“Hey, Barry! Caught you up this time. … Well, you might’ve been going to bed, but since you’re not actually asleep yet, let’s talk real quick like… No, no, not another sure-fire blockbuster extravaganza this time, as you so sarcastically put it. No, what I have for you my friend is a guaranteed Oscar or three.
“To Kill A Mockingbird. Boom! It was a movie, and the Academy loved it then. It was a book, and they love those too. Racism and injustice for the high-brows, little kids in danger for the heartstrings - this thing has prestige cred to spare. I’m thinking for that Scout chick, we cast one of the Fannings, whichever one isn’t caught up in all that Twilight shit, no one’ll know the difference. And for big Atticus Finch there, we’ll need someone who can seem all upstanding and noble and yet lovable and whatever. McConaughy did that lawyer thing, but I don’t know that he or anyone is looking for another A Time to Kill, am I right? Hmmm… Matt Damon, no… Chris O’Donnell, no… oh. OH! Got it! Steve Carell! He’s pretty damn lovable, people turned out when he did the serious Little Miss Moonshine thing, more importantly the Academy ate it up, AND we could cross-promote with “The Office” during the fall. It writes its own For Your Consideration campaign! ‘Look, he’s funny, and now he’s serious,’ and they gotta respect him for that…
“Oh, and Tyler Perry as Calpurnia. Done.
“Now, about this whole Boo Radley bit. Seems a bit too p-e-d-o-philia to me, and the last thing we want to do is make the voters uncomfortable. So he’s gone, and the same with that mangy dog. There’s a reason no one’s rushed to remake Old Yeller yet … And about Tom getting convicted and then killed? No, we can’t have that. The Tyler Perry crowd doesn’t want to see the film’s only black man put on a trial and then shot while escaping incarceration, and nobody likes a downer regardless of your skin color. How about Tom gets off on a technicality that only Atticus would spot, because he’s Steve Carell, man of the people and brilliant lawyer in addition to a great father. And then the drunk hick can attack his kids, forcing Atticus to shoot him, because he’s, like I said, a great father. But Atticus shoots him in the leg, because he’s no cold-blooded killer, and the town sheriff lets it slide because Atticus is, like I said, one bad mother.
“Crowds cheer, votes tallied, we get Peter Travers to say it busted his heart like a chifforobe, and the next thing you know, Barry, you’re being played off the stage halfway through your acceptance speech. Am I right or am I right? Well, you get on off to bed now, buddy, and hopefully, that secretary of yours can actually fit me into that schedule of yours some time this week. Alright, you hit that pillow and just dream of Oscars, buddy. Osssccccaaaarrrs… Lay-tah!”