' ' Cinema Romantico: What Other Directors Could Merge Movie Universes?

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

What Other Directors Could Merge Movie Universes?

“Glass”, the latest M. Night Shyamalan joint, opens this week. The title refers to Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson), villain of Mr. Shyamalan’s 2000 superhero film “Unbreakable”, who now, almost twenty years later, receives his own sequel in the company of his heroic antagonist, Bruce Willis’s David Dunn. Ah, but Shyamalan, true to his gotta-be-a-twist brand, expands “Glass” by including a character, James McAvoy’s Kevin Wendell Crumb, he of the 23 going on 24 split personalities, from his own film “Split”, suggesting both films (all his films?) take place in the same M. Night Created Universe.

I saw “Unbreakable”. I have not seen “Split” (2016). I probably will not see “Glass”. None of that is the point. No, the point is that linking up two of his own movies got me to thinking, as it absolutely had to, about other filmmakers that could link up their own work. A few suggestions:

 The Coen Brothers — Amy Archer, “The Hudsucker Proxy” / Llewyn Davis, “Inside Llewyn Davis”

Llewyn Davis was last seen sitting in an alley, nose bloodied, shouting au revoir, sort of at the person who just punched him but mostly at the world itself, passing him by. Since then, he vanished, figuratively and literally. As such, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Amy Archer has been tasked by Life Magazine with tracking Llewyn down. Not to argue for him as some misunderstood folk talent but as a case study in emotional human waste. She’ll stake her Pulitzer on it.

Christopher Guest — Terry & Laurie Bohner, A Mighty Wind / David St. Hubbins & Nigel Tufnel, This is Spinal Tap

Seeking ways to sonically reinvent themselves after growing tired of folk music’s limitations, The Bohners have broken apart from The New Main Street singers and sought the guidance of Spinal Tap, seeking them out at the Illinois State Fair, in the hopes of pulling a Pat Boone.

Jan de Bont — Jack Traven, Speed / Jo Harding, Twister

When central California is improbably threatened by a tornado with a bomb ingeniously attached to its vortex by a demented meteorologist fired from The Weather Channel, Jack Traven must consult with Dr. Jo Harding, flown in from the Oklahoma Plains, uniting de Bont’s greatest box office triumphs in a spirited comeback attempt.

 Chris Columbus — Kevin McCallister, Home Alone / Chris Parker, Adventures in Babysitting

The adult version of Kevin arrives at McMurdo Station in Antarctica on a geological survey. But upon arriving, he receives a taunting voicemail from The Waterlogged Bandits, Sons of The Wet Bandits (Channing Tatum & Jonah Hill), cluing him into the fact he has inadvertently left Kevin Jr. home alone. Alas, his hands are tied since the next scheduled flight out of McMurdo Station is not for three months! On a tip, he uses a satellite phone to call Chris Parker, head of the C.I.A.’s elite babysitting extraction division who agrees to lead a rescue mission.

Paul Thomas Anderson — Lieutenant Detective Christian F. “Bigfoot” Bjornsen, Inherent Vice / Maurice Rodriguez, Boogie Nights

You thought “Bigfoot” Bjornsen had it bad trying to deal with the persnickety remnants of the 60s counterculture?! You ain't seen nothing yet! Just wait until he is forced to deal with the inclusivity of disco culture as he is tasked with escorting witness Maurice Rodriguez to court, “Midnight Run” style.

Mick Jackson — Mike Roark, Volcano / Harris K. Telemacher, L.A. Story

After retiring from OEM, Mike Roark takes a job as a local weatherman simply on the strength of his fame stemming from saving L.A. from the infamous La Brea Tar Pit Volcano of 1997. Alas, he butts heads with wacky weekend weatherman Harris K. Telemacher who, in a desperate bid to remain relevant, has become a “comical” climate change denier.

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