Not for how interminable Interstellar is (although I feel that too); not for his balance issues, but because whenever I would mention to someone that Contact was one of my favourite films, they’d make a face and go, “yes, but Father Matthew? Don’t THINK so” and I would more or less have to agree with them.
“Well, yes, it needed a good romance that film”, I would say. “Something very sweet. With the blind guy. Or, like, something in Splash“, which is another film I love. (I don’t need to say that, do I? Have you ever met a fellow human being that didn’t love Splash? It would be like hating puppies).
You probably know that as a writer, when you’re talking about what you’re working on, it helps to relate it to something people have already heard of. So when a publisher at a party (I realise that sounds swanky, so let me confess that it was actually just a bunch of quite scruffy Doctor Who fans in a pub, if I’m being strictly honest), asked me if I had any projects in the works, I said, ‘well, I was thinking of kind of Contact meets Splash‘.
‘Oh yes, I’d read that” he said straightaway. “Why don’t you write it?”
Can I tell you, this never happens. Mostly you pitch and you pitch and you pitch, and people sit there and nod politely and say ‘right, okay, have you got anything else?” or, worse, “Uhm, why don’t you have another one of these biscuits? To eat on the way home?”
So I went off and I wrote Resistance Is Futile, which is a sci-fi-rom-com about a mathematician discovering an alien intelligence and accidentally falling in love with it.
And I said to the marketing team, ‘it’s a bit Contact…”, and they said ‘stop you right there, we don’t want people thinking about Matthew McConaughey as that weird priest guy.”
“Yeah, I know.” I said.
“I think we’ll just tell people that it’s a bit Bridget Jones meets Independence Day.”
And do you know what? I think that works too.
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