Friday, February 22, 2013

Must Fairy-Tale Characters Be Stone-Cold Killers?

I noticed today that MTA buses are adorned with ads for a new Jack and the Beanstalk adaptation called "Jack the Giant Slayer." It's slated for a March 1 release.

This follows on the heels of "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters."

Now, it's been suggested that these are the latest example of Hollywood making two movies on the same topic. I don't really buy that  they seem different enough.

But there does appear to be a trend of making our beloved fairy-tale characters more homicidal  at least in the title.

With the Jack and the Beanstalk movie, the name also feels like a huge spoiler. Oh, so he kills the giant? Gotcha. I'm good then.

On the other hand, I suppose botanical titles (with beanstalks and such) aren't usually box-office draws. That's why "Little Shop of Horrors" wasn't called "A Big Ol' Plant That Eats People."

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" worked, of course, but it was meant to subvert expectations. How could someone named Buffy also be a slayer of vampires? I don't know  let's watch and find out. (Hollywood also tried turning Abraham Lincoln into a vampire hunter, but that was less successful.)

"Snow White and the Huntsman," meanwhile, came out last year. In that instance, Snow White had a sidekick killer.

I can only imagine that something like this is in the pipeline.