Thoughts On The Future Of Zoey Deutch’s Career

Hollywood ‘It Girl’ Zoey Deutch / Imagine courtesy of Google Images

by Shelton Bumgarner

I saw Zoey Deutch in Zombieland 2 the other day and was really impressed with her acting chops. A star is born, if you will. But let’s speculate on her possible career track.

The person she current most resembles is Isla Fisher. Fisher stole every scene she was in when she appeared in The Wedding Crashers and that pretty much has been the basis of her career to date. But, really, Fisher hasn’t done much since that movie. She’s appeared in the occasional romcom now and then, but she’s apparently been more busy being Mrs. Sacha Baron Cohen than having any serious movie career. So, in a sense, that’s definitely a possibly for Deutch. She could land her a powerful Hollywood man, pop out some kids and otherwise coast.

I’d like to think she might aim higher. In fact, to cement her career, I would recommend a Wedding Crashers type movie. That would be ideal for Deutch. Something a bit raunchy that would give take her to the next level. Ideally, she would befriend Phoebe Waller-Bridge and the two would do a film together with Waller-Bridge writing the screenplay. While I know the more “woke” amongst us poo-poo the manic pixie dream girl trope, if Deutch could wease her way into the next Charlie Kaufman joint, she could really light the screen on fire. I think they’re talk of a new Back To The Future movie, maybe she could shoe-horn herself into that movie given her mother’s connection to the franchise. Or maybe Ghostbusters 3?

Anyway, if she REALLY wanted to aim high, she might look for a YA franchise in development to helm. She might go the Jennifer Lawrence route if she managed to pull that off. Hollywood can be so dumb when casting talented young actresses. Too often they want to them to simply be one-dimensional romantic support for some young up-and-coming actor, or even worse, the love interest for some dusty old dude. I guess a lot what happens next with her career depends on luck and her agent.

Who knows. We’ll probably be a fascist dystopia before too long, anyway.

Zoey Deutch — A Star Is Born

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

Zoey Deutch’s character in Zombieland 2 made a big impression on me. Something about it initially came off as annoying but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was a star turn. This feeling only began to sink in more when I realized she was Lea Thompson’s daughter!

Holy shit!

Then I thought back to the scene where she hooks up with Jesse Eisenberg’s character. Something about it seemed like a homage. Then I realized that she had to be giving a subtle hat-tip to her mom’s scene in Back To The Future where she creeps on Michael J. Fox and talks about where “Calvin’s” pants are — on her hope chest.

I’m growing impressed with New Hollywood. Both Deutch and Margret Qualley are bringing the heat. I just wish someone would cast Eva Victor in something. She’s got star quality as well and she’s being underused doing Twitter videos.

Anyway. For once Hollywood isn’t letting me down.

The Rise Of ‘Problematic’ Cinema

We’re living this movie.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

I’m all for dark, gritty movies. They’re great. I love them. But I have a problem with art coming from either the Left or the Right that is so drunk with its efforts to “message the base,” if you will, the producers lose sight of the goal — giving an audience a great story.

It’s because of this that I keep walking out of movies. On the Left I walked out of Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart. On the Right I just walked out of The Joker. I found both of them problematic to such an extent that I bounced. Booksmart was a self-parody of “woke” art. The Joker, meanwhile, was problematic because it seemed like a dog whistle to every incel within shouting distance. It made me very unhappy. So unhappy I couldn’t finish it. I barely got to the inciting incident.

But I will say the preview for Richard Jewell was worth the price of admission to The Joker. The movie looks promising as much for the liberal monkey show Clint Eastwood has assembled for his cast than anything else. I mean, what the what? What is Olivia Wilde doing knowingly playing into the worst stereotypes that people like Eastwood have about people like her. Surreal. I mean, maybe the movie isn’t what I think it is, but it sure does seem to be persecution porn for MAGA mouth breathers.

I think what’s problematic about these films is not even the films themselves — it’s fucking Trump. Trump’s such a divisive figure that he casts a very large, very dark shadow over pop culture. We’re reaching the point where a lot of influential movie producers are greenlighting movies that validate their own political views. This does not bode well for the future of Hollywood.

But who knows. The novel I’m writing fancies itself something of “pox on both your houses” allegorical tale. Yet I am also going way, way, way, WAY out of my way to ensure everyone — regardless of political affiliation — gets to have a good time. Even the MAGA people who I pick on by proxy will at least get to enjoy themselves as they hate read it.

I hope.


V-Log: An Entertaining — If Rambling — Monologue About #Writing A #Novel & Other Things


V-Log: #Impeachment, #Writing A #Novel & Thoughts On Susan Orlean

by Shelton Bumgarner

This one is a fun one. Enjoy.

A Movie Franchise Idea For Phoebe Waller-Bridge: Susan Calvin

Susan Calvin, I presume?

by Shelton Bumgarner

Apparently, Hollywood is full of unimagive hacks who have difficulty grasping even the most obvious of creative opportunities. I only say this because the works of Isaac Asimov remain untapped. I mean, fuck, people, you have dozens of Robot stories featuring Susan Calvin that could be strip mined for a very lucrative franchise.

And the perfect person to helm this franchise is Phoebe Waller-Bridge. She’s perfect. She could really bring something unique to the role. It could be a very modern female-driven franchise if you got the right people behind it.

Anyway. You do you Hollywood. What do I know.

Of Seeing ‘Zombieland: Double Tap’ & Improving The Novel

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

I went to see the newest Zombieland today and was pleased. It was worth the price of admission. Definitely got the impression Emma Stone HATES Jesse Eisenberg. She’s a good actor, but she’s not that good.

Not really related, but has an update on the state of the novel.

Going through the process of seeing the movie that I came up with some really great scenes in the latter pages of the first half of the novel. These scenes are so good, in fact, that I had a momentary bout of existential creative angst. I started to think maybe it should be TWO books with the first book ending on a cliffhanger. But since then, I’ve thought better of it. I really like the idea of just writing one novel that’s really accessible and fun but actually has something of a deeper, darker meaning.

One issue I keep toying with is how much to ground the story in a specific year and how much I should just make it “now” and have it run as a scenario. I’ve long called the novel a political fairytale for woke Park Slope moms and there is something to be said for making it a gauzy story that is simply set in the modern era. I worry it will come off as dated if I make it specific to an exact time.

And, yet, given that it’s meant to be my own person indictment of the clusterfuck that is the Trump Era, there’s something to be said for setting in in a specific year of that clusterfuck. If people go into it knowing that it’s set in a specific year, then it won’t feel dated (I hope.) It will simply feel like a way to have catharsis about about the Trump Era which, hopefully, will have come crashing down by the time this novel is set for me to pitch it to an imprint. If it HASN’T come to and end by about August 2020 then, well, I’ll just roll with the punches. The moment it sank in that wasn’t going to be able to finish the novel in time for it come out in summer 2020 when people would be thinking about the presidential election, I became a lot less concerned about being rushed.

I’m well on track to finish this novel by August 2020, but it’s my impression there is a good six months of post-production after you actually sell a complete manuscript. Of course, it would be like winning the lottery if I actually was able to sell the damn thing at all. I’m not the greatest writer in the world, but I am a decent story teller.

One thing I’m a little uneasy about is how cinematic some of the cooler scenes are. I mean, does that mean I should just write a screenplay? I quickly push such thoughts aside, however. All of Michael Crichton’s books pretty much read like a movie treatment as it is. I think I can forgive myself if I come up with a scene or two that depends on you knowing a song well enough to have it playing in my mind as the scene unfolds.

Anyway, I continue to worry that Phoebe Waller-Bridge is going to steal a creative march on me. But that’s just being really paranoid. My story is uniquely American. It wallows in its Americanism. Though I definitely admire and gain inspiration from Waller-Bridge because of her creative courage. I’ve made some creative decisions on this novel which are potentially fucking huge risks for any number of reasons.

But watching Zombieland today, I took note of how the were able to give what an mainstream audience wants. It’s because of how entertaining and, well, good, Zombieland was that I am reminded of how much I fucking hated Booksmart. That movie insulted me with its contempt for middle-American values and its absolute need to cram it’s desire to be comfort food to a 17-year-old bi-curious girl who goes to like, fucking Hollywood High down my throat. Sometimes, you want shit to blow up, people fall in love in a traditional manner and to hate on hippies like was found in Zombieland.

I am quick to note, however, that I was definitely not the audience of Booksmart, so go see it! I guess if I was in the mood to see a movie like Booksmart, I would just watch Heathers again. Now THAT was a good movie. Also, I like political subtext. In these divided times, it’s nice to put your politics in your work on the sly as a treat to people who agree with you. That way people who don’t agree with you politically, who don’t have the same cultural touchstones, still get to have a good time.

Everybody having a good time reading my novel is a big deal for me. That’s why, yes, there are plot points that are pretty conspicuous, there’s at least a small chance a MAGA person will at least enjoy themselves should they hate read it because Don. Jr. won’t shut up about it.

I am going to stay humble. There’s just too much that can go wrong. But I refuse to make decisions on what I don’t know. I’ve gotten this far and the story continues to entertain me, the writer, so I keep going. I’m well on my way to wrapping up the first half of the novel pretty soonish. I just keep making the specifics of the novel better and better, often because I distract myself for a few hours by watching a movie.

We’ll see. It will be interesting to see if I manage to pull this off or if I wake up one day and see someone has completely stolen a creative march on me. But, again, make decisions on what you know — not what you don’t know.

V-Log: A Gentle Creative Suggestion For Phoebe Waller-Bridge

by Shelton Bumgarner

This is just a stray observation.

Creative Destruction: Hollywood Must Buy Up Empty Malls For The Coming Immersive Media Era

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

You’re supposed to put your stick where the puck is going to be, not where it is, then I have a suggestion for Hollywood — buy up empty shopping malls now.

I say this because despite what is proposed in Ready Player: One, young human people still need the entertainment industry to facilitate dating rituals. So, even if we all have an economic VR – treadmill setup in our homes, 13 year old boys will still need to go through the rite of passage of asking his cute crush in homeroom out on a date.

Right now, “Netflix and chill” is not very practical for that kid. But going to a movie is definitely doable. As such, even in the age of “immersive media” little boys are still going to need an excuse to leave the house and hang out with their crush (reasonably) unsupervised for a few hours. So, it would make a lot of sense for them to not use a home VR – treadmill setup, but instead go to a revamped mall where there’s a massive immersive movie being played.

No one listens to me, but lulz. I had to get that off my chest.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Life Is About To Change Dramatically

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

The thing about Phoebe Waller-Bridge is how down to earth and honest she is. One thing I’ve noticed about her, however, is she doesn’t have the UCB chops that a lot of American TV stars have. She’s more of a writer and traditional actor.

Hey babe.

You notice it the most when she’s on a show like Late Night and Seth Meyers obviously really wants to do a form of improv with her and she can seem a bit slow on the take. She’s naturally funny, of course, but it comes out more naturally for her in the context of sitting in front of a laptop and thinking about it.

Having said all that, I have a hunch that she’s going to get sucked into the Hollywood community in a pretty big way. She’s recently divorced and there are plenty of single — and powerful — Hollywood leading men who love to have her by their side as they walked down the red carpet. The one guy who might find her a catch would be Bill Murray. He’s a bit old for her, but they would be an instant Hollywood power couple. (I’m too lazy to look at Wikipedia to see if he’s single.) I mean, the one guy I could see falling hard for Ms. Waller-Bridge is Jon Hamm. Hamm is a very funny guy and it seems like he would enjoy having Ms. Waller-Bridge a comic foil in both public and private endeavors.

I could see Hollywood producers have a bit of a struggle figuring out what to do with her because she’s not a traditional Hollywood beauty, but I can think of plenty of roles she would be perfect for. She’s got a unique comic voice that will serve her — and the audience — well for potentially decades to come.

One other thing is now that she’s hosted SNL, she’s a part of the SNL hivemind and there’s a good chance she might linger in its orbit as events warrant. She’s probably met a lot of the big wigs of SNL during the course of preparing for the show and those contacts will be beneficial to everyone involved going forward.

Anyway, what do I know. No one listens to me.