I wish I could tell you that Brett Ratner's recent grab for the director's chair on Wicked (yes, the Wicked) was a perfect gotcha Halloween scare joke but it's actually true according to the New York Times. Ratner calls it his dream project.
But this quote actually upset me more.
I’ve always challenged myself, and whether I failed or not, I didn’t fail in my mind. I went through the experience, and it prepared me for the next time I’m going to do it.”
What many egotists fail to grasp when they attempt non-private things beyond their talents is that there are other people in the world besides them. Whether you fail out or not is an actual issue. It matters. If you fail you ruin other people's dreams. You ruin the dreams of the fans of Wicked. You ruin the dreams of fans of the movie musical genre itself, which is always under attack by lazy thinking, deep ignorance of its functionality and which needs a real Hollywood hero to champion it, not an egotist who'll just move on to the next thing once he fails (but not in his own mind!). Musicals, and this is true of all specialty genres, DESERVE artists who understand and respect their peculiarities and who can bring new inspiration. There's nothing in Brett Rattner's filmography -- at least that I've seen though perhaps his short segment in New York I Love You was amazing? -- that suggest he could handle the extremely complicated task of serving up Wicked's joyful grandiosity with a light touch (a line even the over-produced Broadway show trips on occasionally). How could Rattner, who has only directed very standard forgettable movies imbue it with colorful stylized beauty, and make it soar with girlish melodrama and sweetly corny comedy?
One would assume that if Brett Rattner does make it -- you can never trust these things until movies are actually filming and Movie|Line is right that his future projects list is ever-changing -- that he will be given the job because he could a) talk himself into it and b) his films have generally done well at the box office. But Wicked the musical on stage has already grossed more than all but a few dozen movies in the history of the cinema; it's its own bankability. The producers could completely change the fate of future musicals here by taking a risk (which would pay off) on a director with big vision, a unique skill set and, above all, musical comedy aptitude. Rattner's imagination is too earth-bound to defy gravity. His films don't dance. He even made a parade of bizarrely powered mutants feel as mundane as an everyday crowd queueing up for a sports event.