What were Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal, the co-CEOs of Sony Pictures Entertainment, thinking when they opted to make the movie, The Interview, a “comedy” about the assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un?
We already had 2012’s The Dictator, starring Sacha Cohen, as the dictator of a fictional Middle Eastern country, a thinly-disguised send-up of Saddam Hussein. Or was it Moaamar Gaddafi?
We can go all the way back to 1940’s The Great Dictator starring Charlie Chaplin as Adenoid Hynkel, the dictator of the fictional country of Tomainia. Chaplin’s film followed only nine months after Hollywood’s first parody of Hitler, the short subject You Nazty Spy by the Three Stooges which itself premiered in January 1940, although Chaplin had been planning his film for years before. Hitler had been previously allegorically pilloried in the German film by Fritz Lang, The Testament of Doctor Mabuse. In his 1964 autobiography, Chaplin stated that he would not have made the film had he known about the actual horrors of the Nazi concentration camps at the time.
What these parodies all had in common was that their characters and locations were all fictionalized. Let’s face it, if someone made a movie, even just a comedy, about assassinating Obama, the Secret Service wouldn’t find it very amusing and the screenwriters would find themselves behind bars rather than movie cameras.
Let’s take assassination out of the formula here and change a few names and locations. In our film, The Occulation, we find ourselves in a fictional country in the Far East called “Left Kornea”. Left Kornea has, for sixty years, observed an uneasy truce with “Right Kornea,” a bastion of democracy. Left Kornea is ruled by a ruthless dictator named Sillyeog Ol-un.
The capital city of Left Kornea is Pyulandu Dosi, or Pyulandu City. At the center of the city is the Zhahojeon Nun Sinjeon, or Shrine of the Left Eye. The shrine contains the purged right eye of Left Kornea’s Beloved Dictator, which was removed at birth as a symbol of the purging of all right-wing, freedom-loving ideology.
Citizens of Left Kornea have their children’s right eyes removed at birth as a sacrifice to the Shrine. Therefore, all but a handful of rebellious, liberty-loving citizens are blind in the right eye, and students are forced to learn to write left-handed (Asian languages are actually printed right to left). Those who do not comply are imprisoned and blinded in both eyes. Eyepatch searches are a frequent occurrence in Left Kornea.
The CIA enlists the help of an ambidextrous, near-sighted, blonde, blue-eyed female photojournalist from New York to infiltrate the country, document Sillyeog’s atrocities against his own people and steal the Nin Sinjeon as a symbol of Left Kornea’s desire for freedom. Its removal will serve as a signal to the Left Korneans to rebel against Sillyeog and overthrow his Leftist, Communist regime. The CIA’s name for the plot is called “Operation Eyepatch.”
That would be the treatment for the script. Sony Entertainment can contact me via this blog to discuss the proposal further. Don’t know where I would put my future Oscar in my crowded little apartment.
But I’ll make room for it.