Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Destroy All Monsters

Tokyo, April 25, 2007: Toho Company, Ltd. announced today that it is commencing development, in partnership with a newly formed production company co-founded by American filmmakers George Lucas and Quentin Tarantino, of a new series of daikaiju (monster) pictures themed around the recent hypergrowth of private equity and hedge fund companies. The first film in the series is planned to be a remake of the 1964 classic, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster.

"Quentin and I are very excited about working with Toho to bring back the monster movies we enjoyed in our youth," commented Mr. Lucas. "Nothing is more frightening than the mega-growth of private equity and hedge funds today, and we think Toho's proven model is the perfect medium to convey the excitement and terror so many people feel when they pick up The Wall Street Journal every morning," he added.

"George and I are doubly excited, because we have convinced Toho to contribute its extensive library of 30- and 40-year old special effects—including the classic Godzilla and Ghidorah monster suits—to the production," Mr. Tarantino remarked. "We intend to produce the new movies in all the cheesy glory we first saw the originals, so many years ago. That way, we can maintain the integrity of our artistic vision while keeping production costs under $10 million per movie," the filmmaker said.

Pre-production is already underway on the Ghidorah remake, which cineastes remember for its climactic showdown between Godzilla and the three-headed menace from outer space, Ghidorah. Andrew Ross Sorkin of The New York Times is authoring the initial screenplay, which he is basing on the original movie as well as recent articles in the WSJ and other sources in the financial press.

"My working premise is that the crusty but lovable Godzilla represents established PE behemoth KKR, and the three-headed menace Ghidorah represents challenger Goldman Sachs, freshly-arrived from raising $20 billion for its own private equity fund," said Mr. Sorkin. "However, I am also working on alternate scenarios that might involve Steve Schwarzman of Blackstone, Steve Cohen of SAC Capital, or even hedge fund Cerberus Capital Management. The beauty is that we do not have to decide which scenario to use until we add subtitles to the movie," he explained.

Messrs. Lucas and Tarantino have reserved the right to release different versions of the movie in different markets, depending on the results of focus-group marketing among first-year MBA students at leading business schools.

"After all," observed Mr. Tarantino, "what does it matter who Godzilla and Ghidorah are supposed to represent? The whole point of these movies is to watch the spectacle of gigantic egos clad in silly rubber suits bellowing and clawing at each other over who has the biggest radioactive death ray."

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