There are times when you know Hollywood is really bankrupt for ideas. Don't look to latching onto the manga craze, graphic novel hype or even the horror remake train for signs of the creative apocalypse. Shit those two dushbags (see earlier Clemens post for clarification) who churn out the (Blank) Movie debacles every few months don't even begin to scratch the surface.
Nope, my friends, it's ABBA. Yes, that ABBA. And while I would like to blame Sweden as a whole for this one, my undying love for the Hellacopters precludes that. So, awhile back these Eurovision pop star contest winners (think 70's disco American Idol) penned a musical called "Mamma Mia!" and the coked up pre-Patrick Bateman's of the world ate it up. And then Robert Palmer happened and ABBA faded away only to (fuck, I'm just speculating here because I step back from this whole piece I realize the utter ridiculousness of it all) ride the nostalgia wave when Ace of Base taught a new generation that Swedish dance music sucked balls.
Now, we have a cinematic adaptation of the musical on the horizon and it looks like The Killers have finally gotten their wish: disco shall roar back. Wow.
You have to realize how fucking long and insane of a process it is to not just get a film made but to get off the ground at all, no matter what the existing fanbase or rights statuses are. Pitch meetings, director meetings, screenwriter meetings, script drafts, approvals, re-writes, casting, territorial pissings, more re-writes, casting shuffles, pre-marketing hype, and scores of other tasks before there is even a fucking start date for principal photography. Let's forget about post, and filming...a motherfucking ABBA musical got through all that bureaucratic bullshit with a massive budget over...fuck...I dunno, ANYTHING!
It's not like an error this egregious hasn't happened before. Remember Xanadu? If you didn't have an older sister obsessed with Olivia Newton John after Grease then I will refresh. OLJ as a Greek muse sent to inspire Swan from the Warriors at a roller disco, with Gene Kelly presumably making a pre-death cash grab for this estate set to some of the most horrendous 80's music known to man. Hey, if you're a sadist there's a deluxe DVD of the fucker out there now. Just knowing that haunts my dreams.
Still, we get a silver lining in this tomb filled with shit.
From the UK Telegraph:
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, who wrote most of the group’s hits, said there was nothing that could entice them back on stage.
“We will never appear on stage again,” says Ulvaeus. “There is simply no motivation to re-group. Money is not a factor and we would like people to remember us as we were."
I'd like to remeber that Lester Bangs never wore an ABBA shirt. Oh, and "Waterloo."