"Edgy" Alert

Fraggle fans, I am trying to keep the torch lit for all of you. But we are going to have to weather a few more storms. There are some dark days ahead, my friends. Not to be too alarmist, but I am struggling to stay in control of my own movie at this point. The Weinstein Company gives me no confidence these days. Why?


For starters, they have begun the search for a new writer, presumably to rewrite my entire script from scratch. Now I’m a big boy — I can take the blow if my skills are not up to the high, high standards of the Weinstein Company (he said with too much sarcasm in his voice). But this is happening behind my back, without consulting me or even asking my opinion. I enjoy working with other writers and have no doubt that the RIGHT person could help make any script better. But to not even ask me? Adding insult to injury, the search is basically an open assignment. This means the net has been cast wide, virtually posting in the “classifieds” of the movie business. The Fraggles do not deserve such treatment.

Rest assured, I still have a deal to direct. Which means my hands WILL be on this script. That makes this move by the studio all the more baffling. Hey guys, you know what would be easier? Asking the director to help you get the script in shape, instead of running in your own circles and then showing me something later that I’ll probably hate.

“Oh, Cory, ‘hate’ is a strong word. How do you know you’re going to hate it?” I’ll tell you why.

The only overall note coming from the studio is this: “Not edgy enough.”

“EDGY.” That’s the note. That’s what they are trying to do to the Fraggle Rock movie. EDGE it up! Let me say right now that “edgy” is one of my least favorite words. Since my earliest days in the client video business, “edgy” has been a sign of someone who doesn’t know what they want. Not only is “edgy” a nebulous, abstract word that means something different to everyone, but it chases the immediate whims of pop culture. WHAT is edgy?? Faster edits? Rock music for the score? Boober wearing some gangsta bling? I have no idea. What I DO know is that the word “edgy” should not be anywhere near this movie.

What if “Toy Story” was edgy? “Toy Story” can be relevant, sharply written, and fast paced, but it has a genuine heart and sincere characters. Like “Toy Story,” Fraggle Rock’s success is not only due to it’s anti-edginess, but in its absolute DEFIANCE of all that is edgy and trendy and pop in this world.

I have said repeatedly that I will do my very best to make this Fraggle movie relevant and modern, to compete with everything else out there. But what I will NOT do is sabotage what made the property beloved in the first place.


I thought this was all worth reporting, and to let you know that I, too, am concerned. Perhaps this will get the studio to pick up the phone and actually engage me again.

Keep the Fraggle fire burning! And while it’s burning, throw that frakking word “edgy” into the fire, will ya?

33 Responses to “"Edgy" Alert”

  • jessicarose Says:

    The first few edgy pics were enough to freak me out. NO EDGINESS! A simple Google images search pushed me further from edginess. *shudder*

    I hope things get sorted out for you quickly and without too much nastiness :)

  • I'm Jon, just a guy. I try to smell good. Says:

    Cory… Don't worry…
    Every move thie Weinsteins make is always right.
    I mean, they passed on Boondock Saints, and that movie never found a following, and thier old company produced those AWESOME sequels to The Crow!
    (Smell the sarcasm, smell it!)
    Does this post make me look edgy?

  • Kelly Masters Says:

    It's a real shame we can't all just have the entire globe donate 50 cents to this movie … heck, even just a quarter.

    What is WRONG with this company? Sheesh, I'm almost to the point of saying a crudely drawn stick figure vid on youtube really WOULD be the best Fraggle treatment, if this is how they're going to act. :P

    Still … Boober wearing bling made me laugh, LOL.

    I think the company is confused. DINOSAURS was the overt mockery of modern society. FRAGGLE ROCK … not so much.

  • Darren72 Says:

    Thanks for this assault on the word "edgy". I couldn't agree more. It makes no sense, it's completely abstract and it says more about the person (or committee, or marketing group) who said it than it does about the actual commodity. Fraggles and Muppets have always had their own kind of vibe – and it's a strong, funny, time-tested vibe. Therein lies their hipness. No need to layer all this contemporary bull-sh*t. When has that come across as anything but desperate. Best of luck to you on this. You are up against dark forces.

  • Moviezzz Says:

    Cory,

    Good luck with this. The Fraggles do not need to be "edgy". I mean, they are the Fraggles!

    And just had to mention, I'm a huge fan of you and your brother's film CHILLICOTHE. One of the best indies of the past 20 years.

  • frogboy4 Says:

    I'm sure this stings because Cory's been such a Weinstein supporter in the past. To be honest, part of me has felt that the Henson Company could have been the hold-up due to their recent struggling track record, but this is clearly not the case. Sorry JHC for any doubts that I held.

    Once again a company doesn't understand what made the Fraggles work in the first place! The Fraggles are an *escape* from edge; an answer to the need for that false bravado. They are the innocent eyes looking at circumstances with a fresh perspective; they are not cynical and any bit of sarcastic moment comes from the heart instead of some sort of crass nod to a social norm.

    The Fraggles are primarily about four things: wonder, connectedness, humor and song. That's it. And they're successful at it. Jim Henson swiftly ended the program when new executives at HBO wanted to change that winning dynamic. We don't need another Chipmunk Movie that has Gobo saying something gawd-awful as, “…shake what your Mama gave ya’!" while spiking a football. That's for another property in need of desperate attempts for attention, not anything in the Henson stratosphere. They manage to avoid that.

    It appears like Weinstein Company has poured a little poison into the project at a time when the best thing they could do is step away from it and allow Cory and the Fraggle performers work their magic in bringing a stand-out blockbuster film to the screen – a film that won't be disposable tripe audiences are used to getting. A special surprise at the Box Office that encourages audiences to come and that leads other companies to follow. The Weinstein Company used to stand for that. Maybe their current financial troubles have something to do with losing their way and lowering their standards.

    Hey Harvey, you guys can do better and the Fraggles are giving you the chance to rise from your company’s recent mediocrity. Let the Fraggles be the Fraggles and they will help save your company!

    Very disturbing. Good luck, Cory. The fans believe in you!

  • Justin Says:

    Please keep fighting for us, Cory! The Fraggles deserve the very best.

  • victor Says:

    Sadly enough, "edgy" is EXACTLY what very nearly killed the original Toy Story and very nearly killed Pixar before it ever got fully off the ground. This is the relevant bit from the documentary "The Pixar Story" (is Woody threatening to turn Mr. Potato head into "Mr. MASHED-Potato Head" edgy enough for you?):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnyXl4RcQJ0#t=06m50s

    If that seems a tad depressing, follow the related videos link to the next segment of the documentary, which features Lasseter and Co. taking control of the production, rescuing it, and making it into the much-beloved film it is today.

    Take heart! Edginess shall NOT prevail!

  • victor Says:

    Yikes! Someone's been hanging out with the Gorgs! I haven't read the script, so I can't pretend to know what I'm talking about, but I don't remember the TV show being exactly what you'd call laugh-out-loud funny (or particularly clever for that matter). The show was a collection of gentle parables about getting along, and honestly if the movie is something I can take my kids to without regretting it, and if they get something positive out of it, and it does so gently, it'll be a rare example of a movie that does that.

    But if the movie does need to be punched up, maybe you can bring in Big Idea's Mike Nawrocki to give it some laugh out loud jokes. You don't need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. They didn't do that with Toy Story, they stuck with their vision, did a rewrite, and from THAT, a classic was born.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Edgy = Crap

    Edgy – Adverb: Lack of creativity and pathetic, desperate reach to make COMPANY seem relevant (not the product).

    Maybe they should work for an oil company…

    -Susan

  • thedailyjim Says:

    This one is for you Cory! Enjoy, and keep fighting.
    Top Ten Ways to Make Fraggle Rock "Edgy"

    10. Change name from “Fraggles” to “C.H.U.D.”

    9. Make a couple of those Doozers gay.

    8. Marjory, the Trash Heap is murdered, but not before sharing her dark secret.

    7. Replace Cantus and his minstrels with the Insane Clown Posse.

    6. Wander McMooch sets up a Thunderdome in Fraggle Rock.

    5. It is revealed in the opening sequence that Boober has been stockpiling weapons for the inevitable Doozer uprising.

    4. Give the movie a title that will appeal to the 18-24 “urban demographic” like, Fraggle Rock: Grab a 40oz. and Let the Ass Kicking Begin.

    3. Doc and other “Silly Creatures” are welcomed warmly into Fraggle Rock, only to bring disease and death.

    2. Use old plot lines from HBO’s The Wire as source material.

    1. One Fraggle has 24 hours to save Fraggle Rock any way he can. “My name is Gobo, and today is the longest day of my life.”

    http://thedailyjim.com/2010/06/16/top-ten-ways-to-make-the-upcoming-fraggle-rock-movie-more-edgy/

  • TJPSmith Says:

    I'm 34 and I've been a Muppet fan my entire life. I grew up a Fraggle fan and to this day my 71 year old father and I will sing the Gorg song: "Dum of a Son of a Gun."

    I've been raising my step-daughter on the Muppets and Fraggle Rock (as well as Looney Tunes and Wallace and Gromit) since she came into my life. I'm not an expert, but I know who the Fraggles are. Even with Muppetfan's definition of "edgy", Edgy is not a word that one should ever, EEEEVER use to describe what you are looking for from the Fraggles, Doozers or the Gorgs.

    Frogboy4 said, "The Fraggles are primarily about four things: wonder, connectedness, humor and song." The only thing I would add would be that the Fraggles are about Harmony, living together, striving together and succeeding together.

    If TWC wants more "edgy" content, perhaps they should sit down and watch the 3½ seasons on DVD and absorb the magic that Jim Henson, Frank Oz and all of the Henson Company created. If you can't recreate that kind of magic, if we don't have the magic of song, if this world can't have Gobo, Wembly, Mokey, Bober, Red, Uncle Traveling Matt, Cantus and the Minstrels, the Trash Heap and the spirit of Fraggle Rock, then don't make the film.

    Period.

    I'm all for reboots, restarts, re-imaginings or any other buzz word you want to use to start a series over. Chris Nolan's Batman is an example of a company that understood it's property and let if flourish. The Pink Panther reboot is a perfect example of what not to do. Steve Martin could never be Peter Sellars, (No slight on Martin, Sellars was one of a kind) but I had faith in his comedic style. Unfortunately, the script was written by persons who seemed to have never seen the original films.

    Fraggle Humor is warm, witty and fun, Gorgs have their pratfalls and slapstick and the Doozers, their inexplicable work ethic, but I wouldn't call the show hilarious. Fraggles are like family, you love them and cherish them, laugh with them and at them, and in the end, you learn something.

    TWC needs to keep that model, or sell the rights to someone who will. Jim left a beautiful legacy with the Muppets, Fraggle Rock, Sesame Street and his Jim Henson Company creations. Hollywood, TWC, Children's Television Workshop and Disney all need to achieve the same level of wonderment and awe that he provided us. Jim didn't just create magic, he was magic.

    Cory, for my Step-Daughter's sake, I hope that you have that golden touch.

    In the words of Cantus the Minstrel:

    "Music grows in the rose,
    Rock and rain and the blowin' snowstorm.
    Everything seems to sing,
    Everywhere I go.

    I say, 1, 2, play me do.
    Let me sound as sweet as you.
    Play me wide.
    Play me long.
    Let me be your song."

    That kind of sums up Fraggle Rock…

  • Anonymous Says:

    I think the word "edgy" to describe what you want in a script is lack of knowing truly what is missing or your lack of words to define your feelings/want.

    Its like saying "make it better"

    Mupetfan maybe right in the fact maybe he thinks the humor needs to be stepped up. I dont really know because i havent seen anything on the script.

    But the company saying its need to be edgy is bad leadership on there part. They should really relay what they want.

    If it need more humor or needs to be funnier like mupetfan said they should tell you like he did. I not saying he is wrong or write , what i am saying is he relayed what he thought should be added. Kinda in mean way but did it none the less. relying on you to guess what they mean by Edgy is just bad company business.

    communication is the key to help make a better movie…

    I wish you luck on this

  • TomH Says:

    Cory – I feel for you, man. So sorry this is happening. I hope for the best for you and for this project.

  • Anonymous Says:

    This reminds me of Tangled, another movie I was really looking forward to, before the company decided to make it more edgy. Fortunatley it seems like with Tangled the "edginess" will only be in the marketing and the actual movie will be more like a classic fairytale. I was just starting to accept that it might actually be good, despite the terrible name and marketing, and then I came over to your blog and read this. This makes me really mad. I haven't even seen Fraggle Rock and I know it shouldn't be edgy. Is there anything we can do to help convince The Weinsteins to keep you on? Anything at all? If so PLEASE let us know.

  • TOM Says:

    I also haven´t read the script and honestly: "Hoodwinked!" was great fun but yes – it maybe could´ve been even funnier with the help of the right script doctor.

    BUT: "Edgy" is exactly what you said about it, Cory – a producers way to tell you that he doesn´t know what he wants except for his `Latte-Drinking-Business-Friends´ telling him: "Wow, great movie, that was even crazier than South Park!". Baaaaaad idea!!!

    In Germany I worked on a new website for a few days called "Broken Comedy". They wanted "Edgy, edgy, edgy!". I tried my best to be edgy AND meaningful. But their content from the beginning on was mainly: Farting. Shitting. Insulting.

    Hey, Weinsteins – gonna love your farting, shitting, insulting Fraggles…. NOT!

    Best Wishes,
    Tom

  • Anonymous Says:

    I speak a little Hollywood, so let me translate: "edgy" means pop culture references, sexual innuendos, and flatulence. Basically, they want Shrek. Please continue to fight this annoying trend.

  • Anonymous Says:

    So TOM, you think Hoodwinked would have been funnier with a script doctor? It was made independently without that kind of thing and that's why it even made it to theaters, not to mention it made $110 million off of a less than $15 million budget. Had it gone through the studio system, where it would have been script doctored a ridiculous number of times, it would most likely still be in development, and would probably eventually have died there never seeing the light of day. Which is the problem these days.

    Harvey just won't be hiring 1 writer for Fraggle. He'll hire many, many writers, he'll put together focus groups and joke making sessions, and at the end of the day, it'll suck; that is if it even ever gets made. Everyone knows TWC is broke, and I wouldn't be surprised if this rewrite is nothing more than a stall tactic to avoid putting into production.

  • jock123 Says:

    I think it’s an honest mistake – I think they probably thought that they were getting a sequel, and just wondered why Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage didn’t get bigger parts in the script… What’s needed is a wee compromise: simply throw in a few plague weapons and a gun battle or two, and they’ll come round.

    “Be a Fraggle… Be *very* a Fraggle… Jerry Bruckheimer’s “The Rock II”…”

  • Anonymous Says:

    Wow. Check out the trailer for the new Smurfs movie to see how another classic is ruined by trying to be "hip" and "edgy".

  • Christopher Bair Says:

    Sorry to hear that they won't be using you for the script on the film. Scriptwriting isn't the easiest, and all too often the production heads want X but can't articulate it (and sometimes don't know X until they see it).

    FR is a cherished show from many people who are now parents of children of the age to see the show. The movie should reflect the charm and wonderment of the original show.

    If it goes to PG-13, or it ends up being nothing more than belch and fart jokes, then the production team has failed the franchise and Jim Henson's original.

    Anyways, glad to know you're still on as director. Hopefully they find a writer who can get them that X they seem incapable of conveying to you.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Well put, Cory. Edgy is my least – absolute least – favorite word in the English language. I’ve had discussions with friends for years about the quality of 21st century media, and they usually end in a similar tirade centered around "edgy." Don’t know why or when the trend started exactly, but its shelf life expired long ago.

    I wish you luck in your fight. It sounds like you’ll need it.

  • Wolf Says:

    "Edgy" is so last decade.

  • Cory Edwards Says:

    Fragglefan: I appreciate your zeal, but knock it off. This blog is not a place to pick fights. You can keep on posting but I'll just keep deleting.

    Muppetfan: You've said what you needed to say. You can stop saying it now. There are better things to do. The sun is shining outside, go out and play or eat an ice cream cone or something. Sheeeesh.

  • Anonymous Says:

    Fraggle Rock not "edgy" enough!? That's like looking over a Barney script and saying it needs more Tits & Ass! I can swear fluently in three languages and two dialects, and I can't think of a single word that sufficiently describes the mind-blowing asstardery at play here!

  • Chris Says:

    Cory,

    All I have to say is this. I just recently finished watching the entire series of Fraggle Rock. Like you, I missed out on the original airing, but, that was because I was too young.

    However, I caught the re-runs on the Disney Channel and fell in love with the show. Watching it now as an adult with a 15 month old, I love it even more. It is one of those few shows that really has a solid moral ground and gives kids the credit they deserve for their intelligence.

    Kids inherently have a sense of right and wrong, and it is only when they get plunged into some of the "wonderful" content out there in the world that their moral compass shifts.

    I think Jim Henson had an innate sense of this and as the commentaries said, his goal was "to stop war".

    I am saddened to learn that the production company would like to turn this into a post-modern "edgy" movie, rather than holding true to the vision that you used to write the script. It sounds like you have a good grasp of what Jim Henson and Jerry Guhl(spelling?) had in mind with the vision of Fraggle Rock.

    To me, it seems like they couldn't have picked a better person.

    There are some things that don't need to be "edgified" or dumbed down for a modern audience. Fraggle Rock is one of them.

    It would be refreshing for a family film to come out with positive goals other than trying to make money for the company in charge. I would be really sad if that is what happens with this production.

    We don't want a cheap imitation Fraggle Rock that is a shell of Fraggles with a core of surface-level garbage, as opposed to the deep messages of the original show.

    I fully support your vision of this project. Not that there would be any way that I can help, but, if you can think of something, anything that I could do to assist you in your vision, that would be great.

    I've done stage acting and such and if people are against the vision of the director/writer and try to change things, everything falls apart. I don't want to see that happen with this project.

    Finally, while I don't know where you stand on with religion or anything of that nature, nor where Hollywood does, you do have my prayers for this project.

    God Bless,
    Chris

  • Ed Says:

    Y'know what would be REALLY edgy? Not making it modernized. Forget about what else is out there and just make it into the best 'Rock it can be. If you try too hard to squish it into pop culture, it'll come out as awful, forced and it'll be a huge flop. I suggest you watch the entire series of the original, straight, with no sleep, and find that awesome magical wonder that made it awesome in the first place. Take THAT and roll with it.

    PS: Try not to turn it into the awful that was 'Follow That Bird', or I may have to slap you.

  • S-3 Says:

    "Edginess" is the curse holding us back from making goo movies based off of memorable and nostalgic properties in general.

    More than 85-90% of movies based off of said kinds of properties end up insultingly bad as a result… As a result of trying to relate to major audineces- AKA, people who have brainwashed to believe that pop-culture refs/music, bathroom humor, and sexual innuendos MAKE THE MOVIE.

    THESE THINGS most certainly do not make a movie. They never have nor ever will. Hollywood and many other media outlets close to it have been diseased by this BS excuse to include such BS in movies like this one being made for example, as a result, turning something memorable in a positive light in nostalgia into something shit, unoriginal, and worthless in the modern mainstream eye.

    The time for rebelliomn against it and many horrors like it plaguing Hollywood is now! Cory… You can and must lead this fight. I haven't seen the 'Rock, but I don't want kids being damaged by it like The Chipmunks have and the Smurfs will be.

    Fight to kill this "commitee driven" ideal. That goes for all of you… and me. I know I will.
    Just know this- THIS IS WHAT MUST HAPP?EN IF YOU DON"T GET PROPER CONTROL OF YOUR PROJECT, Cory. Otherwise, you will have a bad place in history- IU don't wat to see that happen to you like it will the Smurfs.

    ANARCHY on "EDGINESS"!!!

  • Ariella Says:

    yuuuuuck! "edginess" massacred animation singlehandedly! characters with shades and attitude eyebrows [ala alvin and the chipmonks] — *puke* fight it tooth and nail!

  • RedShoebox Says:

    Edgy, by my definition, is:

    -Pop-culture references
    -Toilet humor
    -Innuendos
    -"Painful" humor (i.e., a guy getting hit in the face in a funny way)
    -And sometimes, and even more regrettably, Photo-real characters (i.e., Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007), Marmaduke (2010), and unfortunately, by the looks of it, The Smurfs (2011))

    Cory- My advice (not that you have to take it) is to avoid these things. These traits make for unmemorable and sometimes hard-to-enjoy films. "Edgy" does not always (or ever) make for a better movie, because a good movie doesn't try to get audiences to spend money on a film that seems "trendy". Fraggle Rock is not trendy, and Fraggle Rock should not become trendy, because the bottom line is Fraggle Rock is so magical and enjoyable with its universal messages, it doesn't need to be trendy, or edgy, or any of those things. Fraggle Rock stands out on its own, in its own wonderful way.

    Cory- Hang in there, best of luck, and don't worry. We all have faith in you. :)

  • Sam Says:

    Can you explain what the Weinsteins mean by "edgy"? Because that could be interpreted as appealing to an adult audience, or it could mean Alvin and the Chipmunks eating their own poop for laughs.

  • Alex Says:

    I just can't think of Fraggle Rock being "edgy", at least in the sense of what they're doing to movies like Marmaduke now. If it was edgy, it wouldn't be Fraggle Rock.

    The whole deal kind of reminds me of this: http://www.homestarrunner.com/aprilfool10.html

    Hopefully everyone can get it even if they've never heard of Homestar Runner.

  • More Edgy « gaffneyjournal Says:

    [...] The idea revolves around writing “edgy” work. It reminds me of when the writer of the Fraggle Rock movie was asked to make the scripts more edgy (see here for details). [...]

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