Filmmakers these days are getting a little, uh, imaginative when it comes to depicting historical figures on the big screen. Need I say more than Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter to illustrate my point?
If your answer is yes, then I also present the upcoming flick FDR: American Badass as evidence. It portrays the polio-stricken president Roosevelt as, you guessed it, a werewolf hunter. He doesn't hunt just any werewolves, though. No. He hunts Nazi werewolves.
After seeing the new film Hyde Park on Hudson, featuring an amazing Bill Murray as FDR, it's hard to imagine how the president would have any time to hunt werewolves with all of the extracurricular activities he had going on the side. But I suppose it takes a special kind of man to be president. And a werewolf hunter. And a charming lady killer. So extreme multi-tasking ain't no thang for such a chap. Plus FDR: American Badass isn't exactly gunning for historical accuracy.
On a much more modest scale, the recent film Farewell, My Queen, takes a rumor about legendary French Queen Marie Antoinette and runs with it. The rumor, of course, was that the polarizing queen lusted after the ladies. Yes, as well as famously proclaiming, "Let them eat cake!" Marie Antoinette was also known for being quite promiscuous, with a particular penchant for pretty women. Farewell, My Queen explores the torrid love affair she may have had with the beautiful and extravagant Duchess of Polignac.
With this spate of movies taking generous liberties with historical figures, I felt it was about time to throw my own crazy ideas into the mix. Because, really, why not? Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is already out there. How much more ridiculous could it get?
1. Gandhi: Axe Murderer. But don't worry -- he's a Dexter-style killer who only slays the really bad guys. He releases all his aggression during his vigilante extracurricular activities at night, which allows him to never lose his cool during his day gig as the world's most inspirational non-violent agent of change.
2. Buddha: Cake Boss. Ever wonder how Buddha got that Buddha belly? Well, it's hard to maintain a lithe figure when you and your crew are baking deliciously irresistible cakes all day. Stressful deadlines and demanding party planners make it hard for Buddha to remain Zen, but this taxing environment strengthens his resolve to pursue the path to spiritual enlightenment.
3. Cleopatra: Time Traveler. Not content with driving the men of her own time wild, Cleopatra has one of her admirers build her a functional time machine that lets her enchant the men of the past and future, too. This film focuses on the steamy love affair Cleopatra had with American inventor Thomas Edison. (Little-known fact: she was his inspiration for inventing the light bulb. He just had to get a better look at her after dark.)
4. Napoleon: B-Boy. Napoleon doesn't rest until he conquers all of Europe's breakdance competitions in this year's most high-energy dance flick featuring elaborate costumes and choreography inspired by 18th century France. On the breakdance circuit, Napoleon falls in love with a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, and his family worries that she may derail his ambitions to become an all powerful Emperor.
5. Leonardo da Vinci: Robot. It's hard to believe that one man could be so great at everything. This film reveals that you were right to be skeptical: da Vinci was, in fact, the most evolved robot to date. Vinci-bot doesn't require sleep, which is why he's such a prolific artist and inventor. His prowess rattles the powers-that-be, who are threatened by this robot wunderkind. The government apprehends Vinci-bot's designer, jails him for life and destroys all of his notes so that Vinci-bot can never be replicated.