Sunday, September 22, 2019

Kirsten Dunst & Sofia Coppola Want To Make A New Version of Faerie Tale Theatre But No One Will Bite?!

Yes. You read that correctly!

Here is the quote from an interview just this month (Vogue magazine speaking to Kirsten Dunst):

A contemporary version of Faerie Tale Theatre, helmed by Kirsten Dunst and Sofia Coppola? With great directors and a bunch of celebrities lined up and ready to jump on board?? And no studio is interested??!!! (a.k.a. willing to spend the $)

This confounding news was included in an article published in Vogue on September 9th (2019), interviewing Kristen Dunst, right after she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Shelley Duvall posing with a poster showing some of the stars
she worked with on various fairy tales during her series
Both Kirsten Dunst and Sofia Coppola (who are longtime friends and worked together on Marie Antoinette, Beguiled and many other projects) have been publicly enthusiastic about their love of fairy tales, and it's a massive, missed opportunity for any network or studio to not take the pair of them on, especially for a project that will hit all those buzz buttons: Star directors! Star actors! Fantasy settings & costumes! And the nostalgia-hook of the moment: 80's remakes & call-backs!

With regard to their love of fairy tales, it's been something both women have always been drawn to.

Kirsten Dunst
Kirsten Dunst has long proclaimed her love for her favorite book, Jane Yolen's Briar Rose, even admitting it has been her "bedside book" for many years. There were rumors she expressed an interest in being involved in a movie adaptation, (though we can't find any source online to confirm that), something Jane Yolen said she would have been thrilled to see but that hasn't eventuated, despite the book having been optioned for a film version quite a number of times. When Kirsten originally announced this, she would have been the correct age to play the protagonist, but odds are good she would still want to be involved in some capacity should a film adaptation of Briar Rose ever get off the ground.

Sofia Coppola
Sofia Coppola, as anyone who has been following this blog for a while knows, was set to direct her own version of The Little Mermaid for Universal Pictures and Working Title Productions. The first news about her vision for retelling the fairy tale was thrilling, edgy, and promising and fresh - and representative - vision of the story. She was on the project for a year before things came to a fault. Unfortunately, it seems her vision was just a little too edgy (risky?) for the studio and Coppola left the project, citing creative differences. (No one has yet to revisit the project for Universal.)

But back to the concept of a contemporary version of Faerie Tale Theatre.

If no studio will take the plunge and trust it will bring in the crowds (and the $), how do we:
a) change their minds
b) go about crowd-funding this?

As much as we love Shelley Duvall's series, we all agree it could use some serious diversifying and updating to reflect proper cultural - and differently-abled - representation, which makes the concept even more exciting!

(Gosh - and we just missed the "pop-up exhibit", advertising poster shown below, of the costumes from the show too; which means, they still exist... and might be available for re-use, should any brave costume designer wish to take on the job of respectfully overhauling the originals for a new show...)

We know there are many folks who would be willing to support a project like this and show just as much enthusiasm and excitement as we have about the potential. Just take a look at these early social media responses now the word is getting out about this. Time to tweet this - and retweet this - and make sure to tag @Netflix, or @Hulu, or any well-funded Independent studio and get this happening.

And while you guys are doing that, go ahead and start making lists of fairy tales with current celebrity actors in the lead roles, then post them and tag those actors and @kirstendunst *, and add the #NewFaerieTaleTheatre hashtag to boost this project.

If enough people show interest, their wish (and ours) might just come true.

Fairy Tale Bonus of the Day:
A Look At How Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre Began
& Illustrating Those Beautiful Posters

If you haven't seen the full set of posters from Faerie Tale Theatre (we included 5 small ones in our header-banner at the top of this post), we recommend going and taking a look HERE.

Then you can go read an article on how those posters - and the show - came about HERE.

Here's an excerpt:
Once Upon a Time…It was 1980, the sun reflected brightly off the limestone cliffs surrounding Anchor Bay in Malta...The ramshackle locale was the set for the ambitious and original motion picture production of ‘Popeye’. From behind the camera, director Robert Altman was watching Robin Williams, a new talent chosen to portray the eponymous sailor. The energetic actor was performing a scene and was leaping about the set. 
Playing the role of Popeye’s lady love, Olive Oyl, actress Shelley Duvall sat reading under the shade of an umbrella... Looking up from her book, she watched Williams as he danced about. Duvall returned to her book, she had read it many times before but the stories felt as fresh and exciting as the time that she had first read them: 
‘Princess, why do you weep so bitterly?’ ‘Alas!’ said she, ‘what can you do for me, you nasty frog? My golden ball has fallen into the spring.’ ... 
Duvall smiled to herself; she looked up at Williams again and thought he would make a great frog in a live adaptation of the tale. The fact that this thought occurred to Duvall was not unusual. For the past few years she’d had the idea to create a live-action series that brought her much loved fairy tales to life. 
The idea became a reality in September of 1982, when ‘The Tale of the Frog Prince’, starring Robin Williams was broadcast on Showtime, the US cable television channel. The premiere episode of Duvall’s ‘Faerie Tale Theatre’ series was followed by 25 more adaptations of world-famous classic tales brought to life with creative scripts, dazzling special effects and lavish production design formatted aesthetically after the work of a famous illustrator or painter. With Duvall serving as executive producer, the series ran until 1987 and featured the most popular entertainers of the day playing the parts of the celebrated characters. Conceived with special consideration to entertain and instruct the young, the series was also executed to amuse and appeal to adults. By 1983, the immense popularity of ‘Faerie Tale Theatre’ led to the decision to begin releasing the episodes on home video. 
Released by CBS/Fox Video, the covers of the 26 titles in the series featured unique illustrations that depicted the actors rendered in the style of the famous illustrator or painter whose work had inspired the production design of the episode.
You can read the long-but-interesting article in its entirety HERE.
*That is the most official Kirsten Dunst twitter handle. Sofia Coppola is not on social media.

1 comment:

  1. this would be wonderful! and i cannot believe that it has languished...seems to me it would be immensely popular.