So you remember how after Titanic grossed the GDP of a small island nation, everyone began wondering if Hollywood could find the “next” historical romantic epic to captivate the world starring a puppy-dog-eyed man-boy and an impossibly beautiful British actress speaking in an American accent? And then Hollywood tried, and it was called Pearl Harbor, and it was an interminably long and cloying disaster even when Michael Bay wasn’t busy blowing things up?
Here’s hoping Ion avoids that same pitfall. News came out today that Channing Tatum is attached to star in the new sci-fi romantic epic that’s apparently given Hollywood Avatar fever, to the point where The Hollywood Reporter story about the casting news speculatively called Ion the “next Avatar?” in its headline. Ridley and Tony Scott are both attached to produce the film, which “revolves around a man who travels to different Earths and dimensions in order to find his reincarnated lover.” Screenwriter Will Dunn reportedly tried last year to sell Ion to studios to no avail, but now that Avatar has grossed the GDP of a medium-sized island nation, suddenly those same studios — including Avatar‘s own Fox, which is in the lead to pick up Ion — have decided sweeping sci-fi romantic epics are good business after all.
That is, of course, until the next sweeping sci-fi romantic epic doesn’t quite meet expectations at the box office. Which isn’t to say Ion would be that film, but just that perhaps the reason audiences worldwide were so captivated by Avatar wasn’t that it was a sweeping sci-fi romantic epic per se, but a visually stunning and emotionally involving cinematic experience that they’d never had before. Maybe finding the next that, whether it’s sci-fi or period western, should be the priority. Am I crazy, Popwatchers? Tell me I’m crazy — it wouldn’t be the first time.