The Onion’s Three-Movie Development Deal Is No Joke
Now that falsehoods have become almost entirely indistinguishable from fact in the American news media, the staffers of satirical publication The Onion can sit back and relax, having effectively taken over the industry they set out to spoof. (Full disclosure: I contribute to the A.V. Club, a division of the Onion media empire.) But instead of resting on their laurels, the originators of ‘fake news’ have set out to conquer new frontiers, having already moved into publishing and the untamed wilds of television. A new exclusive from the Hollywood Reporter indicates that not even the movie theaters of this great nation will be safe from the increasingly plausible absurdities of America’s self-proclaimed ‘finest news source.’
The Onion brand has signed a contract with Lionsgate and production company Serious Business to develop three feature film projects over the next two years, in what we’ve been assured is not an extremely conceptual work of parody. It has yet to be made clear whether these films will see a theatrical release or find a home online, as well as which pre-existing figures from the Onion universe may appear in the projects. (Diamond Joe Biden biopic directed by Jody Hill, calling it now.) Kyle Ryan, Vice President of Onion Studios, had a characteristically deadpan response to the news: “We’ve plotted our takeover of the film industry for some time. With the help of Serious Business and Lionsgate, we’ll make room on our award shelf for some Oscars. To the basement you go, Pulitzers.“
Now’s as good a time as ever to bring up the forgotten direct-to-DVD Onion movie reasonably titled The Onion Movie, a 2008 release that strung together a collection of comic sketches drawn up by the publication’s Chicago staff. It’s pretty funny, and while it surely won’t have the budget or reach of the planned films to come, it’s a solid introduction to the irreverent, surreal sense of humor shared by the Onion’s board of writers.