Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Ladies and gentlemen, the continuing misappropriation of the Formspring medium as an excuse to write impromptu articles about subjects which already interest me! Trust me, it's not as pretentious as it sounds.

What is your dream crossover?

Crossovers are hard to do right even assuming the right intellectual properties. There have been some brilliant examples of successful crossovers to be sure, but it’s always a balancing act. So first let's look at three examples of crossovers which I consider to be successful and why they work.

Because of the significance of these respective franchises and their respective roles in 1980’s Slasher-Horror, it seems like a no-brainer to do a cross-over between these two characters, but this was a project that languished for over a decade in development hell. The biggest challenge, of course, was how in the holy f*ck do you get an undead mindless killing machine and a non-physical child killer together in the same movie... and make it feel like a natural addition to both series?!

The solution was quite eloquent: symmetry through fear imagery. Freddy’s afraid of fire, the writers figure, because he burned to death. Jason of water. After that they simply structured the film around three fights between Freddy and Jason (one in the dream realm, one with Freddy possessing someone, and the final with Freddy manifested in the real world). Suddenly they had a solid little movie that worked as a gloriously sleazy tribute to both franchises.

Sigmund Freud meets Sherlock Holmes. The idea is so ludicrously awesome. It shouldn’t gel together, but it does. Again the question; how can these two seemingly contradictive powerhouses of deductive reasoning, one of criminology and one of the mind, be placed into the same world?

The crazy glue that joined these two was cocaine. The increasingly neurotic and paranoid master detective was addicted. Unlike today, Cocaine in the late 1800s was thought of as no more harmful than Asprin and there actually are references in the Doyle stories of Mr. Holmes indulging in the substance. For the purposes of the story Freud opposed the drug and comes to treat Holmes in the story.

And it wouldn’t be a proper Sherlock Holmes yarn without a mystery; that mystery becomes a part of the good doctor’s treatment.

As a side note; the author also has writing credits on Star Trek II and VI, considered the best of the film series and my personal favourites as well.

And finally a fan-made film from a few years ago which features a crossover between Batman and the Predator franchise (with touches of Alien thrown in for good measure). This time there’s little attempt to give story to bridge the two characters and franchises (Why are there Xenomorphs in Gotham? How did they get there?); the film just faces Batman against a Predator. This approach can only work in a short film, but it absolutely works.

Going into it further, Predators have been characterized as being a warlike race which respected the strength of a warrior above all else. Batman certainly fits that warrior bill, so I guess even in something like this there needs to be some kind of logical connection underlying the crossover.

The tone, the story, the worlds and continuities need to be able to mesh cleanly as well. The narrative after all needs to feel like the perfect balance between the two universes. David Suzuki and Jane Goodall would work more cleanly in a fictionalized story more cleanly for this reason than Tarzan and John Lennon.

But enough stalling; my ideal crossover would be Hannibal the Cannibal and Austin Powers!

...Well, it's better than 'Sherlock Holmes meets Jurassic Park'.

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