Saturday, 16 January 2016

Chad Vee: A Cerebus Movie-Pitch Idea

Backcover detail from Cerebus Vol 9: Reads (1995)
Art by Gerhard
(from Cerebus Facebook Group, 16 January 2016)
I think, I believe, I have the absolute perfect synopsis / treatment for a Dave Sim / Cerebus movie that Hollywood would absolutely eat up since apparently his "shopping around" last year to Brad Pitt didn't work out... yet.

Think "American Splendor", mixed with "Birdman", with dash of "Crumb".

A thought-provoking and inventive exploration of artistry, women and dysfunctional relationships and society and the difference between power, popularity, and prestige. A biopic spotlighting Dave Sim the artist / writer / self publishing pioneer and all his ideals and notoriety and the conflict it has caused in his life (drama, conflict, fun, struggle, relationships and betrayal, dabble in craziness and drug use (very minor, just maybe for laughs and a little "coolness" for the audience), fame and how it raised him up to the proportions it did and, ultimately his downfall. A biopic, suedo documentary if you will, his relationship with Deni, his controversies, life experiences etc. Basically show his "cool jet setting" days first, his rise, and eventual fall. Anyone would be a fool to think that Dave's notoriety and Cerebus (especially into the late 80s / 90s wasn't, at least to some degree, directly linked to one another) -- ala "what will Dave say next" to piss everyone one off this month so to speak.

But here's the thing / catch, it'd be interspersed with showing the Cerebus storyline as Dave's writing Cerebus in the early days (traditional animation, cgi, alf? Lol idk, possibly even that cool comic book panel look camera pan over the panels with minor animation/movement only because I'm not sure any type of animation could capture the beauty of his and Gerhard's panels, drawing or layout) also keeping within a small budget that highlights the Cerebus storyline slowly as the movie would go on telling Dave's life it would also show key scenes in Cerebus story / life leaving off at crucial moments so the audience is like, NO, get back to Cerebus thus raising the tension and anticipation of the viewer and also, later in Dave's life Cerebus "speaking" to Dave throughout HIS (Dave's) life. And also as the story draws on, the end of Cerebus' life and eventual death (last 20 minutes of movie), as we also see Dave's down fall and ostracization  even tho he was right and the audience knows it but we also knows he was fighting a losing battle but he fought it none the less. Although we leave that up to the audience to decide but that's the direction -- ala Birdman

Especially now, when feminism is at its highest, this type of movie would cause debate, anger, hate, how we more or less live in a matriarchal society that he foretold of more than 30 years ago, more controversy, interviews, politics, talk, piss people off etc but over all it would EXPLODE off the screen and set the media and social media networks on fire in anger against it. Garner attention and talk and debates about today's society. Get people talking and, IF DONE RIGHT would be Oscar worthy in its thought provokedness if you will. It would raise attention for the books, increase sales AND, while it will most assuredly piss off feminists it WOULD open the eyes of so many intelligent THINKERS, men and women alike to what Dave was actually trying to say and gain awareness of. And yes Dave was right. Brad Pitt eats this stuff up for the type of movies that he likes to endorse and make / produce.

They could have Dave's old associates/friends: Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Jeff Smith etc, even tiny cameos and his conflict with some of them etc, as cameos or what have you -- a nod to comic book fans, they love that stuff lol! -- showing respect to Dave as basically the grandfather to their work which I don't think anyone will argue against except for perhaps Will Eisner. The time is ripe, snatch the fruit off the tree while its ripe, as Hollywood is comic book crazy and looking for new and different treatments. Again, ala Birdman, Crumb, etc

Again avant-garde

Shop that around Hollywood or Brad Pitt and see what happens lol and remember, both "American Splendor" / Harvey Pekar's story and "Birdman" were heralded by critics for what they brought to the screen. Low budget, within constraints. Very minor special effects. Etc Maybe even a little "Crumb" thrown in there too. The coolness / dysfunctional / crazy side to writing the longest American graphic novel in history.

Suedo documentary style (Splendor, Crumb, Birdman) kinda sad and depressing but uplifting and thought provoking. Laughs interspersed so it's not too heavy. It would raise up Dave and give him the respect he so richly deserves.

Oh and beside cool cameos of actual writers and artists kind of like "Man In The Moon" or "Private Parts" where everybody else plays their own selves except the lead, in this case Dave -- but here's the thing though -- who would voice Cerebus???? Who could even do it? Dave Sim of course! This is Hollywood magic!

And yes, I would want credited and paid if this ever does happen or something like it. Lol!

Lastly, this is obviously a rough of a rough of a rough idea. It would need rewriting and rethinking and obviously just writing this is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg as to my idea but I truly think this can work.


Jeff Seiler said...

Just make sure you get someone who can, you know, actually spell correctly, and who knows how to avoid run-on sentences, to write the final draft of the synopsis and the script.


Travis Pelkie said...

Like "suedo", right, Jeff? Man, that was bugging me!

I don't know, this sounds like it could be interesting, but really, where's the story? A guy writes and draws about an aardvark for nearly 30 years. He partied like a rock star for several years, but now he's a devoutly religious man who abstains from pretty much everything. How exciting!

From what I know about Dave, I'm reasonably sure he'd have no interest in this kind of dissection of his life.

I'd also point out that some of the last art pieces Dave was able to complete before his wrist pain was too much were the ones done for the Hollywood people. For someone like Dave who will take certain events as signs, that seems to me to be a sign -- don't chase Hollywood!

And really, is Brad Pitt going to support a movie about Dave or re: Cerebus? Is Mr Angelina Jolie going to look fondly on the guy who wrote and drew those Woody Allen/Mia Farrow brood of children pages from Latter Days?

Tony Dunlop said...

"From what I know about Dave, I'm reasonably sure he'd have no interest in this kind of dissection of his life."

If by "reasonably" you mean "150%," I'm inclined to agree…but then he's surprised us before.

And please, lay offa my blue suedo shoes...

Tony again said...

"who would voice Cerebus???? Who could even do it?"

Can't be done - George C. Scott is dead.

Jeff Seiler said...

I happen to know one person who could, and has, voice Cerebus extremely well: Jeff Tundis. (Better than Dave, even.)

Check him out in a few of the Cerebus Live videos on YouTube. Just Google Dave Sim YouTube.

CerebusTV said...

Personally, I'm still holding out for a release of animation director Oliver Simonsen's animated Cerebus movie. A lot of incredible talent involved in that - check out