I think it was Will Ferrell's President Bush that said, "With Bazooka Joe, don't have to throw a clock to see time fly." Well, apparently there are people who agree with that sentiment, as it is being reported that an actual feature film of the venerable eye-patch-wearing bubble-gum comic character is in the works. (This is NOT a joke.)
For newcommer, Mark Hammer, a script which did not sell called Sonny Goes to Peru, has turned into an opportunity which landed him the privilege (or curse) of penning this script for Michael Eisner's Tornante Co. In 2007, Eisner put up $380 million to purchase the Topps trading card company (which owns Bazooka Joe), and plans to "rejuvenate" the Bazooka Joe brand with this project.
The huge question that this bit of news begs, is a pretty obvious one: How the f*** do you make a movie about a comic strip that is essentially about nothing? When you think about Bazooka Joe, what comes to mind? Rock-hard, bitter-tasting chewing gum, wrapped in a comic strip that is laden with bad puns and usually labeled something like "12 of 85" like there is someone out there who collects them. As far as a major project goes, aside from the look of the characters, the source material is blank slate.
Perhaps, if anything, that is for the best. Let's be perfectly honest, this project is a punchline to a joke about the bad state of movies, come to life. Therefore, this film could be ANYTHING. However, depending on the talents of Mr. Hammer (of which I am not familiar), I suspect that what's on order from the Big Bosses, is an updated, "look, it's 2009/2010, we're with it and hip" label that they will attempt to juxtapose onto Bazooka Joe with his eye-patch -- err, I mean "ipatch." (It's a phone, music/video player, gps, thermal scope, laser blaster, and can even go back in time! Jealous, Solid Snake?!)*
Hopefully Jughead and Mr. Wetherbee will be back -- (oh wait, that's Archie. I get my "comic strips from the 50's that some people inexplicably find funny" mixed up.)
*I hope I didn't unwittingly spoil the film.