Ongoing cell phone conversation between the director and the film’s producer, Billy Lawrence over a couple of days (warning: rough language)

Jim: Ok Billy, we’ve just written this new character into the movie. Actually, I kinda think he’ll be pretty important. It’s Zip Kelly, the Hurricane: British superhero. The writers are getting pretty excited about the idea. They say he can only have tights if we pre-modernize him with stuff like boots and belts and a trenchcoat. They keep going on about Miller and Mignola and how that’s what THEY would do. Nobody but the big DC and Marvel guys get to wear tights without accessories anymore. Shame, really. Anyway, I think Zip Kelly is this total badass. We gotta get Clive Owen for him. Clive’s jaw is most excellent.

Billy: This is great. What are his ‘powers’? Love the trench.

Jim: Dunno. He’s just sort of generically “super” at the moment

Billy: Played by Harrison Ford kind of “super” then…. Perhaps just really lucky…

Jim: Nahhh. Clive Owen. And Paddy Mayne is Daniel Craig, right? Or better yet, Sean Bean.

Bill: Sean Bean, is he the guy in that crazy car/killer whatever movie? Looks kind of like Jason Statham?

Jim: He’s been in a bunch of stuff. He was Boromir in Lord of the Rings.

Billy: Sheffield’s finest! Now I remember him. He was in National Treasure. You’re the director, so it’s your call, but I think he’s too pretty boy for Paddy. You need a guy that looks like he’s been in a few pub brawls. JMHO….you’re the artist….

Jim: So, can we get Clive for Zip Kelly? We gotta nail down Gretel too. She’s huge.

Billy: Clive Owen. Okay. I just cut two months out of your production schedule and reduced your budget twenty percent. Turn in that crack pipe, Jimmy. Off to lunch!! (“Albert, Grey Goose up with a twist, please”.) Get busy, sweetie. Seriously.

Later:

Billy: Jimbo, we tried to get Brad and Angie to do it, but it ended up that Phillip Seymour Hoffman was free then and we were able to score Peneope Cruz for the Gretel von X thing…whaa?? Oh, come on, baby, I know what you’re thinking without even being there. I mean she’s a salon away from being blonde, and anyway she and Phil as Zip will have tremendous chemistry …really… honest…. I mean she’s already got AN accent…work with me here.

Jim: I was really thinking Gretel was more like Reese Witherspoon. And what do we do about the APEs? Moretti and Rackley and the other guys? I suppose you just go through the Band of Brothers/ Private Ryan lineup…

Billy: Well, Scarlett can be ugly, I must say. Just turn the part down, bitch, don’t stuff it down my throat. Two weeks with Sofia in Japan and she thinks she’s an Indie Goddess. Fuck her. I don’t know….We may have some hard sell to do on this one Jimmy. I need a treatment quick, and no more little e-mail scattered notes. We need to also find Zip’s “troubled side” in case we need to go with Val Kilmer. He’ll also want the front of the tights exposed, so don’t plan any gear to hang over The Senator, if you get my drift.

Reese: cute idea!!

You can’t afford Reese on your budget. Stop now and take a deep breath. Go into Mountain Pose.

If we can’t get Penelope, and I have to say she’d be KRA-ZEE at this point in her “career” to turn this down, I think we might, MIGHT be able to get that woman who plays Grace on “Will and Grace”…oh, what’s her NAME??....crap…ORRRR….hmmm, okay go with me here: How about Candace Bergen…okay, OKAY I hear you, she’s a little old, but she’s got that winsome engenue/ballbuster thing down, she’s blonde, or could be…again…and probably would be very free to meet our timetable….just sayin’…of course you have com-PLETE creative control, but….

As for the apes, well, we can’t afford any of those Band of Brothers guys or the Private Ryan guys, though an “open casting call” in North Hollywood might get us some of the extras from Saving Ryan’s Privates, with any luck….just sayin’…hey, do the apes wear tights?

Later:

Billy: Jimulator- back from a VERY GOOD MEETING with, and get this, Steven SEAGAL!! He is VERY INTERESTED in the Paddy Mayne character, though not old and no cigars. Steven is a raw food vegan, so we’ll have some issues if things have to be eaten on camera. But look – you could be just like Tarantino – The Resurrector!! I’m smelling Oscar. Go with me here: Think crypt-ready Travolta! Think totally forgotten Pam Grier! I’m feeling really good about this kind of, oh, return from obscurity approach to casting. Of course the savings is just an aside here, it’s really just the artistic idea. But then I guess I’m dabbling where I shouldn’t.

Do you think we can find a place for Charles Nelson Reilly? I know it’d be some work butching him up, but the thing needs a lite side, don’t you think? Oh, Jeez, again here I go butting in on the artistic side. Well, let me know your thoughts. I’ll be out tonight. Barbra’s throwing yet another fundraiser for Obama, even though he’s been elected for weeks now. Need to dial up the meds Barb!

Ciao

Jim: Bill, we’re not casting a straight to video movie here. This is art. This is serious. We’re going to shoot the moon with this one. You need to convey this, okay? I’m counting on you Billy. I realize we have a somewhat limited budget but we’re going all the way to the top and people need to get onboard before the train leaves without them. We’re tee-ing this one up for a home run.

Sorry, mixing my metaphors again aren’t I?

And we haven’t talked about Slugger yet. Can you focus in on him for a minute please? Who’s Slugger Murphy? Big square-jawed cigar chewing, 5 oclock shadow, burly sergeant type. Brian Dennehy maybe?

Stay tuned for more