Direct 'The Avengers 2' in 10 Minutes or Your Family Is Dead
WARNING: You are about to read a chilling scene from a dark future ... two haircuts from now. So if you are bald, expect to grow an unruly yet lustrous mane in the next 40 seconds. Brace your scalp for some real Yanni Live at the Acropolis shit.
Yanni grew to a thousand feet tall and ate the crowd. It was a weird concert.
King of Disney: Greetings, this is the King of Disney!
This voice resembles Alvin and the Chipmunks making a collect call from the inky silt of the River Styx.
Me: Excuse me?
KoD: Oh, mea culpa! "King" is actually shorthand. In reality, I'm a massive, pulsating rat king who lives inside the Epcot Center globe and incidentally happens to run the Walt Disney Company from the shadows. My existence is unknown to humanity, because only seven people have ridden Spaceship Earth since it opened in 1982.
"Yes, I'm just a 150-foot-tall pile of copulation and hantavirus."
KoD: Anyway, I've evolved a hive mind that affords me rudimentary speech and the boardroom savvy to oversee a global media conglomerate! You should have seen my predecessor. He was an entire flock of mallards that got their corkscrew penises tangled together. Yes, good ol' Donald Duck-Cock-Hydra! Employees hated that guy.
Me: So what you're saying is Disney is ruled by a cabal of freakish anthropomorphic animals?
KoD: Of course! Where do you think our animators get their ideas? But some of us have been more effective than others. Have you ever seen 101 unneutered dogs run a shareholder meeting in a tiny conference suite at the Waldorf Astoria?
Me: I have no idea how to answer that question.
KoD: You'll need twice as many mops afterward, hoho!
"And we don't talk about the grizzly bear in drag. He was all 'Gulags this, Mars Needs Moms that.'"
Me: OK, this is definitely among the top 10 conversations I've ever had with a talking mountain of rat shit -- that's a great idea for a column, I'm writing that down -- but I'm hanging up.
KoD: Oh, I wouldn't be so hasty. I'm texting you a photo ...
Me: Oh God, that's my family! They're trussed up like Cornish game hens, with old-timey dungeon chains instead of parsley!
KoD: Direct The Avengers 2 in 10 minutes OR YOUR FAMILY IS DEAD.
"And not the one starring Uma Thurman."
Me: What? Explain yourself, that request makes no sense!
KoD: On the contrary, it makes PERFECT sense. You know how Thor: The Dark World made a comical amount of money last weekend? Well, Marvel still had to spend $170 million to make the damn thing.
"And we're not even counting merchandising costs."
KoD: Compare that with a cheapo horror flick like The Purge, which cost $3 million because they paid Ethan Hawke in stale Fig Newtons that producers convinced him were rare medallions. That grossed almost $90 million internationally. Or take The Conjuring, which made $316 million worldwide on a $20 million budget. Or, hell, there's Grown Ups 2, which made oodles even though your species agreed it was weaponized retina cancer. Grown Ups 2 taught us that audiences don't care about what's in front of their eyes as long as there's a bare minimum of photons. Watch, Grown Ups 3 will simply be 90 minutes of Adam Sandler fumbling around a dog shit factory during a blackout.
"Feel free to publish this exclusive set photo!"
Me: So Grown Ups 2 broke Hollywood's resolve to ever again write a coherent narrative?
KoD: Yes. If people will pay to watch a turd, why waste money or effort? R.I.P.D. cost $130 million, and its box office gross amounted to three Fig Newtons. (Ethan Hawke bartered his Purge lucre for a ticket.) And we already know The Avengers: Age of Ultron will make bank. We're so confident that we gave it a god-awful title. Only a sliver of moviegoers even know who Ultron is, and 50 percent of them can only sum him up as "a smiling robot."
Ultron, in his prior star turn as "Stage 4 Boss" in 1991's Captain America and the Avengers arcade game.
KoD: Seriously, everyone on Earth, save maybe North Korea, is excited for The Avengers 2. We're that cocky. This movie could be an hour of the Hulk shucking oysters. We could call it The Avengers: Age of the Dog Shit Factory and we'd rake in a Titanic gross.
Me: Then why do you need me?
KoD: Profit maximization. Death threats to some random schmo we found in the yellow pages are cheaper than CGI.
Me: I'm not following you.
KoD: Sigh. The Avengers cost $220 million. Robert Downey Jr. was paid $50 million for the first Avengers, and the rest of the cast -- Hemsworth, Evans, Ruffalo -- will want way more than a $3 million payday this time around. Costs are spiraling out of control. Even Joss Whedon is getting out of our price range.
Me: Is he asking for a higher salary?
KoD: No, that motherfucker's secretly a werewolf. The crew has to shave him every 20 minutes or else he turns feral.
"For the first movie alone, we spent $10 million on shaving cream."
KoD: For Age of Ultron, we've pared down the budget to a lean $4 million. $1 million goes toward a team of behavioral psychologists Marvel hired to distill The Avengers 2 down to its bare bones constituent elements. $1 million a pop goes to Downey and Tom Hiddleston, whom we filmed adorably stuffing each other's petulant mouths with messy fondue for five minutes. The final $1 million goes to Samuel L. Jackson -- he closes out Age of Ultron by impassively yelling five minutes' worth of profanity straight at the camera.
"After all, Snakes on a Plane made its money by dint of a single line."
KoD: $0 goes to you, as we're blackmailing you for filler scenes.
Me: Who purchased the dungeon chains?
KoD: Downey. He's on a Faces of Death/The Most Dangerous Game kick nowadays. He also bought a scimitar, so we gave him a producer credit.
Me: Is Age of Ultron really going to be 20 minutes long?
KoD: As I said, we film only what we need. It's a streamlined formula. And the run time's 11 minutes now, because I blew nine minutes talking to you.
Me: Oh, fuck me.
KoD: Time's up! What did you bring me, my budding auteur?
Me: Given the circumstances, I only had time for a Vine.
KoD: That is easily the biggest piece of shit I've ever seen, and I'm a sentient mound of rat feces.
Me: Look, I only had 60 seconds, so I used nearby objects, which happened to be some dubious Avengers action figures I saw at my neighborhood crap-mart and a Star Trek book on record.
"The heroes of the movie are, uh, Caucasian Samuel L. Jackson and two stoned T. rexes."
KoD: Why did you use the Nickelback song from Spider-Man?
Me: I'm in a hateful mood right now.
KoD: Well, Downey's good. He's a little concerned about the length, but I told him we'll convince theater operators to leave the dancing popcorn on for 45 minutes. (Audiences at midnight showings should be so woozy that they'll barely notice, right?) And don't try to sue us. Disney's house legal team consists of half of the Hall of Presidents. Remember: they're attorneys, robots, and presidents -- simultaneously.
Cyriaque Lamar is a senior editor here at Cracked. He's on Twitter.