Hey, what are you doing tonight? I thought maybe we’d take the New York Times out for a celebratory drink. Haven’t you heard? The paper got an agent! Next stop, Hollywood! The NYT Magazine story "The Fall of the Warrior King" has already been optioned to Cruise/Wagner — what’s next? You’ve only to browse today’s front page for pitches. Here’s what I’d greenlight before the page refreshes:
Lebanese Army Moves In, But Does It Slowly
The premise sounds pure porno at first, but I’m struck by "Does It Slowly": I’m thinking there’s a highly charged romance here, maybe something for classy eroticist Adrian Lyne to explore. And I know of this one actress who’d be perfect — you know, the one you’ve heard is a Lebanese, or used to be?
New Orleans Jury Rules Against Merck
Excellent premise, just needs a little tightening up here and there. First up, Vioxx: Instead of being a mismarketed drug that causes heart attacks, what if instead it’s a misunderstood rebel who tugs at your heart-strings? Tommy Lee Jones could play "Merck," the tough-but-tender father figure who defends Vioxx against a town bent on vengeance. And Delta Burke could play New Orleans.
Singapore Acts as Haven for Stem Cell Research
Working title: Hilarious Clone City. Starring: Will Ferrell, Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson… and Owen Wilson! Imagine: a staid, draconian Asian Metropolis full of cloned, dopey white man-children! Canings aplenty! Plus, a serious third-act discussion of bioethics, culminating in everyone running around in their underwear. Improbably hot girl-scientist/foil/love-interest TBD. Send in the clones! (Note to marketing: Check if this tagline has been used before.)
What soberly reported Times stories would you like to see bastardized on screen?