The 5 weirdest stories that will probably be turned into movies
The past year’s news birthed some truly bizarre headlines. And if one were to assign a theme to 2016, “hey, you know that thing you thought couldn’t happen? It just did” would be a good one. From Brexit to the election, to the man who was arrested for disrupting traffic dressed as a tree, you may have found yourself double and triple checking that what you were reading was not, in fact, an Onion story.
For in a year of shakeups one thing has emerged certain, that the old adage “truth is stranger than fiction” always holds true. And the news has long been welcome fodder for film studios. Films like Boogie Nights, Adaptation, Argo and The Bling Ring are case in point, as all can credit a news article as their inception.
So, as an ode to the strange headlines that splashed across our browsers this past year, here are five news items that really should be movies - and likely will be if Vince Vaughn’s The Delivery Man, and last year’s Late Bloomer comedies are anything to go by.
When Kim Kardashian was robbed in Paris earlier this year, the internet went berzerk. People posited across message boards that the robbery was a publicity stunt, or that Kanye did it, or that Taylor Swift did it, or that the Pink Panther gang did it - or even that Kim did it to distract us while she got her butt reduced. Of course, only those who were there know what actually happened, but it’s safe to assume that it was one of two things: either thieves got through Kardashian-West-grade security, making this the heist of the century, or something is being hidden from us. Either way, it’s the Kardashian thriller we didn’t know we needed. Dream casting? Naya Rivera plays the iconic Kim Kardashian and Jay Pharoah plays Kanye. Then we find out what really went on that night. Guaranteed it’s already been optioned by a studio.
There’s something that can surpass sex, race, class and political leanings, and isn’t love or education. It’s Pokemon Go. This past year’s phone game phenom hooked everyone from your boyfriend to your mom, but with a very sinister side effect - reports came in repeatedly of players stumbling across dead bodies in their quests for Pikachus and Bulbasaurs. And clearly, they’ve stumbled onto something else: the next great mystery. Dream casting? Emma Watson plays a sweet but feisty Pokemon hunter-turned sleuth, solving a long-time missing person’s case and vowing to get revenge.
Earlier this year, the man who has come to be known affectionately as #SaltBae moved from internet obscurity to viral popularity, and straight into our hearts. Salt Bae’s real name is Nusret Gökçe, and he’s a chef at a Turkish restaurant with a very sensual way of sprinkling salt on meat. But, he’s much, much more, having come to represent the idea of being your best, most everything self for the Internet meme community. Would you watch him pursue life and love in the male-driven answer to Eat Pray Love? Of course you would, and it would be called Eat, Bae, Salt. Dream casting? George Clooney. Enough said.
People immediately began drawing Gone Girl parallels when wife and mother Sherri Papini went missing in Northern California this past year, reappearing bruised but alive on Thanksgiving Day. A mysterious story that involves a six-figure “reverse ransom” offered by a stranger, the possible involvement of Mexican cartels and sex-trafficking - plus the definite involvement of a slew of internet speculators - there’s one thing that’s apparent about this news item: there’s more to it than we know. Dream casting? Margot Robbie stars as Sherri Papini in the thrilling story of a kidnapping gone wrong. Or did it…
J.J. McMenamin evaded police for a full weekend after failing to show up in court for alleged traffic violations, and he did so dressed as Waldo, as in “Where’s…” of the children’s books. He repeatedly hid in plain public view, taunting police on Facebook with photos of himself dressed as Waldo, complete with captions like, “Dude, I’m right here.” He even claims to have watched one oblivious cop pick a wedgie. The 5-0 was never able to catch McMenamin, and he eventually turned himself in. Dream casting? Ryan Gosling plays a cheeky renegade who gets up to all manner of hijinks as he leads on the po’ a la Catch Me If You Can.