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Scenes We'd Like To See: Alternate Movies, Television & Other Pop Culture Miscellanea

Time Enough

European Pollution Police Force
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So a discussion on Pans Labyrinth remind me of Del Toro’s cancelled ‘sequel’ to that film which had the production title of 3993, which was meant to be the final film in his Spanish Civil War series.

So it made me wonder what exactly the film would be about since the plot is unknown. I’m guessing from the title that the 39 is representative of the year the Civil War ended and since that’s when the Devil’s Backbone is set, I’m guessing part of the film could maybe be set there.

93 could be the other year the film is set in, with the film exploring the immediate and distant aftermath of the War. But who would be the characters?

Well given how Devil’s Backbone and Pans Labyrinth overlap maybe the character of Mercedes from Pans Labyrinth and Capitan Vidal’s child (maybe called Ferreiro or Pedro) could be characters.

Now what would be the plot/magical elements. Well Devil’s Backbone is about Ghosts, Pans Labyrinth is about Fairytale’s so my guess the last film would be about Del Toro’s other passion, Vampires.

So we’ve got some elements here that could indicate a direction of the story. Now I’ll brainstorm the plot and stuff in a little bit, but if folks have other ideas I would love to hear them.
 
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Time Enough

European Pollution Police Force
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3993: A possible story for it...

1939: Lopez is a an awkward teenager who is soldier for the Republic who finds himself with a bunch of retreating foreign fighters and fellow Republicans in the aftermath of the fall of Barcelona. As they slowly retreat towards France, Lopez realises that beings are using the retreating forces as there own stockpile to feed upon. So Lopez must try and defend his comrades as they try and reach France.

1993: Pedro, the adopted son of Mercedes heads to Spain to scatter her ashes and along the way meets Lopez, a paranoid Socialist living in Barcelona who turns out to have been a cousin of Mercedes. When Lopez dies, Pedro must find out how he died and finds out that Vampires are behind it and there ready to return.

(Probably wouldn't be those names but to give an idea of the story at least, also the story would probably be dealing with immediate and distant aftermath. 1993 makes sense since it was also the year of Del Toro's first film release as well so I could see that working as year. Also it would be a good way to tie up the spiritual trilogy in a way).
 
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So here's something I've repeated for ages even though, to the best of my knowledge, it has never been confirmed.

The story goes that when Crisis On Infinite Earths came out, Marv Wolfman tried to convince the publishers of DC Comics that as part of the relaunch, they should completely rename the company from "DC" to "ACTION".

The supposed reasoning was that Crisis as a publishing initiative was partly concerned with trying to make the DC universe more like the Marvel universe. "MARVEL" is simple, direct and eye-catching. DC is less immediate, but "ACTION" might have been.

Imagine that had happened, I wonder sometimes if the company being called "Action Comics" going into the 1990s - the one decade since the 1960s where DC was indisputably better than Marvel - would have been a help or a hindrance. The relaunch of Superman by itself was big news. John Byrne was interviewed by Real Journalists about The Man of Steel and everything. I wonder whether anything more could have come out of it.
 

AndyF

Shadow Under-Secretary for Treacle & Jam Mining
Patreon supporter
So here's something I've repeated for ages even though, to the best of my knowledge, it has never been confirmed.

The story goes that when Crisis On Infinite Earths came out, Marv Wolfman tried to convince the publishers of DC Comics that as part of the relaunch, they should completely rename the company from "DC" to "ACTION".

The supposed reasoning was that Crisis as a publishing initiative was partly concerned with trying to make the DC universe more like the Marvel universe. "MARVEL" is simple, direct and eye-catching. DC is less immediate, but "ACTION" might have been.

Imagine that had happened, I wonder sometimes if the company being called "Action Comics" going into the 1990s - the one decade since the 1960s where DC was indisputably better than Marvel - would have been a help or a hindrance. The relaunch of Superman by itself was big news. John Byrne was interviewed by Real Journalists about The Man of Steel and everything. I wonder whether anything more could have come out of it.
This could have made a difference - but then so could not making a total mess of the relaunch post-Crisis; instead of characters being revamped and ready to go as soon as the last issue of CoIE was on the newsstands, arguably only Superman in his own title and Action Comics was restarted successfully. This resulted in a lot of characters having very muddled backstories and lore, which only got worse - Hawkman in particular became unusable for several years.
 

Hendryk

Nothing ever ends
Published by SLP
Location
France
For pandemic-related reasons, the summer of 2020 was the first one in over 40 years without a big-budget Hollywood movie. This article reflects on the hiatus and the broader history of the summer blockbuster:

Like Jaws, Star Wars was a massive, record-breaking box office hit; what’s more, it became a cultural phenomenon. Both Jaws and Star Wars laid down rails on which future summer blockbusters could coast. They’d be thrilling movies, with adventure, excitement, eye-popping special effects, possibly some explosions. They would generate buzz with help from huge marketing budgets, instigate tons of tie-in merchandise, and, if they performed well, spawn a bunch of (frequently lousy) sequels.
Between Jaws, Star Wars and Indiana Jones, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas can fairly be attributed the paternity of the summer blockbuster. So I wonder: if neither of them is around, does someone else eventually chance upon that money-making formula? Or was it a historical fluke?
 

Rumblestrip

Active member
Hi everyone. I am a new poster here and I have just finished reading through this thread following the recommendations in the introductions thread. I really enjoyed all of the fun ideas and insight provided by folks here; I especially enjoyed the alternate James Bond and alternate Indiana Jones movies suggested by @RyanF and the "Doctor Who on ATV" idea from @Heavy. Pop culture alternate history and even commentary and discussion on pop culture trends and concepts more generally is the thing I am most interested in and I would be very grateful for any recommendations on the forum in either area (I have noticed that @RyanF has a "Top Thirty" thread which I will be reading in due course because I am what you might call a sucker for listed rankings).

So here's something I've repeated for ages even though, to the best of my knowledge, it has never been confirmed.

The story goes that when Crisis On Infinite Earths came out, Marv Wolfman tried to convince the publishers of DC Comics that as part of the relaunch, they should completely rename the company from "DC" to "ACTION".
I have heard about this as well, but only from Chris Sims, a comics writer and podcaster who used to write for Comics Alliance, who has mentioned it several times as something he has heard but has never been able to confirm. I think it would be really interesting to see because as you say, "DC Comics" is a name that isn't very direct and impactful, but there's so much history associated with it. I love superhero comics but I've always been a much bigger DC fan than a Marvel fan, because I love all the history which DC has (or used to have, since they have gone too far in trying to get rid of it lately). Conversely, Marvel is all about being "of the moment" and immediate, which I definitely like but don't like as much.

This could have made a difference - but then so could not making a total mess of the relaunch post-Crisis; instead of characters being revamped and ready to go as soon as the last issue of CoIE was on the newsstands, arguably only Superman in his own title and Action Comics was restarted successfully. This resulted in a lot of characters having very muddled backstories and lore, which only got worse - Hawkman in particular became unusable for several years.
I think lots of the Post-Crisis stuff is good and I am especially fond of Superman and Wonder Woman but maybe what I really like is DC comics from the 1990s, five years or more after the "Post-Crisis" era started (that would be things like JLA, Flash, Starman, the Legion of Super-Heroes relaunches, the Kyle Rayner Green Lantern and so on).
 

Rumblestrip

Active member
One phenomenon in pop culture history that is fascinating to me is Disco Demolition Night. It was a terrible idea, it was terribly executed and it arguably had reverberations beyond the world of pop music, coming as it did right on the cusp of the Reagan Revolution and the ushering-in of the hardline right-wing faction in American politics.

I wonder how it could have been avoided and what it would have meant for pop music and culture more generally if it had? Although it was well before my time, I can appreciate that the pervasiveness of disco might have been irritating but the fact is that there were lots of great disco records and disco songs! The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack is a great album. And I think with the benefit of hindsight, we can see that a lot of the backlash was driven by ugly forces like racism and sexism and homophobia, all tied together by embittered white rock music fans who resented the new kid in town.

(And I hasten to add that opposition to disco was not simply a right-wing phenomenon; Jello Biafra, the lead singer of the Dead Kennedys, was someone who complained that disco music was distracting people from important social issues, which I suppose makes him the Lisa Simpson of punk rock singers; it is neither here nor there but it seems to me that he was quite short-sighted in failing to acknowledge that the unashamedness of disco was itself kind of like a political statement, but I don't really know about politics so I probably shouldn't be making a sweeping remark like that!)

What do you think, thread posters?
 

Yokai Man

Well-known member
One phenomenon in pop culture history that is fascinating to me is Disco Demolition Night. It was a terrible idea, it was terribly executed and it arguably had reverberations beyond the world of pop music, coming as it did right on the cusp of the Reagan Revolution and the ushering-in of the hardline right-wing faction in American politics.

I wonder how it could have been avoided and what it would have meant for pop music and culture more generally if it had? Although it was well before my time, I can appreciate that the pervasiveness of disco might have been irritating but the fact is that there were lots of great disco records and disco songs! The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack is a great album. And I think with the benefit of hindsight, we can see that a lot of the backlash was driven by ugly forces like racism and sexism and homophobia, all tied together by embittered white rock music fans who resented the new kid in town.

(And I hasten to add that opposition to disco was not simply a right-wing phenomenon; Jello Biafra, the lead singer of the Dead Kennedys, was someone who complained that disco music was distracting people from important social issues, which I suppose makes him the Lisa Simpson of punk rock singers; it is neither here nor there but it seems to me that he was quite short-sighted in failing to acknowledge that the unashamedness of disco was itself kind of like a political statement, but I don't really know about politics so I probably shouldn't be making a sweeping remark like that!)

What do you think, thread posters?
Hard to say really. A backlash against it was always gonna happen due to the hatred against disco being mostly motivated by racial hatred.
 

Rumblestrip

Active member
It is possible that disco was on the way out anyway. I note that only a few short years later, the most popular album ever was Thriller by Michael Jackson, which had a lot of post-disco influence.

However, at the same time, I think that the harshness of the anti-disco backlash turned a lot of people in America against dance music in general for almost 20 years at least. Electronic music did not have the same popularity there as in most other western countries until relatively recently.

Consider how Donna Summer had lots of hits but her most forward-looking single - which was "I Feel Love" - was not successful in America. There is a story that David Bowie was in a studio in Berlin when Brian Eno arrived with a copy of "I Feel Love" and declared that it was the future of pop music. I think he was right, but it took a lot longer to happen than it might have and that is because of the anti-disco backlash you saw in America.
 

RyanF

Abbot of Unreason
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Falkirk
Been binging a lot of Hammer films this past week (tis the season!) and consequently mulling over a few of their unmade films that the fates conspired to deprive us of their presence in our lives.

They had planned to adapt Richard Matheson's I Am Legend in the early 1960s as Night Creatures. Would have starred Peter Cushing and opened on a deserted and silent London showing various locations before he begin to hear some noise in the distance that would eventually be revealed as the protagonist sharpening stakes before doing his rounds. The BBFC said 'no chance, mate' and Night Creatures was recycled as the US name for Captain Clegg, itself loosely adapted from Russell Thorndike's Doctor Syn. This was done because Hammer had already promised Universal a film called Night Creatures and had to deliver.

Then there's Nessie, which was to come in the late 1970s and have been a co-production between Hammer and Toho. Filming was to have been done in Scotland with Andrew Keir starring and Toho handling all the creature effects including the titular plesiosaur which would be attacking oil rigs out in the North Sea - a concept Doctor Who had done in 1975 in Terror of the Zygons. There was actually a lot of pre-production work done on this including a teaser poster and Toho doing some early work on the creature. Unfortunately by that point Hammer was really on a downward spiral after several failures and the deal just fell apart.




Then there's Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter, which actually was released and is a very enjoyable swashbuckling vampire film, but was intended to be the start of a new series featuring the title character a sort of action Van Helsing like was later tried in 2004. Written by Brian Clemens who wanted to bring a real touch of what was done on television in The Avengers to the production only set in 19th century central Europe, his original script came close to steampunk in some parts but unfortunately a lot of this was lost in the thrifty Hammer filmmaking methods. Honestly surprised this property is still dormant since it seems so ripe for a remake ticking all the boxes, but perhaps it and Hammer are just not as marketable a name despite on paper a steampunk superhero vampire hunting series spelling money money money.
 

Geordie

Benoit Beef-foot
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After brief mention today of the decline in UK news coverage in the decades since the 1990s (from @Elektronaut and @Thande), I've found myself wondering of the consequences of no Broadcasting Act 1990.

No Channel Five, of course, but that is of little consequence. No requirement for the BBC and others to source 25% of their output from independent production companies. The rules for awarding ITV franchises would not be changed and mergers would not become the norm from 1994, so we might not now be in the situation where, aside from last bastions of freedom STV and UTV, ITV has become exactly what it was designed not to be. The Independent Broadcasting Authority would not be replaced with the toothless Independent Television Commission. Channel 4 would not have lost its original remit to providing an alternative to ITV and provisioning for programming aimed towards minority interests.

I seem to recall the IBA were also opposed to the merger of Sky Television and British Sky Broadcasting, so that has the potential to become a major issue. It does beg the question of how much the 1990 Broadcasting Act was an enabling force for the rise of Murdoch or how much was it just a formality for the way the wind was blowing anyway. Perhaps the only way to prevent the broad changes put into law by the Act is to prevent Murdoch getting a foothold of respectability in the UK with the purchase of The Times.
In this universe, Tugs survives. There were the best post of 100 scripts written, but the fall of TVS killed it. You paint what is truly a better world.
 
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Elektronaut

Sodomy and the Tory Tradition
Kurosawa was reportedly interested in doing a Godzilla film but his reputation for going over budget saw Toho turn him down. I'd love to see what he would do with one.
Was listening to a Youtube video while reading this thread and read this as 'Kurosawa was reportedly interested in doing a Geordie film'

Holy shit yes
 

SpanishSpy

Well-known member
This is painfully on brand for me but it's something I occasionally think about: what would American social dance look like without the Spanish-American War?

American social partner dance draws mostly from two traditions: African-American dances (which gave us blues and swing and all their myriad variants) and Latin American dances, mostly Cuban and Puerto Rican. These came to the US between victory against Spain and the Cuban Revolution; these include rhumba and cha-cha and salsa and mambo and bachata and many others.

Without Cuba and Puerto Rico entering the American orbit, what I suspect is that there'd be a lot more Eastern European influence. The American versions of the above Latin American dances are often quite different from their forebears in Cuba and other countries. I'd suspect you'd see similar done to polka (which is a very niche dance in ballroom circles today) and mazurka and other dances from that region.
 
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