Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Why Kevin Sullivan must be locked up

He's coming out with a new Anne of Green Gables movie. Ok, so for those of you not in the know, this is the guy who did the wonderful Megan Follows version in the 1980s. The one that got me hooked when it was on PBS lo these many years ago.

And then he did a pretty lovely sequel a couple of years later. Sure, it deviated from the books, but it stayed true to the heart of the story and to the characters. So I was cool with it. (Even spent a relaxing few evenings at Julie's place watching it in her adjacent recliners, while eating flavored popcorn and hearing her dad say, "I know this is a chick movie and everything, but I really like it." So true.)

So, circa 1987, all is right in the world. Then, in 2000, Mr. Sullivan figures (I suppose) that he needs more money. So he decides to do a WWI epic with Anne. Great, I think! L.M. Montgomery's final Anne books talks about that very thing, seeing the war through the eyes of Anne's 14 year old daughter, Rilla. Would make a good film, I say.

Not so. Sullivan instead COMPLETELY messes with the timeframe, making Gilbert (oh, my beloved Gilbert!) go off to war and Anne, in a leap so far out of character I couldn't even fathom it, hunts all over France to find him and bring him home. Um, no. I watched it, but it was painful. And there was much grousing from the peanut gallery (K-lyn and the aforementioned Julie.)

And just when you think it couldn't get much worse, you ain't seen nothing yet: Sullivan is now in post-production (meaning: this travesty is already filmed) of ANOTHER "Anne of Green Gables" film, this time... oh, hell. My words won't do justice. Here's the plotpoints:
  • Gilbert's been killed overseas in World War II (HUH??? He'd be at least 75 when the war breaks out, in my estimation) so Anne returns in her head to the past to make peace with herself.
  • Anne was evidently mistaken (or lying?) about her parents, and her birth father was in fact alive??? (Um, she visited his damn grave in the books.)
  • She's played by Barbara Hershey, who is not a Canadian and is definitely not very Anne-ish.

In the ensuing emails between our little gang of Anne devotees, I offered, "as a Professional Historian (TM)," to write to Sullivan and mention the timeline problems. K suggested that I should expect a response along these lines:

Dear Professional Historian (TM),

Thank you so much for calling this to our attention. We were all smoking crack and have since sobered up enough to realize how right you are. To compensate you please accept this all expense paid trip for four to PEI to experience Anne's world and the works of LM Montgomery in a way that we can't mess up.


Stupid Idiots with No Brains to Speak Of

J and K will of course accompany me on the trip. Final guest to be determined (maybe Julie's dad!)

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Blogger K-Lyn said...

Well, I was of course thinking perhaps Maya would want to join us but Ken would be a blast!

But in my world there are only two Anne movies. Just like there is only one Matrix.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Neel Mehta said...


5:46 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I thought it so cool that I would be able to see the third Anne movie on CBC waaay before it showed on American TV - no, I just suffered sooner.

About a month after I had watched the evil third movie I was visiting my parents. Dad and I were watching PBS when the ad came on for it. He started to lean forward, interested. I shook my head, "No." I don't think he has ever seen it. (you have to shield and protect your parents from some of the evilness in the world).

10:40 PM  
Blogger Quinn said...

You're a good daughter, Julie.

6:32 AM  
Anonymous kr said...


12:55 AM  
Blogger Kirstin said...

Hi all. I found you via Google. I was searching for someone, anyone, who felt outrage at what Kevin Sullivan has done. I didn't even watch the 3rd non-Anne movie on principle, but when I heard he was making a 4th!! There aren't words. What frustrates me is that I would love, love to see "House of Dreams" be made into a movie. So why didn't he make it? It's an awesome story, and I bet Megan Follows would have done it. Well maybe this is a blessing in disguise; maybe the director who finally brings the rest of the books to life will, you know, actually like them. From that perspective, "House of Dreams" was spared having Kevin Sullivan as a directory, yay!

9:16 AM  

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