LOS ANGELES—In a joint statement confirming that all production would cease immediately, representatives from every Hollywood film studio announced Friday that audiences would not be given any new movies to watch until they had learned to appreciate the ones they already have.
The declaration, which was endorsed by all working members of the industry, observed that there are plenty of existing films the American public doesn’t ever bother to watch, and explained that viewers would henceforth receive no new box-office openings and would simply have to make do with the current back catalog of movies.
“There will be no more thrillers, comedies, or any of those sequels you’ve been asking for until you can show us you’re grateful for the more than 100 years of cinema we’ve already given you,” Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara told reporters, noting that Hollywood had made tens of thousands of titles for the U.S. populace, and yet it was always asking for more. “We’ve really tried to give you films we think you’d like, but there are quite a few that you’ve never even given a viewing. These things aren’t cheap, you know?”
“For God’s sake, some of you have only seen Raging Bull once,” he added.
Sources confirmed that movie lots and sound stages across Los Angeles County had gone dark following the announcement, with screenwriters, set designers, casting directors, cinematographers, and actors all leaving their offices and trailers to go home, where they planned to remain until the public “did something about its behavior” and started having a better attitude toward the rich legacy of American film.
The statement indicated that Hollywood wouldn’t even consider making any new movies until viewers demonstrated sincere gratitude for the many cinematic achievements they had already been presented with, including the three-minute, 20-second tracking shot that opens Touch Of Evil, the use of Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra in 2001: A Space Odyssey, the enigmatic ending of The Graduate, and the entire running time of Robert Altman’s Nashville.
“Before complaining that there are no new westerns to see, how about you go watch one of the 140 or so movies John Ford made?” said Paramount executive LeeAnne Stables, adding that once the nation had fully appreciated the merits of The Searchers and Stagecoach, her industry might look into greenlighting another contribution to the genre. “And remember how much you wanted Edge Of Tomorrow, and then we spent $178 million to make it for you and you didn’t even go see it? Well, we’re not doing anything like that again.”
“And don’t come crying to us begging for something new with Jennifer Lawrence or those Avengers you like so much, because we’re serious about this,” she continued. “Honestly, you should just be thankful for what you have: The Godfather, Young Frankenstein, everything Isabella Rossellini’s ever done, American Graffiti, the Toy Story franchise. You’ve got it pretty good, if you ask me.”
Despite protestations from the public, top industry officials maintained they were adamant in their decision, saying that audiences nationwide would never learn to value the movies they had been given in the past if they were constantly being spoiled by a never-ending supply of brand-new biopics, costume dramas, animated features, and music documentaries.
Moreover, they insisted there would be no more reboots or remakes until the public had seen every original film in full.
“Sure, we could give you a bunch of new romantic comedies, but first you’re going to have to at least try to appreciate The Philadelphia Story and Harold And Maude,” filmmaker David Fincher said. “If you can’t learn to respect the talents of great leading men like Cary Grant, Marlon Brando, and Henry Fonda, then you don’t deserve any new Chris Pratt vehicles for a long, long time.”
At press time, reports confirmed an irate public was firing back at Hollywood by insisting it had never even asked for another Ben-Hur.