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Lethal Weapon Meets Orwell in South Africa

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In a half-lit Hollywood office, an anxious, middle-aged writer sits down on an armless love seat to pitch his project to a movie producer. It's been awhile since the writer has sold a script, and even longer since he's had a legitimate hit. But after pulling some strings, his agent managed to arrange this meeting with an up-and-coming studio executive who prides himself on his ability to excavate hidden gems.

 

 

"So what can I do you for?" the clean shaven executive asks glibly as he leans back comfortably in an overwrought wingback chair that resembles a leather gargoyle. He is fingering a diamond cuff link on his right sleeve.

 

The writer pounces: "I want to revive the Lethal Weapon franchise," he says repeating the line he has been practicing for two days now. He searches awkwardly for somewhere to rest his right arm and wonders if the producer is old enough to even remember the final days of the Cold War era, or just read about it in his freshman history class at Stanford.

 

"Whoa," the executive cautions, "Mel Gibson is a tough sale these days."

 

"No, we'd go in a totally new direction for this," says the writer excitedly. "What I have in mind is the next generation of Lethal Weapon. Maybe that British guy from The Wire, Idris Elba, to take over for Danny Glover, and I was thinking Colin Farrell or Daniel Craig  in place of Mel Gibson.

 

His curiosity clearly piqued, the producer leans forward. "Please go on," he says with a nod of his head, imagining himself, as he always does, as the Alpha-male agent played by Jeremy Piven in Entourage.

 

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Jon Jeter is a former Washington Post's bureau chief for Southern Africa and South America and a former producer for This American Life. He is also the author of Flat Broke in the Free Market: How Globalization Fleeced Working People. He lives in (more...)
 
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Lethal Weapon Meets Orwell in South Africa

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