If you can’t beat them, join them.
Ultra-conservative talk radio host Glenn Beck announced that he his starting a film division at Mercury Radio Arts, the parent company of his radio program. The Hollywood Reporter has the details, explaining that Beck plans to develop three original stories as theatrical releases. "One [is] set in ancient history, one in modern history and a third he considers ‘faith-based,’" the trade reports.
Beck says that he has been busy refurbishing The Studios at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas. The 72,000-square-foot facility played host to such films as Oliver Stone’s JFK. The Dallas Morning News reported that Beck bought the studio back in 2013. "We're getting it ready for some big plans," the 50-year-old radio host said.
Of course, Beck made headlines recently by criticizing Darren Aronofsky’s Old Testament drama Noah for being "awful." He said:
It is not a godless climate change movie. It’s more like Sinbad the Sailor meets Shining and Friday the 13th, with a sprinkle of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome."
Listen for yourself:
Beck says that these plans have been in place or a while, and they include plans to adapt his own The Christmas Sweater, which THR says he has purchased back from Sony.
"I bought a movie studio for a reason. I have every intent of finding great artists who will tell great stories that aren't typical. Everybody thinks they know who I am because of my stint on Fox -- that was two years of my life. I'm much more into culture than I am into politics, and that's where I intend on making my stand."
Beck has his audience, for sure. The bigger question will be whether he can connect with an audience outside of his core – and become a hit as big as, ironically, Aronofsky’s Noah, which has grossed $248 million worldwide to date. When he talks about the inspirations for the films he wants to make, Beck singles out Divergent, True Grit and even The LEGO Movie, which Beck says was "tremendous storytelling and great for the whole family, without the double meanings and adult humor that I just hate. It was truly brilliant."
Would you ever give a movie backed by Glenn Beck a chance? Weigh in.