Every week, A.V. Club writer Mike Vago pitches stories that Hollywood needs to bring to the big screen, with or without guests from the pop culture writing world.
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Time Travelers Cash Only w/Ethan Poschman
In the '80s and '90s, Spider Robinson wrote a series of books about Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, a watering hole whose regulars included time travelers, aliens, mythological creatures, and the occasional talking dog. Ethan Poschman, co-host of the podcast A Special Presentation, Or Alf Will Not Be Seen Tonight, joins us to talk about why this story about storytelling needs to be a movie, or a series, or a little of both.
The Bad News Bees w/Jason Thurston
In the mid 1980s, baseball had a coke problem, as cocaine use was rampant throughout the major leagues. When Commissioner Peter Ueberroth cracked down and banned several players, one enterprising minor-league owner struck on a seemingly brilliant idea—sign up a bunch of disgraced players to attract fans. Could this ragtag of misfits band together and learn the meaning of teamwork during a thrilling season? They could not, and were in fact one of the worst teams in the history of baseball. Screen Scholars editor Jason Thurston joins us to talk about why fans just said no to the 1986 San Jose Bees.
Jack Kirby w/Ted Anderson
Greetings, true believers!!! The cultural dominance of Marvel Comics has made Stan Lee a beloved American icon, but his creative partner through Marvel's formative years, illustrator/writer Jack Kirby, who co-created the Hulk, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and whose ambitious storytelling and energetic artwork came to define the superhero comic for generations. Comic book writer Ted Anderson (Moth Whisperer, Orphan Age, Adventure Time, My Little Pony) joins us to talk to us about everything from the impossibility of artistic credit being distributed fairly, to Judaism underlying the medium of superhero comics, to why it's always good to punch Nazis.
The Real Third Man w/Scott Bunn
Graham Greene wrote 1949's The Third Man, considered one of the best films of all time. But at the end of his life, Greene became fixated on a real-life story that parallelled his movie, when two British spies defected to the USSR in the 1950s, and Mi6 suspected they had a third man who had tipped them off. That man, Kim Philby, let a remarkable life of ambition, betrayal, and secrets. Scott Bunn (Steve Sax Syndrome, now available in podcast form!) joins us to talk about the real-life Third Man, and why Philby's story needs to be a movie.
Serf's Up! w/Bitter Karella
King Arthur can pull a sword from a stone, unite the Britons, and quest for the Holy Grail... but can he surf? Bitter Karella, creator of graphic novels including Misunderstanding Comics and Malleus Maleficarum; co-host of the podcast A Special Presentation, or Alf Will Not Be Seen Tonight, which revisits '80s cartoons based on newspaper comics; and mind behind the @midnight_pals Twitter account, joins us to pitch a throwback to trashy '80s comedies... with a throw-even-further-back to Camelot!
Interstellar Pig w/Steph Cherrywell
Those hip new neighbors you've been hanging out with? They might be aliens. And they want you to play their role-playing game. Author and interactive fiction game creator Steph Cherrywell joins us to talk about Interstellar Pig, William Sleator's 1984 YA sci-fi book, and why it needs a big-screen adapation.