Released in 1999, 10 Things I Hate About You has spent the last twelve years reaching “classic” status among people of my generation and with good reason; it’s a snarky but smart comedy that actually got teenagers pretty well while also successfully modernizing a classic William Shakespeare play. The success of the movie, which also spawned a short-lived TV show on ABC Family last year, is not lost on its director Gil Junger and now he’s finally looking to capitalize.
Variety reports that Junger will be directing 10 Things I Hate About Life from his own script and has roped in Hayley Atwell to star (you might remember her from her turn as Steve Rogers’ love interest in last year’s Captain America: The First Avenger). 10 Things I Hate About Life will follow the story of two people (Atwell and a male yet to be cast) who decide to commit suicide but when they both arrive at the same place to end it they end up striking up a conversation and talking themselves out of it. From there the two split up and the story goes on.
Now 10 Things I Hate About Life is not an actual sequel to 10 Things I Hate About You; Junger describes it as more of a movie that takes the goings on of his 1999 movie and “advances them.” Interesting idea in theory, but there’s a one-off sentence in the Variety story that kind of makes that whole argument transparent: Junger admits that he has made more money in residuals from 10 Things I Hate About You in 2011 alone than what he got paid to originally direct it. Hmm, so you’re telling me a movie that he directed has become a cash cow and now he wants to direct a movie that has a similar title and supposedly covers similar ground? Shock! Awe!
From what I can gather from the little information given, 10 Things I Hate About Life has little to do with anything from the 1999 original in any way shape or form; it seems like more of a cheap way to market his romantic comedy about suicide. Given his inability to let that movie go (he even directed episodes of the ABC Family show), that wouldn’t surprise me. The optimistic side of me hopes I’m completely wrong and that once more information is released I’ll realize the error of my judgment; but the pessimistic side of me that understands moviemaking is a business remains skeptical. At least he got a great actress to star in it; Atwell is a worthy lead and I’m excited to see where her career goes post-Captain America which is apparently romantic comedies.
What do you think of 10 Things I Hate About Life? Am I just being a sourpuss or does the connection to 10 Things I Hate About You seem really fishy?
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