up the well on fresh ideas, so much so that the 1999 scifi classic Galaxy Quest is being adapted into a TV series. There are no details about the cast or plot yet, but the film version's writer, director, and producer are all on board for the series, so there's hope! But if they can't get Alan Rickman to reprise his role? Why bother?