Rim of the World, which just premiered on Netflix, is the story of four kids, thrown together at summer camp in the middle of an alien invasion, faced with the task of carrying the one object that can defeat the aliens across war-torn LA. Sound like a Spielberg, 80s-style adventure. It is.
This kind of movie used to be a given every year. Zack Stentz, who wrote Rim of the World said,
“There were a couple of them every summer, and they were great, and I loved them. They were emotionally important to me. And Hollywood stopped making them.”
Now, though, digital streaming services like Netflix are upeisnding of Hollywood’s business model. Small screens can do what big screens don’t.
Stentz had the idea for Rim of the World years ago—that he could modernize the kids-on-an-adventure trope of the 80s by using summer camp as a tool to separate kids from parents and cell phones. Cue the aliens, and you’re rolling.
“I told my agents about it in early 2016, and they said ‘Don’t. The studios aren’t buying anything like that.'”
Stentz started writing it anyway,
Two-thirds of the way to a finished draft, the show Stranger Things was a hit.
“Suddenly everyone remembered how much they loved those ’80s movies that Stranger Things was Frankenstein-monstered out of the pieces of.
The crazy thing about Netflix is, when the deals are closed, there aren’t 10 more drafts with everyone giving notes. They’re like ‘OK, go make it.'”
We didn’t have the resources of a $150 million movie, but we had a 40-day shoot, which is not terrible, and an incredibly meticulous director of photography, so when you see it, it doesn’t look like TV.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be a hit; the sheer amount of new shows and movies that drop on Netflix can mean new stuff gets lost in the tsunami. But Rim doesn’t have to outgross Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It just has to be old-fashioned fun. It is.
(Photo, Netflix, via Wired)