"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 12 December 2000. Updated every WEEKDAY.

The Ballot or the Box Office



Remy —

As per last night's yip-yap, some ideas for possible treatments, castings for this whole Florida mess. Needs to be rushed, methinks, before Bush presidency truly commences, what with whatever bombing runs the shmegege drags us into. I'm with you re: your concerns about a Supreme Court scene in act three. (Amistad, you'll remember, couldn't even draw flies.) But just listen a sec: I run into Jack Birch at Crunch yesterday, he tells me Thora's mad in love with Bader-Ginsburg's performance yesterday. Dynamic, self-actualized broad, wants to play a complex role model for women, blah blah blah. I say we jump right on this deal — I know Nattie Portman was your first choice for Bader-Ginsburg, but I really think this could open. For Scalia we go with Oliver Platt or maybe Paul Sorvino (and by the way, how has Sorvino gone this long without playing Scalia?).

Anyway, some broad strokes: My first thought is to go big blocko, Ba-da-DUM! orchestrals, dark brood, Stone-esque but without the pomp and arrogance (and keep that fuck a mile away). Title: "Deadly Chad." Scorcese? Verhoeven? Starts with Gore as the man who should win, but Jeb pulls the rug out from under the blacks, hides ballots, elections commissioner sleeps with the dolphins that night. Gore sends in teams of lawyers, uncovers shit about everyone but doesn't use it, Boies the hero — lone saint in city of sinners. Bushies come at Gore with everything, hit Daley, hit Tipper, kidnap Karenna. A big kicker at the end, though: Boies pulls out victory for Gore, and then it turns out Gore's the real crook. Big shocker, like Primal Fear. If we can do an even bigger skull-fuck, like climax of Usual Suspects or the like, that too. Signature action scene for purposes of trailer, talkshow clips: Bill Daley and Rev. Jackson kickboxing the Republican mobs at the Miami/Dade recount — maybe we could sell it as a buddy picture.

If our financing is fucked, we go with a whole new concept: "Sunshine State of Insanity." Made for TV — HBO, Showtime, the like. We go camp with it. Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom-type thing; or just slightly this side of dark comedy, like Barbarians at the Gate, Reversal of Fortune, I Love You to Death... except, well, our movie will be funny. So strike that, it won't be anything like those ones. We can go slapsticky, Blues Brothers even: the Ryder truck getting chased by Nazis and country singers and whatnot. It'll be a What a crazy world we live in! kind of thing. Primary Colors, except entertaining, and lose the naiveté. Election decided by a hair, Bush and Gore swoop in try to steal it from each other, pratfalls, Jews voting for Buchanan, make that butterfly ballot as complicated as the schematic for a detonator. I'm thinking Get Shorty-esque. Doesn't Elmore Leonard write a lot of Florida shit? Signature scene: Mama Bush slips while lancing Dubya's boil — Jim Baker gets a face full of pus. We can sell it as a Farrelly Bros-type thing.

I agree we've got a glaring act two problem — the way the two schmucks at the top of the ticket seem to be doing nothing. Gore "sequestered" in his study with Tipper and Karenna, Bush bunked up on his ranch in Texas. ZZZZZ! I see a couple ways around this: Play the Texas ranch scenes as pure chainsaw massacre: Bush Sr. as Grandpa, Barb as Leatherface. As for the Gores, we could work these "double dates" with the Liebermans: Al and Tipper and Joe and Hadassah... get the idea? I know Joan Allen's itching to get a crack at playing Hadassah...

Following are casting ideas....let's talk Thurs?

— James


courtesy of James Bong


pictures Terry Colon

James Bong