In an alternate universe, Roald Dahl did not enjoy the success of his beloved children’s book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Instead, he wrote a dismally unpopular book called Charlie and the Horchata Factory, in which Willy Wonka’s golden ticket campaign is an attempt to unload his unprofitable horchata factory, thereby staving off personal bankruptcy and a looming labor strike led by disgruntled Oompa-Loompas.
The following short film, Jeg Med Døden (I With Death), is directed by Ross Murray (who I am proud to call “brother”) and stars Taylor H. Wright as “I” and Jordan Thompson as “Death.”
Upon viewing this film you may find yourself thinking of the 1957 Swedish film Det Sjunde Inseglet (The Seventh Seal) directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Max von Sydow as a knight of the Crusades who plays chess with Death for the fate of the knight’s soul. Thus, this three-minute video made me think the following thought:
In an alternate universe, Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal was written with humor in mind, and is considered one of the most astute comedies of all time.
Behold, Jeg Med Døden! *WARNING! This video may not be appropriate for all audiences.*
In an alternate universe, the actor Peter Dinklage (best known as “The Half Man,” Tyrion Lannister on HBO’s Game of Thrones) was born decades earlier, allowing him to beat out Harrison Ford for the role of Han Solo in Star Wars: Episode IV.
Not only does Dinklage successfully pull off the role due to genuine “leading man” qualities, but his physical stature lends itself to combat-related scenes in which he rides Chewbacca piggyback style, while shooting his blaster. This also occurs in Empire Strikes Back in the scenes with a dissembled C-3PO strapped to the Wookiees’s back in Cloud City, on the planet Bespin.
Harrison Ford still became a household name in the Indiana Jones films, though the fourth film in that franchise was never made.
In an alternate universe, the much-beloved story, Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus, which was Francis P. Church’s response to a girl’s 1897 query to the The New York Sun concerning the existence of Santa Claus, did not gain popularity as a Christmas classic. This was caused by the much darker tone in Church’s alternate universe response, which was titled, Hey, Virginia, Just Who The Hell Have You Been Talking to, Young Lady?
In an alternate universe, the directors and casts of the films Ghostbusters and Goodfellas swapped movie projects. This means that Martin Scorsese made a paranormal thriller called Ghostbusters (using the original script by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis) starring Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, and Joe Pesci. However, the Scorsese version was released in 1990 rather the 1984 release of the Ivan Reitman version of Ghostbusters.
Goodfellas was then directed by Ivan Reitman as a true-crime comedy using the screenplay adaptation written by Nicholas Pileggi and Martin Scorsese, based on Pileggi’s book. The film’s cast was led by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson. It was released in 1991, rather than 1990.
Both films were huge hits, and in this alternate universe, Scorsese’s Ghostbusters is widely considered one of the scariest films of all time.
In an alternate universe, J.K. Rowling partners with Stephen King to write a Harry Potter novel in which it is revealed that the recently defeated Lord Voldemort was a servant of the Crimson King. When low men in the Crimson King’s employ begin using muggles to hunt down and capture magically-inclined people, the American counterpart to Hogwart’s summons forth a ka-tet of gunslingers, led by Cuthbert Allgood via his death at the Battle of Jericho Hill, from another level of the Tower to do away with these villains.
Through the course of the story, Randall Flagg is unmasked as having assumed the form of the American “defense against the dark arts” instructor, and Harry Potter himself turns out to be the villain directing these abductions as the Crimson King possessed his body using a glass from the Wizard’s Rainbow, capable of facilitating possession. The novel ends with Cuthbert Allgood killing Harry Potter, who is then resurrected by the Wizard Maerlyn who has left the solitude of his cave on another level of the Tower long enough to save Potter and place him as the new head of Hogwart’s before returning with Cuthbert to the magic school’s American counterpart. Cuthbert is then sent to New York where he gets a job as the head of security and black bag operations for the Tet Corporation.
Because you have been reading the Dark Tower books for a second time, you have had to force yourself (on several occasions) to not speak to people at your workplace in the diction of Mid-World in order to prevent possible awkwardness and conversational embarrassment. However, close friends and family have been getting plenty of text messages with phrases like, “Thankee-sai” and “The world won’t move on tomorrow.”
While most of those chosen few have endured your Dark Tower palaver with mild amusement, you did actually provide manage to impress a friend by responding to the terrifying spectacle of witnessing a Red-tailed Hawk shaking off its slow-speed windshield collision with a nearby car on an access road and then flying away, with the following Dark Tower quote from The Gunslinger:
“The hawk does not fear you, boy, and the hawk never will. The hawk is God’s gunslinger.”
In an alternate universe, the Martin Scorsese film Taxi Driver has a different feel to it, as all of the taxi drivers in New York City drive rickshaws instead of automobiles.
Viewing the video below only deepens your appreciation for Guy Pearce and increases your enthusiasm for the upcoming Ridley Scott film Prometheus…
In an alternate universe, everyone is assigned a personalized artificial intelligence program to serve as a tutor, language translator, and confidant. Each person gets to name their AI. Mine would be called Oberon.
You have a nightmare that is related to Freddy Krueger, by which I mean the person who shows up to scare you is not Freddy Krueger himself, but rather his father who also appears in people’s nightmares. Unlike his son, the elder Krueger (who resembles a burned Emo Philips) he is mostly concerned with entertaining you rather than harming you in your nightmare. Therefore, he takes requests from you as to what you might like to encounter, much like a clown would when making balloon animals at a birthday party.
The resulting “nightmare” was actually rather pleasant, as you requested a voluptuous female Valkyrie who spent the whole time flirting with you when she wasn’t offering to take you flying.
In an alternate universe, public schools in the United States offer martial arts and meditation courses to students as an alternative to gym class.
In an alternate universe, the late 1990s Jenna Elfman/ Thomas Gibson sitcom Dharma & Greg, about a free-spirited woman and her well-to-do husband, never existed.
Instead, ABC aired a sitcom called DARPA & Greg, starring Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter, about “Greg” the newest employee at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It went on to be the highest rated sitcom in American television history.
In an alternate universe, you did not find the movie trailer for the Footloose remake downright horrible, yet tragically funny because it was never made in the first place. Instead, the money was used to produce a Broadway play of the Bill Murray/ Richard Dreyfuss comedy What About Bob?, which went on to become the highest-grossing show in Broadway history.
In an alternate universe, politicians in the United States are elected through competition in a specialized academic decathlon, followed by a Medievil-style melee complete with swords.
In an alternate universe, the first man who ever rose up to declare, “God has decreed that I should become your ruler and be called a king,” was considered by most people to be out of his mind. Therefore, the idea of kings and divine right never caught on.
In an alternate universe, all of the Transformers films were written and directed by Christopher Nolan.
In an alternate universe, the Twilight Saga ends with a team of vampire slayers destroying everyone. In yet another universe, the first book disappeared into obscurity, spawning no sequels.
In an alternate universe, the majority of people running for political office actually know what they are doing, and seek office to help the public, instead of the opposite being true.
This is the first of a new series of posts on this, our blog, in which we will put forth possible events that might exist in an alternate universe. Behold!
In an alternate universe, the Harry Potter series ends with an army of wizards from America descending on the scene, defeating Voldemort, and saving the day.