There's a terrific query being bandied about over at Twitch today, and it goes a little something like this:
"What if some bored billionaire philanthropist just phones someone and says:
“I like what you’re doing. Here is 100.000.000 USD, no questions asked. Spend it all on your movie. Have fun, no further interference from me, but make it a good one!”
Which directors would I want this to happen to?"
Ooooh good question. So I gave it some thought and came up with five of my own. There are several directors that didn't make my list because they don't seem to need 100 million dollars to achieve what they want to from their film-making (Herzog, Haneke, Park Chan-wook), one that I am literally afraid to see what he'd do with that much money (David Lynch would make a movie of Laura Dern peeling all of her flesh off in one 20 hour long take), one that I'd apparently need to demand some restrictions upon before I handed over the cash (It has to be a fucking horror movie, David Cronenberg!), and one that hasn't directed anything yet so I didn't feel fit the rules as set forth (Bryan Fuller, you know you've got my vote otherwise!). So here are my five:
Joss Whedon - I can't decide if him being totally free to whatever he wanted to do would bring out an ego-beast the size of Montana or if it'd result in unfettered genius, but then I think of the freedom he had with Dr. Horrible and I lean towards the latter.
Todd Solondz - I have no idea if he'd even know how to spend 100 million on a movie, but oh imagine the deranged possibilities! And after what he's given the world artistically speaking so far the guy deserves a break from financial concerns for once. I want a three-hour Dawn Weiner epic that spans all of time and space!
John Waters - Like Solondz, I just want to reward this guy, and have no idea if he could even spend 100 million dollars on making a movie. But I can hear John's voice in my head - John Waters' voice often talks to me inside of my head - laughing that laugh and saying in response to that, "Oh you better fucking believe I could spoend 100 million dollars on a movie!" I picture a fleet of male strippers defecating on the moon in a Busby Berkeley formation.
Terry Gilliam - Twitch had him on their list as well, but there isn't, as far as I'm concerned, a better answer to this question than him. The man's proven time and again that he's an unparalleled visual wizard, but never gets a break. I fear for how many people might fall to his supposed curse in the wake of such success, but I'm willing to accept some casualties for his art.
Guillermo del Toro - Like Gilliam, I just wanna see what he'd dream up with total freedom and heaps of cash. I know he's not exactly hurting for high-profile big-budget films these days, but I like to think we'd finally get the HP Lovecraft movie of all our fucking nightmares if he got the chance to make whatever the hell he wanted to. And I want that movie yesterday.
There are a bunch more perfectly acceptable answers to this question - maybe even some that aren't white and/or dudes! - so let 'em rip in the comments. Who would you pick?