Hostess Sno Balls

Our hero (Casey Affleck) is a marshmallow manufacturer on the island of Hawaii. A local confections lord makes a play for dominance and booby-traps the factory, whereupon our good guy falls into a vat of gelatinous pink molten sugar, crawls out hideously burned, and passes out in a room of shredded coconut. Various superpowers emerge, he goes for revenge but discovers a higher calling, etc. Thinking Jon Voight as rival candy lord.

H.R. Pufnstuf

Beef up old mythology, maybe make Jimmy in his 30s, jaded, a hedge-fund guy. Still have the talking flute, but go bigger—flute can sing death melody; it’s the most dangerous musical instrument in the world. Huge CGI potential for the big-headed mayor guy. Plus, flesh out his childhood backstory. How did he get the really big round head? Was he teased? Did it teach him to be more tolerant?


Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, and John C. Reilly buy a carrom table at a school-district auction and end up starting an international competition to save their old charter elementary school.

Courageous Cat, Top Cat & Morris the Cat

One is reckless, one’s a hipster, one’s an old grouch. When they all have to share the same alley during a long, hot summer, the fur really flies. Do the cats in CGI, à la Scooby-Doo. With Ashton Kutcher as the animal-regulation officer, and Paul Giamatti as the neighbor who can’t get any sleep.


A young inventor (James McAvoy) is sabotaged by a rival appliance lord. He survives an industrial accident and develops a special rectangular suit, hinged at the head, enabling him to shoot bricks and grenades at enemies through a slit in his neck.

Baseball Cards

A kid living with his single mom (Rachel Weisz) finds himself on a last-place Little League team. Somehow he finds the power (right field, lightning) to bring his Topps cards to life. Only everybody’s a little kid. So he’s got little Bob Gibson, little Yaz, little Willie McCovey—only these boys don’t have any parents. And some of them are black. So it’s also about tolerance.


A molecular scientist (Shia LaBeouf) turns every aspect of his life into freeze-dried powder. A greedy beverage lord stages a phony accident and our hero becomes a cup of granules. Tag line: Just add water and kick ass.

Captain Kangaroo

I don’t know what he was supposed to be captain of. I don’t really remember if I liked the show. He was a mild, portly guy with a mustache. There may have been puppets. I never got Mr. Green Jeans. So, really, the whole mythology and backstory is up for grabs, with built-in boomer name recognition.

Thumb Wrestling

Vince Vaughn and Jack Black have both sworn off their crazy thumb-wrestling past and now teach sign language. But when their local school for the deaf becomes the object of a hostile takeover (mimes? noiseless dog collars?) the boys have to recruit a team of amateurs (Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, and John C. Reilly) and compete for the grand prize at the international thumb-wrestling competition.

The Flying Nun

This time, go edgy. Sister Bertrille (Zooey Deschanel) fights corruption and sexual scandal in the church. Delve into the backstory: Why did she become a nun? What happened to her parents? What traumatic event sent her aloft?

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidht

Will Ferrell plays the happy-go-lucky lad, now all grown up. Trying to lead a respectable life, he’s about to get married (Amy Poehler), but whenever he goes out, the people still shout. With Debbie Reynolds as his mother, who wants a little of that attention for herself.