I need a distraction, as old movies and sports clips are no longer cutting it for me. So let’s pass time by speculating about the future. Not just the rash of babies named Karona Vyruss Johnson or divorces in a few months (or both, for those particularly volatile relationships), but the world of movies. With any major event comes the inevitable series of movies depicting it, or at least incorporating it. Without further ado, here are my predictions for COVID-19-themed movies.
Spike Lee’s Thoughtful Movie About the Inequalities Laid Bare by COVID-19
It’s becoming depressingly apparent that black and brown people are bearing the brunt of the pandemic-themed carnage in the U.S., especially in cities like New York. With his triumphant return with BlacKkKlansman as well as his status as one of the preeminent New Yorkers, Spike Lee is the man for the task of delineating this reality on screen. I’m looking forward to a thoughtful piece focusing on New York City, and using stories to demonstrate the dichotomy between gentrified/affluent areas like certain parts of Brooklyn and non-Uptown Manhattan versus lower-income communities in Queens, the Bronx and Uptown Manhattan.
I’m sure there will be poignant scenes with wealthy residents having fled the city for the Hamptons or other luxury areas, or holed up in their apartments, working from home and having less-privileged New Yorkers deliver their food for them. And he’ll provide a brilliant contrast as the delivery men then trudge back home to their lower-income communities, where residents have no choice but to continue traveling around the city to work. And given how policing statistics seem to be showing selective enforcement of social distancing guidelines (surprise, surprise), maybe Lee will even include a Do the Right Thing-esque scene showing a dramatic police confrontation.
(Sorry, Staten Island: unless Colin Jost, Pete Davidson and the Wu Tang Clan are doing a collaboration, you won’t be included in a New York City movie anytime soon.)
Quentin Tarantino’s Epic Production
Next up on this tongue-in-cheek Hollywood register is the inevitable entry from Quentin Tarantino. This will be a three-hour grand scale epic with high-profile stars. A quirky dark comedy about how a Hollywood actor on his private island, probably played by Brad Pitt, gets embroiled in trouble from his past that has somehow found his secluded hiding spot. Perhaps an international criminal played by Christoph Waltz and his enforcer played by Samuel L. Jackson. Cue the obligatory gratuitous scenes, as the main actor fights and fucks his way back to Los Angeles. Guaranteed Oscar victory for Tarantino, Pitt and maybe even a supporting actor.
Third on the list is the Judd Apatow/Seth Rogen/James Franco pic about how some slacker dude is under COVID-19 lockdown and has to learn how to “adult” all by himself. Hilarity (I guess) ensues. And finally, rounding out this fictional Hollywood register, is the inevitable rom-com about how two white, 20-something writers that get trapped in quarantine together (in an amazing apartment in New York City, of course) hate each other at first, but eventually fall in love. I’m not sure (nor do I particularly care) who the leads will be, but I’m sure they will be accompanied by brilliant performances from Keegan-Michael Key or Kevin Hart as the Magical Negro and/or Tiffany Haddish as the sassy black best friend.
Hopefully by the time these movies come out, we’ll have a vaccine and can resume a semblance of normalcy as we head to our local movie theater. In the meantime, stay distant and stay safe!