Jewish World Review August 7, 2002 /29 Menachem-Av, 5762
Copycat miners trap selves for movie deal
Hoping for heroic rescue, 10% of gross
Apparently inspired by the impressive sums that Hollywood has offered the rescued
miners in western Pennsylvania, a group of nine miners in western Indiana have
intentionally trapped themselves in a mine in the hopes of scoring a movie deal.
"My clients are hoping for a heroic rescue and a percentage of the adjusted gross,"
said Ian Whitestone of the William Morris Agency, who is representing the
self-trapped miners in their Hollywood dealings.
The stakes are high for the so-called "copycat" miners, who are trying to land not
only a movie deal but also seven-figure paydays for trapped-miner video games,
action figures, and a possible sitcom or Broadway musical.
But with several Hollywood studios and broadcast networks taking "pitches" from
the trapped miners via conference calls yesterday, the initial results were somewhat
less than encouraging.
"I heard their whole story, and I thought they needed a new ending," said Stacy
Conant, a production vice-president at Paramount Pictures. "Right now, all that
happens is they get rescued. I was like, so what? It seemed a little tired to me."
Bob Littlesmith, a programming executive at ABC, agreed: "Their whole pitch kind of
fell off at the end. It definitely needs a twist. Maybe they could eat each other or
For his part, William Morris' Whitestone said his clients would do whatever it takes
to score a deal based on their self-inflicted ordeal.
"My clients are completely open to the idea of not being rescued, and are currently
exploring the idea of eating each other," Mr. Whitestone said.
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JWR Contributor Andy Borowitz, a former president of the Harvard Lampoon, is a regular humor columnist for Newsweek.com, The New Yorker, The New York Times and TV Guide. Recognized by Esquire magazine as one of the most powerful producers in television, he was the creator and producer of the hit TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and producer of the Oscar-nominated film Pleasantville. He is the author, most recently, of "Trillionaire Next Door: The Greedy Investor's Guide to Day Trading" and "Rationalizations to Live By". Comments by clicking here. Visit his website by clicking here.
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© 2002, Andy Borowitz