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film news

The Flock proves that arguing on the internet is worth it

Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Sunday, July 12, 2009

If you ever get to see a movie about giant prehistoric birds and it's called The Flock, then know this fact: it's the first known Hollywood movie that got made because someone started a flame war on the internet.

Here's the facts: The Hollywood Reporter is running a story today about producers Don Murphy and John Wells developing this new project called The Flock. It's based on a novel of the same name by James Robert Smith. And it's about giant prehistoric birds.

These birds -- which turn out to be flightless beasts called terror birds (and they were called that for a damn good reason) -- are living somewhere in the Florida Everglades and are content to be left alone until (dramatic music cue) evil theme park developers come calling! The birds fight the encroaching humans! Action and horror come about! It's like Jurassic Park with wings meets Disneyland in hell!

So where does the internet flame war part come into it? Well, here's the gold about this story: the sole reason that this book is getting made into a movie is because the author of The Flock was trashing another of Murphy's films, From Hell, on the blog of Eddie Campbell, the artist that illustrated the From Hell comic book. Murphy went for Smith's jugular, and if you know the online reputation of Don Murphy then what he did shouldn't surprise you. The producer did some digging and found out that this Smith guy had written a book, and after a quick jump to Amazon.com Murphy had ordered it, intent that he would read it and rip it apart online. You give as good as you get, right? But in a twist worthy of being in in the third act of a film, when Murphy read The Flock he found that he liked it so much that he optioned the screen rights from Smith. I can't help but shed a tear at the ironic beauty of it.

Coming soon: DreamWorks signs an Ain't It Cool talkbacker to a three picture deal.

-The Hollywood Reporter.

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