Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Director Stone, Buoyed By Success, To Remake "Gone With The Wind"
EW obtains script

Entertainment World, 8th August 2006

In a move that has shocked Hollywood, controversial director Oliver Stone has announced his intention to remake the classic 1939 blockbuster "Gone With The Wind".

"Over the years I've given free rein to my artistic vision," Stone told a stunned press conference. "For too long I've been selfishly making movies according to my own opinions and tastes."

"Following on from the success of my last picture, I've decided it's time to get back in touch with the issues that concern real people."

Stone's last movie, World Trade Center, received rave reviews from many critics, despite fears that the director's well-known political views might overshadow the film's artistic merits. Although criticism has not been entirely positive, industry insiders believe that Stone has enjoyed the warm reception.

Stone did not indicate who would appear in his remake, but stated that he "had some people in mind". He later refused to deny or confirm rumours that Lindsey Lohan was being lined up to play the role of Scarlett O'Hara.

In a sensational scoop, Entertainment World has been anonymously passed what appears to be a script for Stone's production. In a move that will raise eyebrows among fans of the original, it seems that Stone will trim the movie's famous length to 130 mins and will do away with many core elements of the plot.

The opening of the movie has been extended, and a lengthy church scene added. The remake will focus on themes of "family, religion and personal responsibility", and the role of Mammy has been considerably reduced.

The new script recasts Rhett Butler, previously sceptical about the Confederate cause, as a hardbitten cavalry sergeant with a fierce moral code of duty and loyalty. The middle third of the movie will include many dramatic battle scenes, all of which appear to culminate in Sergeant Butler cradling the head of a dying comrade.

The shooting of a Union soldier by the heroine is to become a pivotal incident, as what had been a brief scene is expanded to a gruelling fifteen minute life and death struggle, from which Scarlett emerges triumphant; tear-stained, yet defiant. Her flashbacks to this event are a dominant part of the remainder of the film, as she struggles to reconcile her reluctance to take human life with the grim understanding that violence is sometimes necessary.

But the most shocking departure from the original screenplay occurs soon afterwards, as the Butlers' young daughter, tragically killed in an accident in the 1939 version, survives. The movie ends not on the line made famous by Clark Gable - "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" - but "Frankly, my dear, we must stay together for the good of our quadraplegic daughter".

Pundits were enthusiastic about Mr. Stone's latest project, although one industry insider was less effusive.

"Has he gone nuts? I know Castro bought the farm, but this looks like a mid-life crisis".

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