Robert Rodriguez is known for two different kinds of films: bloody, sexy, hyper-violent crime-horror stories... and kiddie flicks, likely made to entertain his five awesomely named kids: Rocket, Racer, Rebel, Rogue and Rhiannon. While some of his kiddie flicks can be pretty entertaining to an open-minded adult (parts of Spy Kids 3-D are pure genius), mostly they're for the 12-and-under crowd, like the Racer-penned Shark Boy and Lava Girl. So when adult film buffs are sitting around waiting for any of the dozen genre projects under Rodriguez's purview to come to fruition, and he gives us the whimsical wish-fulfillment fantasy Shorts... well, we get a little depressed. Here are some of the projects that, given our druthers, Rodriguez should have been working on instead of Shorts.
Sin City 2
A hyper-stylized film-noir crime flick, the first Sin City came out in 2005 and was a huge success, and Rodriguez and comic-book creator Frank Miller have been talking about a sequel ever since. But somehow, different projects keep pushing it back, which amazes us, since Rodriguez has said he eventually wants to adapt all of Miller's books. He even resigned from the Director's Guild of America -- costing him the gig directing John Carter of Mars -- to let Miller co-direct the original. (John Carter will now be directed by WALL-E director Andrew Stanton.) The worst part? We can't help but think that if they'd just started on Sin City 2 earlier, Miller's Spirit movie might never have happened.
When we saw the fake trailer Rodriguez had created for this then-nonexistent film during the intermission of Grindhouse, we instantly wished we were watching that film instead of RR's Planet Terror feature. Starring RR's cousin Danny Trejo as the titular mercenary (who has the same name as the character he played in Spy Kids), the nouveau-exploitation film is actually filming now, but it should have started the minute Grindhouse wrapped. However, if he's been spending all of this time assembling the cast (Robert De Niro, Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba, Rose McGowan, Lindsay Lohan, Ray Liotta, Steven Seagal, Jeff Fahey, Jonah Hill and Cheech Marin as "Father Benicio Del Toro") then we totally forgive him for the delay.
Last summer, the Double-R announced that he would be producing a new movie version of Red Sonja, Robert Howard's female counterpart to Conan the Barbarian. Teaser posters of RR's girlfriend Rose McGowan with fiery red hair and a chain-mail bikini were circulated at San Diego Comic-Con and online, but shortly thereafter we began to hear rumors that the couple had split up, and the film was put on hold for apparently unrelated reasons. It's supposedly moving forward with director Douglas Aarniokoski (Highlander: Endgame) and will film next year, but will likely come out after the 2011 Conan reboot.
Back in 2007, RR was supposed to direct a remake of the famous 1960s Jane Fonda sci-fi sex romp, starring Rose McGowan as Barbarella, and Rosario Dawson was even telling people she was going to play an Amazon in the film. The project was put on hold when Red Sonja was announced, and now appears to have been scrapped due to a lack of funding. How Shorts got funding and this didn't is a mystery to me, but we're probably talking about very different amounts of funding.
In 2007, Rodriguez was also in talks to do either a live-action version of this sci-fi cartoon or a movie version of Land of the Lost. The script for The Jetsons was further along at the time, so he apparently went that route, but something must have happened along the way, because the movie was just pushed back to 2012. Meanwhile, Land of the Lost came out a couple months ago. Irony!
Rodriguez has apparently held the film rights to this comic book about an amnesiac superhero for over ten years, which simply makes us wonder what the hell he's doing with them. A script by George Huang is supposedly completed, and RR even announced that he was ready to start filming back in 2006, but nothing ever came of it. The only good thing that has come of it is that Madman creator Mike Allred introduced R2 to Frank Miller, making Sin City possible, but apparently not Madman. That's gotta hurt.
It's only been a few months since it was announced that Rodriguez would be working on this Predator sequel, but we're anxious for him to get started on it, even though he's only writing and producing, with Nimrod Antal (Vacancy) directing. Or is it Antal Nimrod? We're seeing it both ways. Either way, it's an unfortunate name.
Women in Chains!
With Barbarella and Red Sonja both up in the air, Rodriguez must have been desperate to get his girlfriend McGowan into some project, preferably one that required her to wear as little clothing as possible (something for her, something for the fans!). Which must be why, at one point last year, R2 was shopping around a women-in-prison TV series with McGowan as a possible lead. It smacks of desperation, but that doesn't mean that we wouldn't watch the Hell out of it. Make it happen, Ro-Ro!
What Ro-Ro flick are you looking forward to the most?